The Other McCain

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CRISIS LOOMS FOR HERMAN CAIN CAMPAIGN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE UPDATE: Cain Tells CNN He’ll Make Decision ‘Within the Next Several Days’

Posted on | November 30, 2011 | 27 Comments

Sources close to the Herman Cain presidential campaign in New Hampshire say that the candidate will be flying into a firestorm of trouble when he arrives in Manchester for events tonight.

Reporters for New Hampshire news organizations today contacted Cain campaign insiders in the state asking if they were aware that at least seven Republican members of the state legislature who had previously endorsed the Atlanta businessman were preparing to rescind their endorsements. These additional defections follow in the wake of reports yesterday that two GOP state legislators who had endorsed Cain had switched their support to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Meanwhile, some of Cain’s most enthusiastic supporters in the state insist that there must be major changes to the campaign. These supporters cited grievances that include what they call the incompetence of Cain’s New Hampshire state campaign director Charlie Spano, as well as widespread discontent among Cain’s supporters with his campaign’s national staff.

UPDATE: Cain is scheduled to arrive this evening in Manchester to hold a private meeting with his New Hampshire supporters at 7:30 p.m., and has scheduled a press conference for 8:45 p.m. ET.

WMUR-TV reported yesterday that two GOP state representatives, Sam Cataldo and William Panek, were switching their endorsements from Cain to Gingrich. Panek told CBS News that the Cain campaign’s “handling of [sexual accusations] does bother me,” and added: “It makes [Cain’s endorsers] look bad too because we’re supporting him.”

WMUR also reported that yesterday afternoon, a few hours after Cain told staff and volunteers on a conference call that he was “re-assessing” his campaign, Cain’s Manchester campaign office was locked, with an “out to lunch” sign on the door — at 2:30 p.m.

UPDATE II: John DiStaso of the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader reported yesterday:

Cain is scheduled to return to New Hampshire Wednesday night and meet with supporters and the media at about 8:30 p.m. at his state campaign headquarters at 62 Lowell St., Manchester, said spokesman Charlie Spano. . . .
Cain spokesman [J.D.] Gordon told the Granite Status in an email that Cain still intends to appear at the New Hampshire Union Leader on Thursday for an interview. . . .
Spano said that he has heard nothing to indicate that Cain has changed his planned appearances elsewhere in the state on Thursday.
“This is a serious matter to have to deal with but at the same time, the New Hampshire staff is determined to go forward with the campaign and do what is necessary to compete and bring the message of economic revival through his ‘9-9-9 plan’ to voters,” Spano said.
Spano said the four members of Cain’s New Hampshire staff “believe in his integrity and that this is a man who was helping a friend and has helped friends in his life.”

UPDATE III: While Cain’s New Hampshire operations appeared on the verge of implosion today, the candidate made a scheduled appearance in Ohio, which does not hold its primary until June. The loudest complaints against the Cain campaign this year have been from supporters in early primary and caucus states — including Iowa and New Hampshire — that the candidate has not appeared often enough in those key states.

ABC News reported that, during his appearance today in West Chester, Ohio, Cain said he is a victim of “character assassination” and said he has gotten “a groundswell of positive support” in the wake of an Atlanta businesswoman’s claim that she had a 13-year affair with Cain, a claim he has denied.

UPDATE IV: CNN’s Jim Acosta files a report from Ohio, and here is a transcript of his on-air report to the network:

RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Just moments ago our Jim Acosta got a very quick one-on-one with Herman Cain, the man who is debating whether to stay in the race for the president. Jim joins us on the phone right now.
Jim, what did he say?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Randi, you know, we only asked him a couple of questions. That’s all the time we had. He was doing the rope line inside a Marriott Hotel in Dayton , Ohio , after wrapping up a speech. And I just asked him very quickly, are you vowing to stay in the race? And all he would say is, we are reassessing and re-evaluating. And then I asked him again, does that mean you’re staying in the race? And he would — he only responded, we are re-evaluating and reassessing. And then I asked him, when will you have a final decision on your future plans? And he said within the next several days.
So, it sounds like Herman Cain is not going to drop out of this race today. It sounds that (ph) he may not drop out at all. We listened to his speech inside this hotel just a few minutes ago and he was very defiant, saying that character assassination would not drive him out of this race. But when we asked him specifically, on the record, on camera, whether or not he is going to stay in this race, he did not give us a straight answer, Randi.
KAYE: Jim, does he seem at all worn down or frustrated by all of this?
ACOSTA: You know, if anything, he looked emboldened. I have to say, he gave a very fiery speech here. It was basically his standard stump speech. It had most of the one liners that people who have covered him closely have heard before. But he really whipped up this crowd here.
He had a very large crowd inside this ball room just a few moments ago and they were eating it up. And they were shouting back to him, Randi, don’t get out of this race. Stay in the race. We need you, Herman Cain. So, the candidate was defiant and so was his audience.
KAYE: Jim Acosta, a nice get, getting a quick interview there with Herman Cain. Thank you for that reporting.

UPDATE V: Linked at POH Diaries and Legal Insurrectionthanks!

Just got an e-mail from Cain campaign chief of staff Mark Block, acknowledging he had seen this article. The last time I saw Block was when we had a smoke together outside a Cain post-debate party in Spartanburg, S.C., on Nov. 12. I told him then, as I had told him many times before: Bring back Dan Tripp.

We were off the record, so I can’t report Block’s reaction, and I get paid to cover campaigns, not to offer campaigns unsolicited advice. But the word I’m getting out of New Hampshire — i.e., that would-be Cain volunteers have been kept at arm’s length by Spano’s hired staff in Manchester — suggests that the services of Tripp (or someone like him) could come in handy. Just sayin’ . . .




  • Steve in TN

    @rsmccain Reassessing… Like the “recalculating” guy on the Allstate commercials.

  • Bob Belvedere

    When it rains, it pours.

  • ThePaganTemple

    Didn’t I hear Cain in a speech a while back say something about “where the rubber meets the road?”

    Damn litterbug.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think thems raindrops.

  • Ladd Ehlinger Jr.

    It is obvious to me that Herbie the Love Bug has missed his true calling: opening a charity for bizarre women in financial distress. He obviously has a passion and a talent for it.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not as cynical as those who keep saying Cain’s whole campaign was just puffery for a book tour.

    However, I’ve had the impression since the shells started cratering around him that he was down to hoping he could stay in this thing long enough to have some bargaining power — maybe for a cabinet offer, maybe just to get commitments to parts of his program , whatever — based on delivering his endorsement and presumably his supporters’ support to another candidate at a key point.

    It looks like things are disintegrating for him too fast now for that to happen.

  • Mortimer Snerd

    Herman’s Hostel for Dizzy Damsels in Distress?

  • Ladd Ehlinger Jr.

    With all the dark walnut you can eat!

  • Zilla of the Resistance

    Hey Stacy, remember that Rick Santorum knows who you are, and he knows that you have been far more decent to him than any other journalist. Vanuatu could still be waiting for you!

  • Adjoran

    Squirmin’ Herman’s Pastoral Counseling:  Leave your troubles and your pants at the door!

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  • Ladd Ehlinger Jr.

    Herbie the Lush Bug will hire all the best people to cure what ails ya!

  • smitty

    A reasonable supposition. My thought is that these sexual allegations are a relatively low-cost, tangential way of attacking Cain without calling undue attention to issues like the Federal Reserve.
    Some, no doubt, think that the less attention given the evil of the Federal Reserve,  the better.

  • Anonymous

    That thought crossed my mind yesterday while I was out getting a pack of smokes.

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  • Anamika

    It looks like the Republicans are just desperate to find an alternative to Mitt Romney.

    Perry seems to have blown it completely with his Oops! response and now Cain seems to be going, going, gone, with his constant fuck ups in interviews adding to the multiple charges of sexual harrasment.

    Newt is the new flavor of the month, but nobody seriously thinks he’ll ever get the nomination.

  • Anonymous


    Gingrich 2012 = McCain 2008
    Santorum 2012 = Huckabee 2012
    Cain 2012 = Dean 2004

    Which is a little depressing, but it’ll be ok as long as
    Obama 2012 = Carter 1980

  • Anonymous

    Shouldn’t you be stockpiling cartons?

  • Paul Zummo

    Hmmm, you might be right, though I think most of the 2012 candidates parallel pretty nicely with the 2008 candidates:


    That last one may seem strange, but they are both candidates who would have fit in better four years earlier. 

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  • ThePaganTemple

    Yep, if he gets elected, Santorum will probably be thinking, “now who should I reward with a cushy job? Hey I know, I’ll give a good position to that guy who spent months promoting Herman Cain.”

  • ThePaganTemple

    “Let Herman take a firm yet gentle grip on your issues.”

  • metro_con

    “it’ll be ok as long as Obama 2012 = Carter 1980”

    Not if Romney 2012 = Dole 1996

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