GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain is currently the subject of an awful "witch hunt." Yes, he may have been accused of sexual harassment by two different women during his tenure at The National Restaurant Association in the late 90s. But Cain has said that he's never sexually harassed anyone, and never came to a "settlement" either. Sure an "agreement," may have been reached to pay one of the women $35,000—a year of her salary—but remember the late 90s, with all its "free love" and "Macarena?" Now, the woman who accused Cain of misconduct and took the severance pay wants to speak out, but is barred from doing so by the terms of her agreement. [Update below: Now a GOP pollster says that he witnessed Cain's bad behavior.]
"[Cain's] basically saying: 'I never harassed anyone. These claims have no merit,'" the woman's lawyer tells the Times. "And I'm sure my client would have a comeback to that." According to the paper's four sources, the alleged encounter took place "in the context of a work outing during which there had been heavy drinking—a hallmark, they said, of outing with an organization that represents the hospitality industry." A relative of the woman spoke about the attention surrounding the incident: "This is not something we asked for. This is not something we brought on."
The other woman's allegations against Cain "appeared to be more in keeping with a standard settlement related to harassment allegations," though a source said she made "more than one" complaint against the candidate's behavior.
On FOX yesterday, Cain explained the confusion behind his previous denial that there had been a settlement: "When I first heard the word ‘settlement,’ I thought ‘legal settlement.’ My recollection later is that there was an agreement.” When asked by Lizard Emperor Charles Krauthammer if he was being "Clintonian," Cain responded, "It was simply using the word agreement."
Rush Limbaugh understands what this whole witch hunt is really about:
This is about blacks and Hispanics getting uppity. [Liberals] cannot have a black Republican running for office, can't have a Hispanic. The Left owns those minorities, those two groups can't be seen rising on their own.
Yes, the left owns those groups, and they would have spoken out against their masters if the terms of their agreement with them didn't keep them from doing so. And how dare that woman speak up like an "uppity" victim of sexual harassment!
Speaking to a group of supporters today in Virginia, Cain said, "There is a force at work here that is much greater than those that would try to destroy me and destroy this campaign." What force? Legally binding documents? "That force is called the voice of the people. That's why we are doing as well as we are." So far, the voters of Iowa don't seem to mind the allegations, which is what really matters anyway. But as CQ notes the NRA "will sooner or later feel compelled to do the politically smart thing and release both women who have accused Cain of inappropriate sexual behavior from the gag-order clauses." And when they do that, Rush Limbaugh will be ready.
Update: According to Politico, GOP pollster Chris Wilson told a radio station that the alleged "episode took place in the neighborhood where Cain kept an apartment when he headed the restaurant trade group." Wilson said, "This occurred at a restaurant in Crystal City (Virginia), and everybody was aware of it. It was only a matter of time because so many people were aware of what took place, so many people were aware of her situation, the fact she left — everybody knew with the campaign that this would eventually come up."
In an interview with POLITICO, Wilson said he was present for the episode and that it took place in the late '90s.
Wilson declined to say specifically what Cain said or did to the woman, but that the CEO's actions made other individuals at the table uneasy.
"It was very uncomfortable," said the pollster, recalling that other individuals present asked Cain to stop.
Wilson said there were at least three other people at the gathering but wouldn't share the name of the woman for publication.
Politico does add, "Wilson is a Rick Perry supporter and does polling for a Super PAC that supports the Texas governor's presidential bid." But Wilson wants to make it clear he did not leak the story.