An influential conservative voice is calling on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain to fire his chief of staff, Mark Block, and other staff members for what he describes as a botched response to allegations of sexual harassment lodged against the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO.
Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of the website RedState, writes in a blog post that “Herman, you said you’d surround yourself with the best people and you’ve surrounded yourself with Class A failures.”
“The problems you are facing are problems of campaign staffing,” Erickson wrote. “You’ve failed to live up to your own standard of hiring the best people.”
Cain’s campaign has been rocked since news reports surfaced that two women accused Cain of behaving inappropriately with them while he led the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. Cain has denied ever harassing anyone and says the allegations are false.
Erickson says he believes Cain: “The Herman Cain I know would not and could not do what you are accused of. And I know it is incredibly unfair to ask you, in effect, to prove a negative. How the hell does one prove one did not do something?”
Erickson specifically calls out campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon and Block, Cain’s campaign manager and trusted adviser, for mistakes in handling the accusations.
“Last week, J.D. Gordon had a disastrous performance on a Blackberry on Geraldo’s show. His performance set the tone for the Monday news shows, all of which pointed out that your own communications vice president would not deny the story,” he wrote.
Then, Erickson said, “This week, Mark Block again went on TV, said he had verified the identify of a reporter as the son of your accuser, and got it totally wrong. But he said it was verified. It was a lie.”
“I still believe you can win,” Erickson wrote to Cain. “But to do so, you must fire your staff and start over. It is the only way forward for you. This communications strategy has been an unmitigated disaster.”