Cain-wreck! Will candidate's denials come back to haunt him?
Shortly after 5pm Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain took to the podium in front of not one but five American “I am totally innocent” flags.The press conference was supposed to serve as a platform for Cain to answer to the explosive allegations of sexual assault by Sharon Bialek.
After a day of attacking Bialek’s personal credibility for past bankruptcy filings and her choice of attorney Gloria Allred, Cain was only left with the lines, “I don’t even know who this woman is” and all of the events alleged, “simply didn’t happen.” Herman Cain knows that Herman Cain didn’t do it.
While Cain was busy during the news conference referring to himself in the third person, his first accuser, and one of the women who was given a financial settlement by the National Restaurant Association spoke out.
Karen Kraushaar whose identity was leaked earlier in the day told the New York Times that she had been warming “to the idea of a joint press conference where all of the women would be together with our attorneys and all of this evidence would consider together.”
WATCH TODAY SHOW COVERAGE OF HERMAN CAIN’S PRESS CONFERENCE:
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Kraushaar is a communications official at the Treasury Department and was one of two employees at the time who complained to the powers that be at the National Restaurant Association about Herman Cain’s inappropriate behavior. Kraushaar’s settlement was $45,000.
The blanket denial by Cain allows for these accusers to continue coming forward publicly, perhaps together as Kraushaar wants, to offer further details that have yet to be released about the allegations.
The press conference was devoid of specific questions that would force Cain to answer to the allegations sufficiently. A broad denial and the counter allegation that the accusers might have nefarious motives for coming forward simply will not be enough for Cain to escape this scandal without further scrutiny.
The fact that Cain left himself no wiggle room means that the press must now be looking into every single detail of not only Bialek’s allegations but Kraushaar’s forthcoming allegations. Cain is making the claim that Bialek is telling all lies.
The press at the news conference should have broken down her story in parts and asked specifics, “Did you ever upgrade a woman’s room in D.C. in 1997 and then take her out for drinks?” is just one example of how that line of questioning would go.
With Ms. Kraushaar now speaking to multiple press outlets and saying she would like to band together with the other accusers is a real risk for the Cain campaign who even with notice before the initial Politico report broke, fumbled the story completely.
A united front of accusers not only will frame Cain as the anti-woman candidate but it will also force him to respond yet again to their allegations even after he keeps trying to declare the matter closed.
Declaring that Bialek is a troubled woman is not sufficient to respond to these allegations. Giving Bialek the Anita Hill treatment is a whole lot harder when she is one of many accusers. One of many white accusers. Cain needs to try again and the press needs to either call him on his offhand remark about taking a lie detector or finally force him to answer to the specifics.
All of the allegations are not one big inconvenience a presidential candidate can simply flat out deny without any explanation. The presidential primary process is the ultimate vetting apparatus. The press needs to vet and the candidate needs to respond.