Herman Cain tries to pre-empt Atlanta Fox TV station expose, denies 13-year affair on CNN
After weeks of getting beat up by media, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain is trying to fight a blockbuster expose with a little media fire of his own. The only question left is whether his tactic worked.
Hours before an Atlanta TV station was about to air an interview with a local businesswoman alleging a 13-year affair with Cain, the candidate told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer a new accuser was about to come forward with a new allegation. Claiming the charges were "baseless," he declined to name the woman, characterizing her only as a "friend" without a job he was trying to help. "Obviously, they didn't see it as a friendship," Cain said, denying any sex was involved.
But WAGA-TV was ready with clips of Ginger White, an Atlanta woman who says she has records proving their longtime relationship, saying "I was aware I was in an inappropriate...situation, relationship."
Since Cain revealed few details of the allegations beyond a blanket denial -- in particular, insisting there is no documentation to back this latest charge -- the net effect of his disclosure has been to alert news junkies the expose is coming. The public will still have to watch WAGA's report to learn the details of the allegations and judge their worth.
"I wanted to get out in front of it," Cain said, when asked by Blitzer why he was speaking out. But does it count as getting in front of the story if you do little beyond saying "it's not true?"
When Blitzer asked Cain about the details of the allegations, he claimed he didn't know; only his attorney does. But this raises the same question which emerged about the allegations tied to his time at the National Restaurant Association; when someone makes an allegation like this against you, and you're running for president, wouldn't you learn the details?
If you have nothing to hide, why avoid learning exactly what you're accused of? Unless you don't want to answer Wolf Blitzer's questions about it.
That strategy seems to be implicit in the statement released by Cain's attorney Lin Wood. Wood says, in part, the allegations of an affair are "not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public...(Cain) has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media."
So now we have it. Cain is trying to deny the allegations before the broadcast, so his attorney can then say the candidate will never talk about them again, because they are private. Despite the fact that the journalist questioning him had no knowledge of the details behind the allegations.
Slick move, Mr. Cain. Wonder if the potential GOP voters will agree.