On Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain held a press conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, and addressed allegations of sexual harassment while he was head of the National Restaurant Association from a fourth accuser who held her own on Monday.
Sharon Bialek alleges Cain made unwanted advances toward her and is the first to speak publicly about it and share her identity following three others who cited sexual harassment claims anonymously. According to Bialek, following a business dinner with Cain to discuss her job search as they sat in a parked car, he reached under her skirt and pulled her head toward his crotch.
Cain denied the allegations during his press conference, saying “I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period”. He also addressed accusations by another woman, Karen Kraushaar, who went public on Tuesday and identified herself as one of the original women who claimed Cain had sexual harassed her. According to Cain, “It was treated as a personnel matter because there was no basis to her accusations.” Kraushaar was reportedly paid $45,000 after leaving her position. Cain added that the “Democrat machine in America has brought forth a troubled woman” to make these claims and that he would “vigorously defend [his] reputation”.
While Cain hasn’t suffered too much politically amid these claims, they certainly don’t help. His Positive Intensity Score remains higher than any other Republican candidate but is now ten points lower than his record high of 34. Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney follow with 14 and 10, respectively, and in a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, Cain and Romney are tied at 21 percent.
Cain visited Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday after viewing Bialek’s press conference and commented that his day had “got off to somewhat of a rough start” but “all things considered, I’m still alive”. Following Bialek’s press conference, Cain said he spoke to his wife who said “‘the things that that woman described, that doesn’t even sound like you, and I’ve known you for 45 years.’ My own wife said that I wouldn’t do anything as silly as what that lady was talking about because she does know me. I’ve been married for 43 years to the same woman, and I’m proud of it.”
Herman Cain’s Press Conference