Curt Anderson, a staffer for Herman Cain’s 2004 failed Senate campaign who now works for Rick Perry, denied leaking the Cain harassment allegations and complained that the GOP presidential candidate is attempting to “use me as a pawn.”
“I’m disappointed that he tried to use me as a pawn to get him out of his mess that he’s in,” Anderson said today in an interview on CNN. “These allegations do not comport to the Herman Cain that I know. I’ve always known him as a gentleman and a guy of strong character.
“The allegation that I had something to do with it, there is not a reporter, there is not a human being that will ever say that that is true because it’s not.”
Anderson said he knew nothing of the sexual harassment allegations against Cain, adding that Cain’s claim that he shared the accusations with Anderson during his 2004 Senate run never occurred, although he would not go as far as to say that Cain had lied about the discussion.
“I’m not going to attack him in any sort of personal way or anything,” Anderson said. “I will say this: This has been – you know, he’s in a tough spot, and it’s very rough and candidates, when they get into a firestorm like this, have you know sometimes come unraveled and it seems to me that they’re kind of grasping at straws and fishing around what to do, how to get out of this, and it’s a lot of stress.
“I think these guys are under tremendous stress in these situations, and so they’re floundering and maybe it’s a divisionary tactic or something, but I’m not here to disparage Herman. I think he’s a tremendous guy and this is all an unfortunate mess.”
In an interview with Forbes Tuesday, Cain said there were only two people he told about the sexual harassment allegations, his wife and Anderson.
“I told my wife about this in 1999 and I’ve got nothing to hide,” Cain said in an interview with Forbes. “When I sat down with my general campaign consultant, Curt Anderson, in a private room in our campaign offices in 2003, we discussed opposition research on me. It was a typical campaign conversation. I told him that there was only one case, one set of charges, one woman while I was at the National Restaurant Association. Those charges were baseless, but I thought he needed to know about them. I don’t recall anyone else being in the room when I told him.”
In a previously released statement, Anderson said, “I’ve known Herman Cain for about seven years. I was one of several consultants on his Senate race in 2004 and was proud to help him. I’d never heard any of these allegations until I read them in Politico, nor does anything I read in the press change my opinion that Herman is an upstanding man and a gentleman.
“I have great respect for Herman and his character and I would never speak ill of him, on the record or off the record. That’s true today and it’s not going to change.”