Herman Cain accuser: We called or texted 61 times in four months(Read article summary)
Herman Cain has refuted allegations of a 13-year affair with an Atlanta woman, Ginger White. She says she was upset by how Herman Cain treated those accusing him of sexual harassment.
For Herman Cain, the hits keep coming.
In a press conference addressing sexual-harassment allegations three weeks ago, the GOP presidential candidate hinted that more women might come forward, saying that "there will probably be others."
On Monday, that proved true.
Mr. Cain appeared with Wolf Blitzer on CNN to preempt the accusations of a 13-year extramarital affair and dismiss them as false – even before the woman spoke on an Atlanta Fox affiliate. He was unequivocal in his denials when asked directly whether he had had sex or an affair with the woman, but he admitted that he knew her.
"It is someone that I know who is an acquaintance that I thought was a friend," he told Mr. Blitzer.
The interview with the woman, Ginger White, aired shortly afterward. Ms. White, an Atlanta businesswoman, is a single mother who says she met Cain in the late 1990s when he was president of the National Restaurant Association.
"It was pretty simple," White said of the affair. "It wasn't complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.”
She added that she's "not proud," and didn't plan to come out with this story. She said she decided to talk after she was contacted by numerous news outlets who had been tipped off to the affair. She also said she was bothered by watching Cain's attacks on the women who accused him of sexual harassment.
"It bothered me that they were being demonized, sort of," she said.
As proof of the affair, White showed her interviewers her cellphone, which had "Herman Cain" as a contact, and phone bills showing 61 calls or texts to that number during a four-month period. When the station texted that number, Cain responded, telling the station that he knew White, but that her allegations were false, and that she had his number because he was "trying to help her financially."
It's hard to tell how the allegations will affect Cain.
Even if true, allegations of a consensual affair are far different than the sexual-harassment allegations that surfaced last month, as Cain's lawyer pointed out in a statement to the news station.
"No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life," Lin Wood, Cain's attorney, wrote. "The public's right to know and the media's right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one's bedroom door. Mr. Cain has alerted his wife to this new accusation and discussed it with her. He has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media."
And certainly, Cain would hardly be the only candidate with sexual indiscretions in his past. It's a category that includes Newt Gingrich, the current GOP front-runner, who is on his third marriage and has had at least two extramarital affairs (with women he later married).
But it's hardly good news for a campaign that was already faltering. Before the sexual-harassment claims surfaced at the end of October, Cain was leading the Republican pack, averaging between 20 and 30 percent in national polls. These days, he's dropped into a distant third place behind Mr. Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and is averaging about 15 percent in polls.
In his appearance on CNN, Cain said he would not drop out of the race.
"Not as long as my wife is behind me and as long as my wife believes I should stay in this race, I'm staying in this race," Cain told Blitzer.