Herman Cain: Transcript of ABC/Yahoo News Exclusive Interview


JONATHAN KARL: --she's come out, you've heard her accusations. I mean--


JONATHAN KARL: --but let's be clear. You're saying that she is lying about this?

HERMAN CAIN: Yes. I am sayin' that. You know, in as nice a way as I c-- I don't know any other way to say it. Because I would first have to recognize who she is.

JONATHAN KARL: You-- you don't remember having--


JONATHAN KARL: --drinks with her back in '97, you don't remember--

HERMAN CAIN: Absolutely not--

JONATHAN KARL: --giving her a ride in your car?

HERMAN CAIN: No. I reject all accusations. I don't remember that. And also, I don't remember knowin' her. Look, the National Restaurant Association had-- has an office in Washington D.C., as it did then, it has the foundation office and the convention office in Chicago, as it does now. We have about 150 employees in the Washington office, and about 150 employees in the-- Chicago office.

There were a lotta people there. Most of the people, some of them I would remember. But remember, I didn't have interaction with the people in Chicago on a regular basis. Only during that part of the year when we had our convention. And so when I first saw-- this lady-- do the press conference with Gloria Allred, I sat there trying to recall who she was and if I knew her. And I am honestly telling you, I can't even recall knowing her back then.

JONATHAN KARL: You know-- you know the expression-- where there's smoke there's fire. And a lotta people say, "Look, this is now, you know, the fourth woman who has made these allegations against you."


JONATHAN KARL: What-- what are the motivations here? I mean, why-- why would they be doing this?

HERMAN CAIN: Well, Jonathan, I honestly believe that there's an element in this country, in our politics, that does not want to see a businessman succeed at getting the nomination for the Republican party, and does not want me to succeed at becoming President of the United States of America. A lotta people have so much vested interests in the status quo, such as the tax code, such as lobbying activities, such as maintaining that little power base.

They really don't want to see an unconventional candidate that is connecting with the people, who's putting bold solutions on the table. And as I moved up in the polls, I fully expected to be attacked. I expected to but criticized. But as I have often said, you know, many of these attacks are-- are baseless. If someone had some real stuff to bring forward, that's one thing. But so far, it's been anonymous accusers. We can't keep responding to those questions. And now this one isn't anonymous, but I have absolutely not acted inappropriate with this lady or anybody else in my entire career.

JONATHAN KARL: Some of your supporters have called this a high-tech lynching, comparing it to what happened to Clarence Thomas.

HERMAN CAIN: Right. JONATHAN KARL: Do-- do you-- are they right? Do you agree with that? HERMAN CAIN: Well, it's a matter of terminology. And if that's what some people wanna call it, you know, that's their terminology. I just call it-- I just call it a vicious-- baseless attack on my character and my integrity, because as you know, that's very important to me. And one other thing that I will add. The reason that I'm runnin' for President in the United States of America is because of the kids and the grandkids.

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