Texas Gov. Rick Perry Wednesday night denied any knowledge of leaked information about sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain, while the accused source of the leak said he ”would never speak ill” of Cain.
“We found out about these allegations at the same time as I suppose everybody else did, read about them online and our campaign had absolutely nothing to do with it,” Perry said in an interview with Erick Erickson of news blog RedState. “You know, I’m disappointed that there’s finger pointing going on. And the sooner we get back to talking about the issues that are important to the people of this country, the better and that’s how do we get Americans working again.”
Mark Block, Cain’s campaign manager, accused Perry of leaking the allegations, which were first reported by Politico, and demanded the Texas governor apologize to Cain and his family.
“Rick Perry and his campaign owe Herman Cain and his family an apology,” Block said. “Quite frankly, this is one of the actions in America that is the reason people don’t get into politics.”
In an interview with Forbes, Cain accused his former staffer, Curt Anderson, who joined the Perry campaign two weeks ago, of being the source of the leak. Anderson worked on Cain’s 2004 failed Senate campaign, and Cain says Anderson was the one person on the campaign in whom he confided about the sexual harassment allegations he faced while heading the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
The Perry campaign denied the accusations Wednesday, and Anderson released a statement of his own saying that he had no knowledge of the incident.
“I’ve known Herman Cain for about seven years,” he said. “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.”