Jon Huntsman Calls on Herman Cain to Come Clean About Harassment Allegations

Cain’s GOP presidential rival says the scandal is a distraction.

Posted: 11/06/2011 07:00 PM EST
Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, 2012 presidential election

Republican White House hopeful Jon Huntsman is calling on rival Herman Cain to disclose all of the details about the allegations of sexual harassment that topped the headlines last week. In an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, the former Utah governor said that Cain is “a decent man and a good candidate,” but the allegations are a distraction that has taken the focus away from more important issues.

 

“It’s up to Herman Cain to get the information out and get it out in total,” Huntsman said. “That’s important because we’ve got some real issues to discuss in this campaign and this is taking all the bandwidth out of the discussion ... Legitimate questions have been raised and that information has to come forward.”

 

Cain, who has denied the allegations but has continuously altered his recollections of the matter, said Saturday that he is done discussing it.

 

“We’re getting back on message, end of story,” he said following a fundraiser/debate in Texas with rival Newt Gingrich, warning reporters to not “even go there.”

 

Huntsman, who is trailing badly in the polls, isn’t the only Republican urging Cain to be more forthcoming. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, also speaking on Sunday’s Meet the Press, said that it is the only way the candidate can truly put the issue behind him.

 

"I’m not one of the people who think this is necessarily fatal. It might not hurt him at all. But people need to know what the facts are. And that’s the challenge for him right now — to get those out as quickly as possible and get it behind him," said Barbour.

 

Although Cain has been able to use the scandal to up his fundraising numbers significantly, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll published Nov. 6 shows that support for the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO is starting to erode. In a survey of all registered voters, 53 percent of respondents said they believe the sexual harassment allegations are true. Among Republicans, 39 percent said they think the claims are accurate. In addition, Cain’s favorability rating fell from 37 percent to 32 percent, and 35 percent of Republicans said they view him less favorably.

 

"I think he is probably cresting now. I think this week, last week, were sort of the high-water mark," said Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson.

(Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

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