Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s attempt to contain damage from the revelation that he was accused of sexual harassment by two female subordinates in the 1990s has left a lot to be desired, according to some pundits.
On Tuesday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” during the “Center Seat” segment, Cain attempted to clarify inconsistent statements about when he learned there was a financial settlement between the National Restaurant Association and the women.
“When I first heard the word ‘settlement,’ I thought legal settlement,” Cain said. “My recollection later is that there was an agreement. So, I made assumption about the word ‘settlement’ that was legal. I didn’t think there was a legal settlement, but an agreement. Remember, this happened 12 years ago.”
But that explanation didn’t settle the issue for Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who observed that Cain’s explanation sounded “Clintonian.”
“Both in the morning and on the Greta show you used the word ‘settlement.’ Many people will say the candidacy is so attractive you aren’t a politician and you aren’t a guy who dances around, you shoot it straight,” Krauthammer said. “And when you make a distinction between settlement and agreement, it sounds like you – it sounds Clintonian.”
His legalistic use of the words, Krauthammer told Cain, “sounds like you are explaining, ‘Well, it depends what the word ‘is’ is.’ So, how does Herman Cain end up parsing the words in a Clintonian legalistic way?”
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According to Cain, that wasn’t his intention and he doubled down on his previous explanation.
“It wasn’t intended to be Clintonian,” Cain said. “It was simply using the word agreement, which in business organization I have run, when there has been an employee leaving, whether voluntarily or involuntarily we generally call it ‘an agreement. So that was the perspective from which I got around to that.”