An embattled Herman Cain says there are forces out to destroy him as new allegations of sexual harassment surfaced. Hit the jump to read the rest of the story.
Chris Wilson, a former National Restaurant Association employee turned Republican pollster, said in an Oklahoma radio interview that Cain sexually harassed a woman during an association dinner in Virginia more than a decade ago.
“It was very uncomfortable,” and several people asked Cain to stop, Wilson said, according to Politico.com
The woman was so flustered that she left the restaurant, Wilson said.
Wilson said the alleged incident happened at a restaurant near the Virginia apartment Cain kept at the time. He refused to reveal the name of the woman.
Wilson is now a supporter of GOP rival Rick Perry and runs polls for a super political action committee backing Perry’s bid for the White House.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Wilson’s account involves a third woman allegedly harassed by Cain or sheds more detail on one of the two incidents previously reported.
The latest allegation fuels Cain’s contention that he has a target on his back – personally and politically.
“There is a force at work here that is much greater than those that would try to destroy me and destroy this campaign,” the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO told a consumer group in Virginia Wednesday.
“That force is called the voice of the people. That’s why we are doing as well as we are,” Cain said.
But his trademark breezy good humor vanished after the event when reporters tried to question him about the initial allegations – that two former employees accused him of sexual harassment when he was in charge of the restaurant association in the 1990s.
“I am here with these doctors and that’s what I’m gonna talk about,” Cain told the reporters. “So don’t even bother even asking me all of these other questions you all are curious about. Don’t even bother.”
When reporters continued to press, Cain’s voice rose – “Excuse me!” he barked as his security pushed back reporters.
Cain tried to focus attention on his recent poll numbers.
He led the GOP field with 30%, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 23%, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. Most of the poll was taken before the sexual harassment story broke Sunday night.
One of his accusers – a married federal employee who worked for Cain – is meeting with her lawyer Wednesday night about going public, the attorney said.
“I will meet with my client tonight and we will have some information for you tomorrow,” lawyer Joel Bennett said.
Bennett said his client was paid a settlement for what was a valid case of sexual harassment. She is bound by a confidentiality agreement with the restaurant association.
Bennett will speak with lawyers for the association later this week to ask them to lift the gag order.