With questions swirling about whether Politico’s Sunday night article exposing allegations of sexual harassment against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain in the 1990s was an attack from the left or the right, Texas Governor Rick Perry’s campaign emphasized to The Daily Caller on Monday that the candidate now trailing Cain in the polls had nothing to do with the story.
“Not true,” Perry spokesman Mark Miner wrote in an email to TheDC when queried about speculation that the Perry campaign had anything to do with the report which charges that as CEO of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s Cain was accused of sexual harassment by two unnamed females.
Some observers are already pointing out that with GOP candidates jockeying to position themselves as the anti-Mitt Romney, Perry — who is currently trailing Cain in national polls and even slightly in his home state of Texas – would be the most likely to benefit from a Cain downfall.
Sunday night, following Politico’s publication of the article, on Fox News Channel’s “Geraldo at Large” conservative pundit Ann Coulter and liberal commentator Juan Williams gave dueling hypotheses over who was behind the article.
Coulter alleged that it was liberals who fear “strong, conservative black men.” Williams asserted that it is the Republican establishment.
“The negative research is in overdrive right now. Here is where Ann Coulter and I are going to go head to head,” said Williams. “She points to the liberals; they have been after Herman Cain. They have been saying he’s a bad apple….The news here is not about the liberal establishment. This is coming out of conservative precincts. This is the conservative Republican establishment going after Herman Cain because he’s lasting too long and is too much of a threat.”
Whoever was behind the story, the Perry camp is explicitly denying that it had anything to do with the Sunday story that Cain panned as “baseless” on Monday.
The Perry campaign added that it does not plan to issue a statement on the allegations against Cain.
Update: Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul firmly denied that the Romney campaign had any involvement with the story to TheDC Monday afternoon.
Will Rahn contributed to this report