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Feisty Cain presses ahead with presidential bid
“I felt like we were being lied to,” he said. “I’m putting my name in New Hampshire as a state rep behind him, and I just didn’t like the way it was being played out.”
In Iowa, Mr. Cain’s campaign has lost some precinct-level supporters following the new allegations, according to Steve Grubbs, Mr. Cain’s Iowa chairman. Mr. Cain was in Iowa for a day last week to film a new ad, but aides said that spending to air it was on hold pending the fundraising in the days to come.
Still, some are sticking by him.
Florida state Rep. Scott Plakon, one of four chairmen for Mr. Cain’s Florida campaign, said he wanted to see more evidence.
“If it is true that he didn’t do this, I think he should fight and kick and scratch and win,” Mr. Plakon said.
But if Mr. Cain did have the affair, Mr. Plakon said, “that would be very problematic,” he said. “There’s the affair itself, and then there’s the truthful factor. He’s been so outspoken in these denials.”
Ms. White’s revelation was the latest setback for a candidate who has been under scrutiny in the past month, since it was revealed that the National Restaurant Association paid settlements to two women who claimed that Mr. Cain sexually harassed them while he was president of the organization. A third woman told the Associated Press that Mr. Cain made inappropriate sexual advanced toward her but that she didn’t file a complaint. A fourth woman also stepped forward to accuse Cain of groping her in a car in 1997.
Mr. Cain has denied wrongdoing in all cases.
Outwardly on Wednesday the candidate tried to project an image of a campaign focused on winning — and not damage control. He planned to continue his bus tour in Dayton and Columbus before heading to New Hampshire later in the day.
On Tuesday, Mr. Cain delivered a national security speech to nearly 1,000 people at conservative Hillsdale College in Michigan. He didn’t address Ms. White’s allegations; he also avoided speaking to reporters and stuck to his plan to present his foreign policy vision, one in which the U.S. would stand by friendly nations such as Israel, quit giving money to countries he considered enemies and spend more on defense.
Earlier that day, he acknowledged the “firestorm” that Ms. White sparked, and he acknowledged he was assessing whether her claims are too much for his candidacy to go forward.
“If a decision is made, different than to plow ahead, you all will be the first to know,” Mr. Cain said during the call, according to a transcript from the National Review, which listened in.
In connection with the White allegation, Mr. Cain said, “With this latest one, 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 would be able to support us going forth.”
Associated Press writers Kathy Barks Hoffman in Hillsdale, Mich.; Ray Henry in Atlanta; Thomas Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa; and Steve Peoples in Amherst, N.H., contributed to this report.
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