In the midst of a barrage sexual harassment allegations, including a fourth accuser speaking out, Herman Cain made an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on ABC.
Kimmel devoted much of his opening monologue Monday to the allegations made by Sharon Bialek, who is the latest woman to accuse Cain of sexual harassment during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association, and the first woman to come forward publicly in a press conference.
“Well all things considered, I’m still alive. It got off to somewhat of a rough start. We had a little surprise show up on TV,” Cain said.
In recent days Cain has refused to answer questions about the allegations, saying he wants to get his campaign “back on message.” But he did take questions from Kimmel regarding the sexual harassment allegations, announcing a press conference Tuesday, and the need to set the record straight on this latest “firestorm.”
“At least it wasn’t one of the many that have the first name ‘Anonymous’ — so now this one actually had a name and a face and we’re gonna see who it was and what it was, and tomorrow we’re gonna have a press conference,” Cain added.
Cain spoke about the amount of money he has raised since these allegations came out, describing record fundraising numbers. Kimmel asked Cain if he thought the other candidates would hire women to charge them with sexual harassment.
Cain joked, “If they’re smart they will.”
Cain also discussed his Chief of Staff Mark Block and the now famous ad featuring him smoking a cigarette. Cain said that while the ad was not his idea, he still thought Mark was fantastic.
“He was convincing, and the little thing at the end, where he was kind of taking a puff … Well, we have a saying in my campaign: let Herman be Herman, let Mark be Mark, and let people be people. That’s really one of the themes of my whole campaign: he smokes. He wasn’t trying to tell anybody else to smoke. But that’s him. That was Mark being Mark,” he said.
Cain said that while his chief of staff smokes cigarettes, he has never. Kimmel came right out and asked Cain if he’d ever smoke pot.
“I have never smoked pot,” Cain said.
Cain revealed that his wife is a Democrat saying, “Yes, She still say’s she’s a Democrat and I believe that, but that doesn’t mean that she votes Democrat.”
Cain also addressed his wife and the allegations, saying his wife did not believe any of the allegations levied against him.
“She said, the things that woman described that doesn’t even sound like you, and I’ve known you for 45 years. My own wife said that I wouldn’t do anything as silly as what that lady was talking about because she does know me. I’ve been married for 43 years to the same woman and I’m proud of it,” he said.
Cain announced that he would address the controversy in a press conference in Scottsdale, Arizona Tuesday afternoon. Cain’s campaign has already tried to discredit the accuser and her lawyer. In a press release, Cain’s campaign said, “It is noteworthy that Gloria Allred is a celebrity lawyer who specializes in generating publicity for herself and her clients.”
Cain continues to label the allegations as an ongoing smear campaign aimed at hurting his candidacy. In a press release Cain’s campaign said, “Ms. Allred is a high-profile Democrat Party donor and activist who has given over ten thousand dollars to liberal Democrats like Barack Obama, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.
“The questions the media should be asking are who’s paying for Gloria Allred’s fee, how did Ms. Bialek get introduced to Ms. Allred, and was she paid to come forward with these false accusations or was she promised employment?
“After attacking Herman Cain through anonymous accusers for a week, his opponents have now convinced a woman with a long history of severe financial difficulties, including personal bankruptcy, to falsely accuse the Republican frontrunner of events occurring over a decade ago for which there is no record, nor even a complaint filed.”