• Herman Cain,  Newt Gingrich,  President 2012

    President 2012 Video: Herman Cain Endorses Newt Gingrich

    Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain endorsed his former rival Newt Gingrich at an event in West Palm Beach, Florida Saturday night. (Jan. 28)

    This will probably not do too much for Newt Gingrich in Florida on Tuesday. But, Gingrich is now playing a delegate game with Romney, much like Ronald Reagain in 1976 against Gerald Ford. The difference is that Romney is not an incumbent President.

    Herman Cain on the stump will help Gingrich in many states and bring along plenty of Tea Party supporters.

  • Herman Cain,  Newt Gingrich,  Polling,  President 2012

    President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: As Cain Crashes – Newt Rises

    According to the latest Gallup Poll.

    Herman Cain’s Positive Intensity Score is 17, down from 29 immediately before news broke in late October about past sexual harassment allegations against him. Newt Gingrich, who has made a dramatic turnaround since the summer, saw his score improve further this week, and he now ties Cain for the highest score among the eight major GOP presidential candidates.

    The current ratings are based on Nov. 1-13 Gallup polling, covering a fairly newsworthy time in the GOP campaign. Cain continued to be dogged by allegations that he sexually harassed women while he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s. Also, the eight major candidates met for two debates, the first of which will be remembered for Rick Perry’s memory lapse while he was trying to list the names of federal cabinet departments he would shut down if elected.

    No surprise here. This is the conventional wisdom – Newt is rising.

    Now, whether Gingrich can sustain his increasing poll numbers is another matter.

    Here is the positive intensity graph:

  • Herman Cain,  President 2012

    President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: 51 Per Cent Say Accusations Against Herman Cain Likely Serious and True

    According to the latest Rasmussen Poll.

    Most voters now say that the sexual harassment allegations made against Herman Cain may be both serious and true. At the same time, two-thirds believe Cain’s ethics are at least as good as most politicians. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% of voters nationwide say it is at least somewhat likely the allegations against Cain are both serious and true.

    The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 7-8, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

    I tweeted yesterday that it was my opinion that Herman Cain was DONE.

    I think you can say that American voters agree.

    Put a fork in Herman Cain – He’s DONE.

  • Herman Cain,  President 2012

    President 2012: Herman Cain Explains Sexual Harassment Case and Creates New Questions/Problems

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, October 31, 2011. Cain acknowledged on Monday that he was accused of sexual harassment in the 1990s but insisted the allegations were baseless, as he grappled with the toughest challenge of his U.S. presidential campaign

    Sometimes it is wise, if you are going to say an accusation is without merit, then to leave it at that and not explain.

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain for the first time has offered a detailed recollection of what led an employee of the National Restaurant Association to lodge a sexual harassment charge against him when he was CEO of the organization.

    Cain spoke in response to detailed questioning from Fox News’ Greta van Susteren, who led Cain through the facts of the case in an extended interview.  That interview was taped to be shown on Fox Monday night.

    But, with Cain going public to try to explain the situation, he is digging a hole for himself. Why?

    For most executives in this position, she said, it is only natural to inquire after the fact as to the outcome — even if it’s just to say, “Hey, what happened with that, and why are these ladies no longer here?”

    In any case, she said, the National Restaurant Association could clear up questions by releasing the basic information about the case by speaking about the facts, without identifying the women. “They can be much more transparent than they are being,” she said.

    Ms. Katz suggested that Mr. Cain might be creating new problems for himself through his recent comments “by suggesting that these are trumped-up charges.” Settlements commonly include nondisparagement clauses that he could be violating she said. “He’s either breached the agreement or he’s exposing himself to allegations of defamation,” she said.

    Because of the risks, she said, lawyers were probably not involved in crafting his statements about the allegations. “I don’t think anybody’s advising him to say that,” she said.

    Anyone want to bet that one or both of these women are sitting in their lawyer’s office contemplating either a new suit or complaint?

    If he claims that the complaints are baseless, then say that and move on.

    If something, like a gesture, was misinterpreted, apologize and move on.

    So far, Herman Cain, has failed crisis management 101 AND he wants to be President?

  • Herman Cain,  President 2012

    President 2012: Herman Cain Says He Was Falsely Accused of Sexual Harassment

    According to Herman Cain in an interview on the Fox News Channel.

    2012 GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain said he was “falsely accused” of sexual harassment while he was head of the National Restaurant Association.”It is totally baseless and it is totally false,” he told Fox News.

    “I’ve never sexually harassed anyone and yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association. I say falsely because it turned out after the investigation to be baseless. …It is totally baseless and totally false. Never have I committed any sort of sexual harassment.”

    Herman Cain also said he was not aware of any settlements that were made by the National Restaurant Association on his behalf.

    He added: “If the restaurant association did a settlement, I wasn’t even aware of it and I hope it wasn’t for much. If there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other officers at the restaurant association.”

    There will be more questions, especially with regard to the settlement(s).

    Stay tuned…..

  • Herman Cain,  President 2012

    President 2012: The Herman Cain Sexual Harassment Flap: Can Cain Survive?

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain appears on CBS’s “Face the Nation” in Washington Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011

    Here is a collection of stories that have appeared last night and this morning regarding the alleged charges of sexual harassment against GOP Presidential contender and businessman Herman Cain.

    Then, you, the reader can weigh in, after my thoughts, of course.

    Exclusive: 2 women accused Herman Cain of inappropriate behavior

    During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.

    The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.

    Cain responds to sex harassment allegation

    Calling the story “thinly sourced allegations,” Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon said: “Since Washington establishment critics haven’t had much luck in attacking Mr. Cain’s ideas to fix a bad economy and create jobs, they are trying to attack him in any way they can.”  Gordon did not address any of the specific allegations in the report.  Asked for a more specific answer, the campaign did not provide details.

    Here is Gordon’s complete response:

        Inside the Beltway media attacks Cain

        Fearing the message of Herman Cain who is shaking up the political landscape in Washington, Inside the Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain.

        Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.

        Since Washington establishment critics haven’t had much luck in attacking Mr. Cain’s ideas to fix a bad economy and create jobs, they are trying to attack him in any way they can.

        Sadly, we’ve seen this movie played out before – a prominent Conservative targeted by liberals simply because they disagree with his politics.

        Mr. Cain — and all Americans, deserve better.

    Watch The Awkward Video Of Herman Cain’s Spokesman Refusing To Deny The Harassment Story

    Herman Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon refused to deny the POLITICO report that the businessman-turned-presidential candidate harassed two women while head of the National Restaurant Association.

    Asked by Geraldo Rivera to deny the story multiple times during a five minute interview, Gordon repeatedly avoided the question and instead criticized the “establishment.”

    Cain will be speaking to the American Enterprise Institute and the National Press Club today — as well as appearing on Fox News. If he doesn’t work up a better answer — and fast — he’ll be in serious trouble.

    Herman Cain allegations: The evolution of denial

    Now the Cain campaign has taken the next step, confirming to the Associated Press that it is now denying the story. Gordon issued this statement:

    Inside-the-Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain. Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.
    This is really great stuff, the sort of spin that makes a media blogger happy to be on shift on a Sunday night. Take a look for a minute at the whole notion that the Politico story was “thinly sourced.” At first blush, it appears to be a fine talking point for the Cain campaign. After all, there are indeed plenty of anonymous sources in the story, alleged harassment victims bound by nondisclosure agreements and other folks who didn’t want their names used.

    Yet who was the most authoritative, on-the-record source? Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. He was the guy who said he was ”vaguely familiar” with the allegations. When a guy running for president says he has a vague recollection of something bad that happened in the past, he has a stupendous recollection of the event. That’s just the rounding error for politicians.

    So if the Politico story is “thinly sourced,” it’s so only because it’s main, on-the-record source has very little credibility.

    Herman Cain denies allegations of sexual harassment

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is denying allegations that he had been accused of sexual harassment when he was head of the National Restaurant Assn.

    The allegations were revealed Sunday night in a report by Politico. Cain had refused to comment on the charges when approached by Politico earlier in the day.

    Cain campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon told the Associated Press late Sunday night that the campaign denied the report.

    “Inside-the-Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain,” Gordon said in a written statement to the Associated Press. “Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.”

    Asked by the AP if the campaign was denying the report, Godon said, “Yes.”

    Morning Examiner: Cain fails to deny harassment

    If left unrefuted, allegations of past sexual harassment will surely sink Cain’s campaign. Cain’s response to the charges so far has been to deflect, not deny them. Reached for comment by Politico, Cain said he would not comment “until I see some facts or concrete evidence.” Given the name of one of the women involved, Cain said, “I am not commenting on that.” Asked point blank, “Have you ever been accused, sir, in your life of harassment by a woman?” Cain only answered with a question, “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?”

    Cain’s campaign later issued an official response to the story, but it was a classic non-denial denial. The statement,issued by spokesman J.D. Gordon, calls the Politico story “thinly sourced” but never specifically denies the charges.

    The Associated Press followed up with Gordon and pressed him for a firm denial. This is the best they got from him: “These are baseless allegations. To my knowledge, this is not an accurate story.”

    Notice the qualifier: “To my knowledge.” Gordon did not say that he had talked to Herman Cain and that Cain denied the story. Just that, to his knowledge, Gordon did not think it was true. This is another insufficient response.

    Cain is supposed to visit the American Enterprise Institute to stump for his 9-9-9 tax plan today, and is also scheduled to speak at a luncheon at the National Press Club. Unless Cain wants the rest of his campaign to be about sexual harassment, he must directly answer these charges as soon as possible.

    Cain Denounces Harassment Claims

    The Herman Cain harassment story: How bad is it for him?

    Predicting how stories like this one will play out are virtually impossible. (We still remember well when we genuinely thought South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was hiking the Appalachian Trail.)

    It’s possible that Cain is able to beat the story back with a detailed accounting of just what happened. It’s also possible that the story heads in all sorts of directions that Cain’s still-spartan staff aren’t able to control.

    “Bill Clinton’s campaign survived this and much worse,” said Ari Fleischer, a Republican strategist and former White House press secretary. “Plus, the normal rules don’t seem to apply to an outsider like Cain.”

    At a minimum, the story will serve as a week-long (and probably longer) distraction for Cain, who was hoping to use the next few weeks to prove to the political class he could raise the money and put together the sort of organization that could make him a real rival to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

    “A good campaign can usually weather a story like this if they get in front of it, and deal with it quickly and forthrightly,” said Todd Harris, a veteran Republican operative. “So far at least, that’s not what Cain is doing.”

    Can Cain overcome these allegations?

    Penny Nance, head of the conservative Concerned Women for America, is demanding answers. She told Politico: “I think Herman Cain needs to directly answer the question. “Early in my career I resigned from a trade association for the exact same reason and with no financial settlement. I simply found another job. . . . Therefore, I know in a very personal way that sexual harassment exists and that it’s demeaning and painful. It should never be tolerated in the workforce and certainly not the White House.” I imagine a great number of GOP voters, especially social conservatives, would agree.

    To the extent Cain never expected his campaign to take off, you could understand him entering the race with this issue lurking in the past. But once he began to contend seriously for a top spot, shouldn’t he have been better prepared to deal with this? (Politico says it discussed the allegations with Cain over a 10-day period.) Once again many GOP insiders can only marvel that he’s gotten to the top of the polls.

    A neutral political pollster and analyst e-mailed me to say that if the allegations are true, “then a quick confession is good for the soul .?.?. and a political campaign. Avoid the drip, drip, drip. Voters have proven they’ll forgive.”

    A supporter of another candidate mused that such an issue can be overcome if a campaign has the right people and strategy in place. He doubted, however, that Cain has either.

    Cain will need to respond on the merits of the claims, most likely today, either at a program at the American Enterprise Institute or in his National Press Club appearance. It is true that voters may forgive much about a candidate’s past. But they have proven unwilling in most instances to tolerate lying. Cain should get out what he has to say quickly, truthfully and completely.

    If the allegations are true, and/or voters don’t believe Cain, where could his voters go? Well, there is already evidence that Newt Gingrich is rising. But at least in Iowa one must consider the strong social conservatives Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Rick Santorum, who have hammered home their values issues, to be the immediate beneficiaries.

    Meanwhile, Mitt Romney doesn’t much care if Cain declines and Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum or even Texas Gov. Rick Perry rise a bit. So long as Romney’s share of the vote remains about 25 percent and those candidates to his right are carving up over 60 percent of the vote, he stands a good chance to win in Iowa and go on to the nomination.

    Speaking of Iowa, one GOP official there, reacting to yesterday’s Des Moines Register poll, was already doubtful before the Politico story broke that Cain could keep up his momentum. He e-mailed me: “This is Cain’s peak. There is no way he can organize 1,784 precincts in the next 64 days. He hasn’t shown a willingness to campaign here.” As for Romney, he observes, “Romney still has a ton of good will from his visits, time and resources invested here 4 years ago. The narrative that Romney hasn’t been here is a false one, but none-the-less, helps downplay expectations here, so [the Romney team] won’t push back on it.”

    If Cain — because of the Politico revelations or for other reasons — begins to tumble, those in the Romney camp wanting to make a full-court press to win Iowa may have the upper hand. Remember, if Cain only loses 10 percent of his base, Romney, according to current polling, would eke out a win.

    The question for the day will be: Can Cain beat back the Politico story? If he can, he gains strength. If he can’t, the most volatile GOP presidential primary race in recent memory will get even more volatile.

    There you go – for now.

    Herman Cain is now speaking at the American Enterprise Institute and you can watch him here.

    Herman Cain will have to answer these charges and answer them quickly. If not, as a candidate running as a social conservative, he will be done.

    Can Cain survive politically?

    Maybe, but probably doubtful, if there was a settlement with the aforementioned women.

    I will write more after Herman Cain directly answers questions at an upcoming interview with Fox News – after the AEI interview.

  • Herman Cain,  Polling,  President 2012,  Rick Perry

    President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Rick Perry Collapses as Herman Cain Gains in Positive Intensity

    According to the latest Gallup Poll.

    Rick Perry’s image is suffering, with his Positive Intensity Score among Republicans familiar with him down to 15, and below 20 for the first time. Meanwhile, Herman Cain’s score is now 30, the highest for any candidate this year.

    The results are based on Gallup Daily tracking from Sept. 19-Oct. 2. Gallup calculates candidate Positive Intensity Scores as the percentage of strongly favorable opinions minus the percentage of strongly unfavorable opinions of each candidate among Republicans and Republican leaners familiar with the candidate.

    The movement in Perry’s and Cain’s scores follows recent campaign developments, including poor reviews of Perry’s performance in the September debates and Cain’s surprising win in the Sept. 24 Florida straw poll.

    In addition to Perry, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul established new low Positive Intensity Scores this week, at 5 and 3, respectively. Bachmann was among the highest-rated candidates in June, peaking at 24, but has seen a steady decline since she posted a score of 20 in Aug. 1-14 tracking. Paul has not been rated as positively, with a high of 16 in May, and has registered in the single digits in all but one update since late May.

    The graph says it all.

    Mitt Romney has regained front-runner status.

  • Barack Obama,  Herman Cain,  Polling,  President 2012

    President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama 39% Vs. Cain 34%

    According to the latest Rasmussen Poll.

    Herman Cain did well in last week’s GOP debate and won a decisive straw poll victory in Florida, but his numbers in a general election match-up against President Obama are little changed.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds that Obama earns 39% support while Cain attracts 34%. In that match-up, 14% prefer some other candidate, and 14% are undecided

    A month ago,  the president led Cain by seven percentage points. In March  Obama held an 18 point advantage over the businessman and talk show host.

    Data released earlier today shows that voters nationwide are evenly divided as to whether or not Cain is qualified to be president  — 30% say yes, 33% no, and 37% are not sure. Republicans, by a 49% to 17% margin believe he is qualified while most Democrats disagree. Among Republicans, Cain’s numbers on this question are similar to Rick Perry’s but not as strong as Mitt Romney’s.

    Yet, these are fairly decent numbers from someone who is virtually unknown to the electorate.

    Here is a summary of Rasmussen head to head polling:

    Not a bad polling result from someone who just last week was considering withdrawal form the Presidential race.