Herman Cain Goes On The Offense: Gets Campaign Funding Bump And Publicity Seeking Attorney
November 1st, 2011
Wall Street Journal
By Danny Yadron
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain appears to have found a silver lining in the report of sexual harassment accusations when he was head of the National Restaurant Association during the 1990s: He says that Monday turned out to be a good fund-raising day.
“Yesterday, with the firestorm, was one of our best fund-raising days online since the campaign started,” Mr. Cain told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham during a Tuesday morning interview. He also said something similar in a CNN interview Tuesday.
Mr. Cain’s fund-raising can’t be confirmed until he files his quarterly report with the Federal Election Commission early next year, but the remark illustrates a split among conservatives. Some Republicans have said the allegations could prove fatal if they are proven true. “If it grows legs, it’s going to be a problem for him,” said Dave Funk, co-chairman of the Polk County GOP in Iowa. Others have said the allegations, first reported by Politico, have been blown out of proportion.
Additional reporting by Laura Strickler and Josh Gaynor
WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain went on the offensive today against allegations that he sexually harrassed two women more than a decade ago.
CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford reports his supporters rallied to his defense, even arguing the revelations were calculated attacks motivated by race. Americans for Herman Cain the super PAC backing his campaign, said in an email to supporters "this is what the Left always does. Just like they did to Clarence Thomas, they are engaging in a 'high tech lynching' by smearing Herman Cain's reputation and character."
But Joel Bennett, the lawyer for one of the accusers, who is a married federal employee who lives in Maryland, told CBS News today that his client is telling the truth.
"I wouldn't characterize it as an ax to grind," Bennett said. "I'm sure she feels as though she wasn't treated properly by Herman Cain."
But Bennett said said he does not remember the specific allegations, or what kind of settlement they eventually reached.
Cain has said he remembers one woman accusing him of harassmentand described the episode on PBS' Newshour last night.
"I reference this lady's height," Cain said. "And I was standing near her and I did this, saying 'you're the same height as my wife.'"
Bennett said Cain was talking about the case of another woman, not his client. But Bennett said now that Cain is talking about specifics, the confidentiality agreements may no longer be binding.
"I think the National Restaurant Associaion ought to waive the confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions and let the two women, if they choose to do so, come forward and tell their stories so that it can get a complete public airing," Bennett said.
The National Restaurant Association released the following statement after public remarks by attorney Joel Bennett:
"We have seen media reports that attorney Joel Bennett is publicly making requests on behalf of a former National Restaurant Association employee. Mr. Bennett has not been in contact with the Association. If we are contacted by Mr. Bennett, we will respond as appropriate," said Sue Hensley, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Communications for the National Restaurant Association.
Meanwhile, The New York Times is now reporting that one of Cain's accusers received $35,000 -- a year's salary -- in severance pay to leave the organization.