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October 31, 2011

Politico Report: Herman Cain Accused Of Sexual Harassment While He Ran National Restaurant Association

The Cain campaign is getting a crash course in being the frontrunner today.

During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.

The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.

In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.

POLITICO has confirmed the identities of the two female restaurant association employees who complained about Cain but, for privacy concerns, is not publishing their names.

Cain's camp has denied the allegations.

“Fearing the message of Herman Cain who is shaking up the political landscape in Washington, Inside the Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain,” J.D. Gordon said in an e-mail message Sunday night. “Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.”

Mark Block, Cain's campaign manager, was just on MSNBC and he echoed the original denial.

Cain is in DC today doing events at AEI and the National Press Club. He'll no doubt be addressing the allegations at some point today.


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posted by DrewM. at 09:19 AM

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