Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s campaign is accusing Politico of “unsubstantiated personal attacks” after the news outlet published a story Sunday night claiming two unnamed women made sexual harassment allegations against the candidate more than a decade ago.
“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,” J.D. Gordon, Cain’s spokesman, said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller.
Gordon continued: “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.”
Politico doesn’t name sources or the identities of the two women who the story says “complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain” while he served as head of the National Restaurant Association during the ’90s.
The news outlet described the allegations this way: “These incidents include conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature, taking place at hotels during conferences, at other officially sanctioned restaurant association events and at the association’s offices. There were also descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable and that they regarded as improper in a professional relationship.”
Gordon didn’t specifically address the allegations in his response, but suggested Cain is the victim, not an aggressor. (RELATED: Cain gets tongue-lashing from CBS for cigarette smoking in ad)
“Sadly, we’ve seen this movie played out before — a prominent Conservative targeted by liberals simply because they disagree with his politics,” Gordon said. “Mr. Cain — and all Americans, deserve better.”
Gordon called into Fox News on Sunday night, speaking with host Geraldo Rivera, but wouldn’t discuss the specifics of the allegations or acknowledge if there had been a cash settlement with the two unnamed women. “This is a typical attack on a conservative that’s doing well,” Gordon said.
In a May story in the Washington Examiner, Cain discussed being a black conservative and predicted he would face attacks as a result, referencing allegations lodged against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings.
“They’re going to come after me more viciously than they would a white candidate,” Cain said then. “You’re right. Clarence Thomas. And so, to use Clarence Thomas as an example, I’m ready for the same high-tech lynching that he went through — for the good of this country. I’m ready for the same high-tech lynching.”