Herman Cain’s chief of staff Mark Block confirmed to ABC News that the candidate told his senior staff this morning he’s reassessing whether to stay in the race, as reported by the National Review.
An adviser to Cain said the former businessman told staff he will spend the next two days assessing his candidacy, and that he would base his decision on two factors. One, whether or not he still has enough support to go on, and two, the toll it is taking on his family.
But Cain’s staff presented conflicting images of what the former businessman is planning to do. Cain’s spokesman, JD Gordon, said the “reassessment” is about “campaign strategy,” not about whether to stay in the race.
“We are full speed ahead,” Gordon told ABC News. “People are reading way too much into this.”
“We are looking at what states we visit, what interviews we do, how we allocate resources – things like that,” he added.
For now, Cain will keep his campaign schedule, which includes a speech tonight at Hillsdale College in Michigan and appearances in Ohio tomorrow, and would make a decision within a couple days about whether to go on, the adviser said.
One factor in Cain’s decision is money. The former pizza magnate feels an obligation to those who have supported his campaign financially. One Cain supporter estimates he now has $9 million in his campaign war chest.
Cain’s deputy campaign manager, Linda Hansen, told ABC News that on the conference call Tuesday morning, “Mr. Cain told staff simply that, just as every time significant events occur, a reassessment is prudent.”
“A good businessman looks at the entire landscape before making decisions,” Hansen said. “He is, and has been, committed to promoting the issues and solutions that will make this nation stronger. Nothing about that has changed.”
On Monday, a Georgia woman said she had a 13-year long affair with the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza. Cain denied the affair, saying that Ginger White was a friend that he was helping financially but he did not have an extramarital affair with her.
“Now with this latest one we have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud in some peoples’ minds as to whether or not they should support us going forward,” Cain told his staff, according to a transcript obtained by the National Review.
Cain has been dogged by reports of sexual harassment in recent weeks.
Two other women have publicly accused Cain of sexual harassment when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990's.
ABC News’ Huma Khan and Michael Falcone contributed to this report.