GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain appeared Thursday night on Fox News' "Hannity" to discuss allegations made by Georgia businesswoman Ginger White that she and Cain engaged in an affair that lasted for 13 years. Cain also discussed the future of his campaign and told host Sean Hannity, "I am going to reestablish my character."
Cain told his staff on Tuesday that he is reassessing his candidacy. Hannity began Thursday night's interview by asking Cain, "What do you mean by your campaign is reassessing?" Cain said that his family is the "number one priority" in this reassessment. He explained that the "media frenzy" he's been engulfed by "has taken an emotional toll." He reiterated, "I've got to consider family considerations first."
The former Godfather's Pizza CEO also stated that he has to consider "what happens to contributions." Cain went on to explain, "like a businessman, Sean, when you have a bump in the road you reconsider and reevaluate. And it's as if some people in the media don't want to give me that opportunity, but I am gonna take that opportunity to reassess and reevaluate so we can decide: where do we go from here?"
Hannity also brought up text messages that are reported to have been exchanged between White and Cain. When asked by Hannity if there was anything inappropriate in the messages, Cain said, "Absolutely not." The Republican contender stated that White initiated 47 text messages, all of which were "asking for financial help." He continued:
"Sean, unfortunately, I'm a softy, and I feel sorry for people when they get in deep financial trouble, especially given this economy and people being out of work. This isn't the only person I have helped. There are members of my church, members of my family, you know other friends that I have helped all the time in terms of trying to help them during these tough economic times."
Expressing dismay about White's decision to speak to the press, Cain said, "I thought it was a friend that I was trying to help. And so when you get blindsided like that, and you can imagine what it felt like, when in fact, didn't turn out to be a friend at all. And so, that's another aspect of this that was not only hurtful to me, but also hurtful to my wife."
When Hannity brought up the fact that Cain had not previously discussed White with his wife, Cain replied, "That is correct, and she was hurt that she didn't know about this friend that I was helping financially. She was aware of many of the other friends that I have helped."
Cain stated earlier this week that a decision would be made in "several days" about whether or not he would stay in the race. He clarified during the "Hannity" interview, "before Monday we will make a decision."
Perhaps the strangest part of the segment came near the end of the interview. Cain suggested to Hannity that someone was paying off the candidate's accusers:
Cain: "We don't have the source yet, but I and many of my associates and many of my people are convinced that in every case it was financially motivated that somebody somewhere is paying them off to try and smear my character in order to slow me down."
Hannity: "Who do you think might be responsible for that?"
Cain: "Sean, I have no idea. I'm just saying if you look at the circumstance, especially of the lady that Gloria Allred represented, and if you look at this situation, both have very similar situations that suggest dire financial straits. And so, we don't have any evidence yet, but I assure you, we are gonna get to the bottom of it, I've already started that process, and when we come back, it's not gonna be based upon rumors, it's not gonna be based upon he-said-she-said, it's gonna be based upon factual information that we are gonna be able to present in order to show that I had not done many of the things that I have been accused of."
Cain concluded the interview by stating he would fight the allegations against him "no matter what."
Shortly after the interview aired on Fox News, Cain's official Twitter account sent out the following message:
|@ THEHermanCain :From Team HC: Please take a moment to encourage Mr. Cain to stay in the race and fight for freedom! http://t.co/4BIRmv9H|
WATCH THE INTERVIEW AT THE TOP OF THIS ARTICLE (via Fox News)