Herman Cain’s Denial Was ‘Powerful,’ But Scandal Not Over, GOP Strategist Says

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Republican strategist Mary Matalin thought Herman Cain’s denial yesterday of any wrong-doing was “powerful and believable,” and she thinks the GOP presidential candidate can weather the storm if he follows some advice.   “If he stays unequivocal and he stays as non -defensive about it. But he needs to be quit being inoperative. He needs to quit casting blame,” Matalin told me.   “Get to Iowa, he has a new spot up today and keep talking to voters where their sweet spot is and this is not where their sweet spot is,” she said, pointing out that the allegations probably aren’t being discussed around kitchen tables in Iowa.   Yesterday some of Cain’s fellow GOP presidential candidates distanced themselves from the controversy. Romney called the charges “particular disturbing” and “serious.” Cain responded saying Romney is right – they are serious charges. 

“It’s a distraction to this whole primary process. But I’m not initiating this,” Cain told ABC News’ Jon Karl.

Cain hasn’t moved past the scandal- not “by a long shot,” Matalin said. But even if the women who have accused him of sexual harassment decide to hold a joint press conference to discuss the allegations, Matalin doesn’t think it will stick.   “[It] clearly does not fit a pattern of his life. It doesn’t comport with what we know about his life. So it’s a little bit different than ‘he said, she said’ and people really do – I’m not condoning harassment, and I don’t want to get these ridiculous emails – but we did go thru this period of this grievance industry for feminists who want to be offended find a way to be offended. And there’s not a lot of charges other than the one that he flatly denies that even comes close to being assault or harassment,” she said.   – George Stephanopoulos