U.S. President Barack Obama sure knows how to play dirty. Now that political frontrunner Herman Cain has positioned himself as Obama's direct competition for the White House in 2012, Obama's camp comes out swinging with false allegations against the GOP candidate.
According to POLITICO.com, two women have come forward to complain of sexual misconduct by Mr. Cain during his tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. Supposedly, the two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain. The women ultimately left their jobs at the trade group after quietly resolving the matter, 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.
Yet, they are violating their agreements by talking to the media? Why is it news if it happened in the 1990s? If they thought they had a case, why didn't they sue? My guess is the women have demanded more hush money from Mr. Cain, who rightfully refused.
POLITICO has confirmed the identities of the two female restaurant association employees who complained about Cain but, for privacy concerns, is not publishing their names.
Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon told POLITICO the candidate indicated to campaign officials that he was "vaguely familiar" with the charges and that the restaurant association's general counsel had resolved the matter.
The latest statement came from Cain himself. In a tense sidewalk encounter Sunday morning outside the Washington bureau of CBS News - where the Republican contender had just completed an interview on "Face the Nation" - Cain evaded a series of questions about sexual harassment allegations.
Cain said he has "had thousands of people working for me" at different businesses over the years and could not comment "until I see some facts or some concrete evidence." His campaign staff was given the name of one woman who complained last week, and it was repeated to Cain on Sunday. He responded, "I am not going to comment on that."
He was then asked, "Have you ever been accused, sir, in your life of harassment by a woman?"
He breathed audibly, glared at the reporter and stayed silent for several seconds. After the question was repeated three times, he responded by asking the reporter, "Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?"