On Fox News this afternoon, Herman Cain dismissed the Politico story dogging his campaign this week in the strongest possible terms. There’s only one problem with his story of how the Politico piece came to be: his chief of staff blew a large hole in it already.
On Fox, Cain said that Politico came to him with two anonymous tales of sexual harassment settlements reached while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association. And that’s why he didn’t respond to Politico’s request for comment.
“I was aware of the false accusations that took place at the restaurant association, and then when we were asked for me to comment, they wanted for this to be from two anonymous sources,” Cain said. “We weren’t going to go and chase anonymous sources.”
That line of reasoning is fine, as far as it goes, except Cain neglected to mention one thing: one of the sources Politico came to the Cain campaign with wasn’t anonymous at all. This is from the original Politico story (emphasis ours):
Cain said he has “had thousands of people working for me” at different businesses over the years and could not comment “until I see some facts or some concrete evidence.” His campaign staff was given the name of one woman who complained last week, and it was repeated to Cain on Sunday. He responded, “I am not going to comment on that.”
Cain Chief of Staff and famous smoker Mark Block confirmed to TPM that Politico’s reporting of the events was accurate.
“I think Politico gave the campaign a name — I don’t know what that name is,” Block told TPM outside Cain’s event at the National Press Club Monday. “I think they did pass a name along, correct.”
So Cain’s strong words to Fox are already being found to be less-than-true. That’s not a good sign for a campaign trying to put a tough story behind it.
Here’s video of Block talking to reporters outside the Press Club event: