Herman Cain on Monday called stories about sexual harassment allegations against him “a witch hunt” and repeatedly said that he never harassed female employees while he was CEO of the National Restaurant Association…
Cain reiterated that he’s not aware of any settlements paid to women who accused him of harassment. He said there is no reason for the restaurant association to divulge more information about the story.
“As far as we’re concerned, enough said about the issue,” he said. “There’s nothing there to dig up.”
He added: “If the restaurant association did a settlement, I wasn’t even aware of it and I hope it wasn’t for much. If there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other officers at the restaurant association.”
Cain said it’s possible that more sexual harassment allegations could be forthcoming, but that they would be baseless… [Pols emphasis]
So, uh, these are not things you say to reporters unless you pretty much know there’s more scandal lurking out there–in which case, the last thing to do is to declare “enough said.” That’s practically begging the press to keep “digging.”
That said, we’re reminded of the last-minute story that hit Colorado GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck the weekend before the 2010 elections about a job discrimination settlement while he worked at the U.S. Attorney’s office. A notably similar situation, with an alleged victim in a settlement agreement that prevented her from talking about the case. That can place victims who settle at a significant disadvantage if the matter goes public, since the alleged offender generally has an easier time finding surrogates and others willing to disparage the case on background. In Buck’s case, the allegation surfaced too late to matter anyway.
But a presidential campaign is a higher profile affair than a U.S. Senate race, and there’s lots of time to fill in these blanks: especially if there are multiple such alleged cases. And the fact is, we just don’t think it will take much to sink Herman Cain’s unlikely “frontrunner” status.