Herman Cain may have told his senior staff this morning that he is a “reassessing” whether to stay in the race in light of allegations by a Georgia woman of a 13-year-long affair, but as far as his Iowa team is concerned, it’s full steam ahead toward the state’s Jan. 3 caucuses.
Steve Grubbs, Cain’s state chairman, told ABC News that he sees this “reassessment period” as more of a financial reorganization than a possibility that Cain will withdraw from the race. However, according to a transcript of Cain’s conversation with his staff, posted to National Review online–which Grubbs confirmed the accuracy of–Cain said that if he does make a decision that’s “different than to plow ahead,” his staff will be the first to know.
“What I got from it is, he said he was going to reassess in light of the current situation just as a reassessment occurred after the Iowa straw poll and the Florida poll. Both of those reassessments resulted in changes in spending, resource allocation, but no decisions otherwise,” Grubbs said. “The campaign lurches up, it lurches down, but we’ve got almost 900 precinct captains in Iowa and we are prepared to move forward and storm the gates on January 3rd.”
Grubbs says his Iowa staff is “remaining upbeat” and they asked him to pen a letter to supporters, which he did.
“What I took from the reassessment is, it’s a financial reassessment,” Grubbs said. “I think my advice to the campaign is to look at John McCain in 2007 and Bill Clinton in 1991. Both went through similar situations and became the nominee.”
Grubbs did acknowledge that the latest allegation is weighing heavy on both his wife and family, as Cain said on the call.
According to the transcript, Cain told staff, “It’s taken an emotional toll, but the people in the audience tonight will never know it,” referring to a foreign policy address Cain is giving this evening in Michigan.
“Any time you put another cloud of doubt, unfortunately, in the court of public opinion, for some people, you’re guilty until proven innocent,” Cain said. “And so, the public will have to decide whether they believe her or whether they believe me. That’s why we’re going to give it time, to see what type of response we get from our supporters.”
In Grubbs’ memo to supporters, he wrote about Cain’s conference call, reiterating points that Cain tried to help Ginger White, the woman who’s alleging an affair, ”with her problems” and tried to help her “get her on her feet financially.”
Iowa campaign manager Larry Tuel, who works with Grubbs and out of the campaign’s Urbandale, Iowa, headquarters, sent a statement to ABC News saying that “nothing that has occurred has changed our plans.”
Whatever reassessment is going on in the national campaign, our marching orders are to keep building our ground game in Iowa,” Tuel said. “We haven’t had supporters calling today asking to have their names removed from the list of pct captains. Certainly they are looking for an explanation and we provided it to them. We are all believers in Herman Cain in this office and are looking forward to seeing this campaign through to the Iowa Caucuses.”
READ THE FULL LETTER FROM GRUBBS TO SUPPORTERS HERE:
To: Iowa Cain Supporters
From: Steve Grubbs, Iowa Cain Chairman
As you may know, a new accusation was leveled against Herman Cain yesterday. On a conference call this morning, Mr. Cain made several important points:
1) He reiterated that he had tried to help Ginger White with her problems and tried to get her on her feet financially.
2) He discussed the emotional toll these allegations had taken on his family, but emphasized that he was moving ahead with the campaign, including a foreign policy speech tonight in Michigan
3) He said the campaign was reassessing where it was similar to the reassessment that was made after the Iowa Straw poll and the Florida straw polls.
This is what I take from the call and what I believe:
1) News reports have been quick to report the allegations, but few have been fair about reporting the background of the accuser. Credit to the New York Times for including this paragraph in their story:
New York Times, 11-28-2011: “Ms. White is an unemployed single mother. Before the interview, Fox learned that she had filed a sexual harassment claim against an employer in 2001. That case was settled. The station also found a bankruptcy filing nearly 23 years ago in Kentucky, and several eviction notices in the Atlanta area over the past six years.
The station also reported that Ms. White had a former business partner who once sought a “stalking temporary protective order” against her for “repeated e-mails/texts threatening lawsuit and defamation of character.” The case was dismissed, but it was followed by a libel lawsuit against Ms. White. A judge entered an order against Ms. White because she failed to respond to the lawsuit, Fox reported.”
2) Both John McCain and Bill Clinton had similarly difficult times in their presidential campaigns (McCain in the summer of 2007 and Clinton during the fall of 1991) and they both weathered the storm and emerged to be their parties nominees.
3) I believe in Herman Cain and his ideas. We need to get back on message and make it to the Iowa Caucuses. My request is that you don’t let anyone pick your candidate based on these allegations. We have a strong Iowa ground game and we are looking forward to making it to January 3rd with a strong team intact.
Thank you for your support and thank you for taking a long view of our sometimes challenging electoral process.