The sexual allegations made against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain may finally be taking its toll. After Ginger White, a woman Cain has described as a friend, announced Monday night that she’d conducted an extramarital affair with him for more than a decade, which Cain denied Monday evening, he has decided to reassess whether to stay in the race.
“If a decision is made, different than we should plow ahead, you all will be the first to know,” Cain told campaign staffers in a conference call Tuesday morning, the Des Moines Register reports.
Cain continued to deny that he’d had an improper relationship with White and merely tried to help a friend who was financially needy, but acknowledged that yet another sex scandal could force him to drop out of the race.
“We have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud in some people’s minds as to whether or not they should support us going forward,” he said.
But based on recent polls, that cloud already exists and Cain, who was previously on top, now trails now trails Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, with poll numbers in the mid-teens. Moreover, although Cain vehemently denied the affair and said in an interview on CNN Monday night that he and his attorney would be able to refute the claim after hearing White’s public claims, the statement issued by Lin Wood in which he said the matter was “an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults, a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public” may have only made matters worse because it seems to suggest that there may indeed have been an affair.
Republican voters aren’t the only ones jumping off of the so-called Cain Train. Iowa talk-radio host Steve Deace told Politico Tuesday morning that Wood’s statement was a “kill-shot” to the campaign.
“I think it just accelerates the rate of decline for Herman Cain. His handling of the previous allegations was embarrassing. Even more embarrassing is his lack of knowledge on virtually any issue other than his 9-9-9 plan,” Deace said. “The statement from his lawyer is the likely kill-shot to his campaign. For an ordained Baptist minister to assert through his attorney that what happens in his private sex life doesn’t matter is preposterous.”
Politico also reports that Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has previously supported Cain, said that this latest allegation has “chipped away at his likability” and “created doubt in people’s mind whether or not, quote, another shoe will drop.”
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