Posted on | October 31, 2011 | 71 Comments
UPDATE 14:53 the bottom line on the allegation:
“In my over 40 years of running businesses and corporations, I have never sexually harassed anyone,” he told an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“I was accused — falsely, I might add. When the charges were brought, I recused myself, and allowed my general counsel and human-resources officer to deal with the matter.
“After a thorough investigation, it was determined there was no basis for the complaints,” Cain related.
UPDATE 3:41 PM ET (RSM): The media scrum waited around in the Press Club to catch Cain after his speech, but he eluded us, exiting via a back way down the garage. Then we all raced to the elevators and down to the street. I went around to the exit of the garage and spotted one of Cain’s advance men on lookout duty. Cain had evidently left by another route, but in a couple of minutes, chief of staff Mark Block walked out — smoking a cigarette, naturally. The advance man on lookout duty was giving me the Evil Eye, so I didn’t approach, but shouted out, “How’s it going, Mark?” He made a hand gesture: “call me.” And I shouted, “Hey, I been calling you all day.”
Block was ushered to a waiting Cadillac sedan and they paused briefly before pulling away from the curb, so I trotted up to the open rear window and said, “What’s going on, man?” Block answered: “Gotta got to the next thing.” And off they went.
I’d parked my car a block away at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, and stopped in the ornate lobby to call Smitty and consult as to updates, etc. Then down to the car and out Constitution Avenue, across the river to Rosslyn and the offices of the American Spectator, where I’m now logged in on a borrowed computer. People have asked me how I thought Cain did today, and I answered — striking a John Travolta gesture — “Stayin’ alive.”
There’s a deadline looming, so I’ll update more tonight when I get home. As for now … Hit the freaking tip jar!
*** PREVIOUSLY (11:59 a.m.) ***
Stacy is in shoe leather mode at the National Press Club, standing by for remarks.
The luncheon will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. Remarks will begin at 1:00 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session.
Luncheons are webcast live on press.org. Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #NPCLunch, or on Facebook at (facebook.com/PressClubDC) and Twitter (@PressClubDC).
Submit questions for speakers during the live event by sending them to @QNPCLunch on Twitter. Or email a question in advance; type CAIN in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org before 10 a.m. on the day of event.
He has interviewed sources close to the campaign who said that the campaign had known for some time that Politico was pursuing the allegations of sexual harassment that are in circulation. During a conference call of Cain operatives on Sunday, the Politico story was discussed. The story had been expected within 24-48 hours as of yesterday afternoon, and was published sooner than the campaign had expected. However, there was ‘no sense of doom’ about the story, which is ‘not something that is going to derail the campaign’.
Stacy is seated in the balcony section with a sandwich and coffee, where Cain is expected shortly.
Via Beltway Confidential, we have Herman Cain responding to Jenna Lee on Fox discussing his National Restaurant Association settlement.
UPDATE 12:05 PM EST (RSM) Herman Cain just arrived at NPC. He evaded the sidewalk stakeout by coming in through the parking garage.
UPDATE 12:52 PM EST (RSM) There was a small press gaggle with Mark Block on his way into the luncheon. Have audio, video and photos but am currently poaching a computer in the NPC library and can’t access that now. Security is pretty heavy here.
However, Block denied any knowledge of whether the Politico story was the result of another campaign’s opposition research.
Right now, Politico is looking worse than Cain. Dana Loesch at Big Journalism writes: “Cain has a right to face his accusers and the American public has the right to know the details of a story and not be expected to rush to a judgment predicated on ‘unnamed sources.’” It’s a pretty heavy situation to be sourced so lightly.
UPDATE 13:21 PM EST Welcome, Instapundit readers!
UPDATE 13:36 PM EST (RSM) In an impromptu press gaggle before the luncheon, Cain campaign chief of staff Mark Block was asked if he believed the Politico story came from another campaign. Block said,
“I would find it hard to believe that anybody with another campaign would do that. But then again, this is politics.”
UPDATE 13:42 PM EST CNN has some talking heads who are concern-milking the scandal cow in a desperate attempt to make cheese:
UPDATE 13:55 PM EST Found the C-Span live stream. We do not have a health care problem; we have a health care cost problem. His interest in running for president was piqued by BHO’s performance.
UPDATE 13:59 PM EST Singing a variation on “Amazing Grace” for a closer. Sans teleprompter.
UPDATE 14:19 PM EST (RSM) Stacy McCain on stakeout duty awaiting Cain’s departure.
UPDATE 14:21 PM EST Further linkage at:
UPDATE 14:45 PM EST (RSM) Cain evaded the press scrum in the parking garage.
UPDATE 16:38 PM EST (RSM) Linked at Maggie’s Notebook.