Herman Cain said today he will make a decision about whether to stay in the Republican presidential race in the next few days, and it would hinge on what his wife says.
The former businessman took to Fox News this afternoon saying that he is reassessing his family’s feelings, but he wouldn’t answer the question of whether he will still be in the race a week from now.
“A week from now, I will have made a final decision,” Cain said.
He added that the decision depends on his wife.
“It has had a very damaging effect on her emotionally, because of the way some of the story has been presented,” he said of his wife of 43 years. “She gets upset when she sees the implications and the distortions by some people in the media.”
The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, said he cannot unequivocally say there might not be another allegation.
“I can’t sit here and say, after working in the business for 40 years, that someone else may not come up with another trumped-up charge,” he said on Fox. “This is about bring down Herman Cain.”
Earlier today, Cain avoided a direct answer when asked by reporters whether he was going to stay in the race, saying only, “We are reassessing as we speak. Reassess means reevaluation.”
But at a later stop, a more defiant Cain said “the establishment” and liberals were trying to force him out of the race through a campaign of character assassination.
“They want you to believe that with enough character assassination on me, I will drop out.” The crowd yelled back, “No! No! No!”
Cain, however, wouldn’t place the blame specifically on one person or the Obama administration when questioned on Fox News.
Cain told his senior staff Tuesday that he was reassessing his campaign after Ginger White claimed to have had a 13-year affair with the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, an affair that Cain has denied.
White, 46, is standing by her claim that she had a long, “on-and-off” “casual affair” with Cain. White today showed ABC News phone records that she says show text messages back-and-forth between her and Cain on several dates as recently as October and November.
While the candidate reassesses his campaign, his support in early voting states appeared to be tapering off.
New Hampshire state lawmaker William Panek switched his endorsement from Cain to Newt Gingrich, saying he feels like “we were being lied to.”
In Iowa, conservative radio host said on his show that Cain should drop out and “go and be with his wife and family.” Other conservatives expressed concerns about his credibility, the Des Moines Register reported.
In a sign that the newest reports of a prolonged affair may be signaling some trouble on the donor side, Cain’s campaign sent out a fundraising appeal insisting White’s story is “completely false.”
Cain will also release a TV ad Friday in Iowa, with the theme that since he “fixed broken companies, he can fix our economy. Need POTUS CEO, not politician,” his Iowa campaign manager, Steve Grubbs, tweeted.
Rivals’ calls for Cain to explain the allegations are growing. Today, Texas Gov. Rick Perry became the latest to call for such a move, saying that Cain “needs to address these allegations. That’s the bottom line.”
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman became the first in the Republican field to say Cain should consider dropping out of the race.
“Given the bandwidth that has been taken out of the discussion of any other issues pertinent to this campaign, a reconsideration might be in order,” Huntsman told the Boston Globe Tuesday.