Politics
Herman Cain at the National Press Club. Photo by Katie Banks / Medill News Service Herman Cain at the National Press Club. Photo by Katie Banks / Medill News Service  

Santorum aide: Cain should be more ‘forthcoming’ on sexual harassment allegations

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign on Tuesday called on GOP frontrunner Herman Cain to be more “forthcoming” about harassment allegations dating back to his leadership of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

Santorum adviser John Brabender made the remarks during a forum of top aides to the 2012 presidential campaign managers in Washington D.C. hosted by the National Journal. Brabender appeared irked during the discussion when Cain’s campaign manager suggested Cain is the front-runner of the race.

“What I would encourage the Cain people to do is if you are the front-runner and you plan to be the nominee, to be forthcoming, so that you are vetted and we don’t get into a situation where you’re the nominee and we find things after the fact,” Brabender said.

Cain has vehemently denied that he ever sexually harassed any employees during his business career. A story published this week by the website and newspaper Politico said two women had complained to others in the organization more than a decade ago that Cain had acted inappropriately toward them.

Turning towards Cain campaign manager Mark Block on Tuesday, Brabender criticized Cain’s response as inconsistent at times: “You said that yesterday, Herman Cain answered every question that he was asked on this issue. The problem was the answers changed during the day.”

Among inconsistencies noted by the media was that Cain first said he was unaware of any monetary “settlements” made by the National Restaurant Association with any women who accused him of harassment. But in interviews later Monday, he recalled some details about a departure package with one accuser.

On Tuesday Brabender said, “The point being is everybody up here cares about one thing more than anything else. And that’s beating Barack Obama.”

Block argued during the forum that Cain, who spent Monday making a variety of media appearances, has answered every question posed by reporters and will continue to do so.

He also said the story has energized Cain’s supporters — because “people are sick and tired of politics as usual” — and that the campaign raised about $250,000 online because of it.

“It was one of our best fundraising days ever,” Block said.

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