WEST CHESTER, Ohio - Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, still reassessing his campaign in the wake of fresh sex charges, said today that he is a victim of ”character assassination.”
Cain’s campaign was rocked Monday by Ginger White who claims she had a 13-year affair with Cain. Cain has denied the affair, but said he is reassessing his campaign.
Asked by ABC News after a rally in a hotel ballroom outside of Cincinnati if he will drop out of the GOP race, Cain replied, “We are reassessing.”
As he moved along the rope line greeting supporters, Cain elaborated little on his answer.
“We are reassessing as we speak,” he said. “Reassessment means reevaluation.”
Cain suggested White’s allegations have not hurt him. ”It’s been a groundswell of positive support,” but again added, “We are still in reassessment phase.”
Earlier in his speech to about 100 people in a crowded hotel ballroom, an energized Cain delivered a lively address that left the crowd laughing on many occasions.
“They’re attacking my character, my reputation and my name in order to try and bring me down, but you see I don’t believe that America is going to let that happen,” Cain said. “I happen to believe that we the people are still in charge of this country.”
“As the great philosopher Emeril Lagasse said, kick it up a notch,” he urged the audience, referring to the popular TV chef.
“Stupid people are running America,” Cain said at one point, noting, “I didn’t go to political correctness school.”
“They’ve been trying to do character assassination on me,” he later told the crowd. “Some of them even predicted that this room would be empty today. I don’t think I see any empty seats in here.”
Despite the packed house that clearly enjoyed Cain’s appearance today, it has been yet another rough week for the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO. White on Monday said she had a 13-year relationship with the businessman, another blow to a campaign that was already wrestling with previous sexual harassment allegations.
In a fundraising letter to supporters Tuesday evening, Cain described White as a “troubled Atlanta businesswoman,” a charge White responded to in an interview with George Stephanopoulos today on “Good Morning America.”
“It’s very disappointing that he would call me troubled,” she said. “I’m not here to say anything negative about Mr. Cain, I’m only here to state the truth and what’s happened in the past.”
In the fundraising email Cain acknowledged that it was “a trying time” for him, his family, and his campaign, but said he was “not deterred” and vowed to “continue on this journey to make America great once again.” Cain’s campaign manager Mark Block later told ABC News that there is “no way” Cain is dropping out. Rather, Cain will outline the specifics of his strategic reassessment — “his way forward” — during a campaign stop in Dayton later today.
“We can do this,” Cain said in concluding his speech here in West Chester. “We can do this.”