Herman Cain: Transcript of ABC/Yahoo News Exclusive Interview

PHOTO: GOP Candidate Herman Cain gives an exclusive interview to ABC News Ron Claiborne, Nov. 8, 2011.

JONATHAN KARL: All right, we are live on ABCNews.com and Yahoo News with a program called Newsmakers. Mr. Herman Cain, thank you for joining us.

HERMAN CAIN: It's my pleasure, thanks Jonathan.

JONATHAN KARL: Obviously a lot to talk about. We're interviewing all the candidates, we're starting out though, with one question, the same question for all the candidates. So to you, sir, when was the precise moment that you knew you wanted to be president?

HERMAN CAIN: I knew that I had to seriously consider it when President Obama signed ObamaCare on March 23rd, my son's birthday. Because he forced that legislation down the throats of the American people, the Senate had a version, the House had a version, and the Democrats in the House and the Senate, they couldn't even come up with one version. So the president used the powers of presidency to force some members in the House to walk the plank and go along with the Senate version so he could sign it.

JONATHAN KARL: That's when you decided to run? Now--


JONATHAN KARL: --obviously-- major developments, once again, there is another accuser out there--


JONATHAN KARL: --accusing you of sexual harassment--


JONATHAN KARL: --serious charges.


JONATHAN KARL: This time, the accuser actually has come out publicly--


JONATHAN KARL: --she has a name.


JONATHAN KARL: I would like you to respond, if you would, (UNINTEL) clear those charges?

HERMAN CAIN: I would be delighted. First of all, sexual harassment is a very serious charge. Throughout my career, I have had nothin' but the utmost respect for any and all women, as well as those that have worked under my leadership in all of the different companies that I have worked. I can categorically say I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period.

And as far as these latest charges, I don't even remember. I reject all of those charges. How can I defend charges when I don't remember this person by name, I don't remember that she did work at the Educational Foundation? And when I first saw her, I didn't recollect even-- I didn't even recognize her. But the big point is, I have never acted inappropriately with anyone.

The second point that I would like to make, we as voters, have long hoped that we would get a businessman instead of a politician in order to help fix America's problems. Well, I am that businessman. I'm not gonna let these accusations, which are baseless, bogus, and false, stop me. And I don't believe the American people are goin' to allow these kinds of accusations to derail me in terms of my quest for the White House.

JONATHAN KARL: Yeah-- HERMAN CAIN: And then-- and then one third-- one-- one final point. You know, to constantly be chasing anonymous accusers, baseless accusations, is a distraction from the big issues we oughta be talkin' about. And because they are baseless, because I reject them, and in this particular case I don't even know who this lady is, is a distraction from the things we oughta talk about, which is this economy, energy independence, cutting spending, as well as getting this nation back on track.

JONATHAN KARL: So-- in this case though, it's not anonymous, right? It's Sharon Bialek--

HERMAN CAIN: It's not anonymous.



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