Sources close to the Cain campaign tell Capitol Hill Blue that even those closest to the candidate didn’t know until the last minute Saturday if he would abandon his campaign or not.
But, dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct and 13 years of cheating of his wife, Cain reluctantly accepted the truth: His campaign for President was over.
“As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspended my presidential campaign,” Cain said in an announcement from the spot where he hoped to open a new campaign headquarters in Atlanta. “I am disappointed that it came to this point that we had to make this decision.”
Cain’s closest advisers told him a week ago that his quest foe the Presidency was over. Already hobbled by multiple claims of sexual harassment from female employees of the National Restaurant Association when he headed the trade group in the 1990s, Cain’s campaign was rocked by an Atlanta businesswoman’s claim of a 13-year-long affair.
While strategists told him the campaign was over, Cain — a former CEO not used to seeking or taking advice — appeared to stand defiant, determined to soldier on.
He blamed the media, his opponents and others for the controversies that dogged his campaign.
Cain and his campaign responded to the latest claim with the same contradictory statements that raised questions about the earlier charges. While Cain denied the allegation, his lawyer offered up legalese that neither denied or confirmed the charges.
Cain further damaged his ability to stay in the campaign by telling CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer that his lawyer would answer each of the charges with a detailed denial. Instead, the lawyer hedged, saying the latest charge was not a case of criminal sexual harassment but one of matters “between consenting adults.”
In the end, even the lawyer apparently wasn’t willing to lie for Herman Cain.
Even in quitting, Cain went down swinging.
“I am not going away,” he said. “I will continue to be a voice for the people.” The candidate announced creation of a new web site: The CainSolutions.Com.
“I not be silenced,” he said.
Cain also promised to endorse one of the remaining candidates in the primary.