The Washington Times - November 4, 2011, 03:33PM

Herman Cain brushed off the notion Friday that he is a hired mouthpiece for the corporate interests of the industrialist Koch brothers, calling the big-time conservative political donors his “brothers.”

“I am the Koch brothers’ brother from another mother,” Mr. Cain said during his keynote speech here at the fifth annual “Defending the American Dream Summit” in Washington D.C., which is being hosted by Americans for Prosperity, the tea-party aligned group founded and financed by David H. Koch.

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Mr. Cain has been at the center of a media frenzy thanks to a week of stories relating to sexual harassment allegations that were lodged against him in the 1990s and led to financial settlements while he served as head of the National Restaurant Association.

“I’ve been in Washington all week and I’ve attracted little bit of attention,” he quipped, adding that that’s what happens when a long-shot candidate starts to appear near or atop presidential polls.

Then he turned his attention to a story that appeared Friday in the New York Times that detailed his close ties to the Koch brothers, conservatives whose political influence and fundraising have become repeated targets of Democrats.

“The article tries to make a case of how close the Koch brothers and I are,” he said. “I’m proud to know the Koch brothers.”