Advertisement

Cain Reveals Another Woman To Make Allegations Against Him

Cain Reveals Another Woman To Make Allegations Against Him

By The Situation Room - November 28, 2011

BLITZER: He certainly was a frontrunner. He isn't necessarily right now, but Herman Cain remains in the top tier of Republican presidential candidates. And he's working to reclaim frontrunner status with the first votes for the White House only -- only four or five weeks away.

Herman Cain is joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Mr. Cain, thanks very much for coming in. HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mr. Blitzer, I'm happy to be here.

BLITZER: Call me Wolf.

CAIN: OK, Wolf.

BLITZER: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

BLITZER: Let's talk a little bit about one of the key national security issues facing the country right now, Pakistan. Michele Bachmann, in our debate the other night, she said Pakistan is, quote, "too nuclear to fail."

Do you agree with her?

CAIN: I do agree with her, but I would state it differently. We can't make Pakistan our friend, but we can make them respect us. It gets back to what I describe as peace through strength and clarity.

Our relationship with Pakistan has not been clear, at least from my vantage point and the vantage point of a lot of other people.

BLITZER: What would you do differently?

CAIN: What I would do differently is I would better define what is the relationship? What -- they're getting aid from the United States of America. What are we getting for that aid? How do we define when the relationship has been broken or a rule has been broken?

It's been very unclear. And, as a result, we have a very unclear relationship with Pakistan right now.

BLITZER: Because they have a huge nuclear arsenal --

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: -- right now. And if Pakistan were to become an extremist Islamist state --

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: -- supported by al Qaeda or whoever --

CAIN: Right.

BLITZER: -- that could have enormous ramifications, not just for the region, but for the world.

CAIN: The only thing that saves -- that helps us is that General Kayani, who is in charge of that, is a man of principle. He would not let that happen frivolously and he would do everything he can to make sure that he did what was in the best interests of Pakistan. So I have faith in him because I've actually talked with someone who went to school with him. He's a man of principle and he would not do something just because of pressures from some extremist force.

BLITZER: He could be removed, too, General Kayani.

CAIN: He could be removed, but we can't control that either. He could be removed. But for right now, he, General Kayani, is the one that I think is going to maintain a certain amount of stability there.

BLITZER: All right. This is -- but the crisis that's unfolding right now. NATO had an air strike, killed 24 Pakistani soldiers over the weekend.

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: It's causing a major rift in U.S.-Pakistani relations.

If you were president right now, what would you do to contain this crisis?

CAIN: The first thing I would do is ask the government of Pakistan to let's figure out the facts of what happened. There's one report that the U.S. NATO -- that NATO forces may have been provoked. We don't know the answer to that yet.

So I would say could we first do a full investigation before we start finger-pointing and before we start saying this is what the United States ought to do, NATO ought to, what Pakistan ought to do?

Let's get the facts first. That's what I would do first and encourage them to do that.

BLITZER: The other -- another international issue, the European economy right now.

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: The Eurozone could collapse. It could have dramatic ramifications --

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: -- on the United States because some American banks, big banks, could collapse, given their involvement in Europe's economy.

CAIN: Right.

BLITZER: Under those circumstances and if you were president, would you intervene to bail out Europe?

CAIN: No, I would not. And because I would have already made sure we had our economy growing. Wolf, the United States economy is 25 percent of the world economy. As we grow, we are able to help spur growth in other parts of the world. That is the root cause. The best thing we could do to help Europe is to have a thriving economy and bringing our debt down.

BLITZER: But -- but that's a long-term strategy. That's going to take a while.

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: Europe could collapse -- the economy over there could collapse within weeks if you look -- read all those financial reports coming out of Europe.

CAIN: Right.

BLITZER: A lot of Americans potentially could lose their life savings if they have invested in some of these banks.

CAIN: I don't think they're going to lose their life savings. Will they lose some of it? Yes. In other words, the people who are saying that this is Armageddon if Europe fails, if America doesn't act, I simply do not buy that.

BLITZER: Because?

CAIN: Because after the last meltdown, at the end of 2008, banks, if they were smart businesspeople, started to take some precautions in the event that something like that happened again. So I can't believe that they didn't make some safeguards to make sure that they are not totally wiped out, like they possibly could have been in the last one.

BLITZER: Would -- would you support bailing out the American banks if they were on the verge of collapse because of what's happening in Europe?

CAIN: No. And here's why. I do believe in too big to fail. For example, if one of the big banks says we can't make it without government help, then go through the normal bankruptcy laws and the bankruptcy channel. Because what happens when a company is forced to go through bankruptcy, it restructures and then some of the surviving banks will pick up some of the pieces. That's why we have bankruptcy laws.

BLITZER: But if those banks collapse, there's a limited amount of insurance that would pay for it -- that would reimburse the people who had their life savings there. But a lot of folks would lose a lot of money.

CAIN: Well, that -- that possibly is the case. But here's what I don't believe, Wolf. I don't believe that all of the banks are going to collapse at the same time.

BLITZER: Not all of them.

CAIN: Right.

BLITZER: But those who are heavily --

CAIN: Exactly. BLITZER: -- invested in Europe would have trouble.

CAIN: Exactly. They would have -- they -- the ones that are heavily invested in Europe would be the ones to have the greatest amount of trouble. You're absolutely right.

BLITZER: Let's clarify your position on illegal immigration.

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: We heard what Newt Gingrich said the other day. We heard what Mitt Romney said. Newt Gingrich said if a family has been here for 20 or 25 years, they've been paying taxes, go to the church, there should be a way not necessarily to allow them to become citizens, but to make them legal residents of the United States.

CAIN: Right.

BLITZER: Are you with Newt Gingrich on that?

CAIN: No, I'm not. Remember, I have said that we've got four problems -- secure the border for real, promote the path to citizenship that's already there. If you've been here 25 years, still go through the normal path to citizenship. It's not that --

BLITZER: That means you have to leave the country and apply for a visa to come back in?

CAIN: I don't know if you necessarily have to leave and apply for the visa to come back in. But what I'm saying is our biggest problem with that is the bureaucracy surrounding the process, because I've talked to a lot of people who've come here legally. I've talked to a lot of people who have come here and gone through the process. And they've talked about how burdensome and bureaucratic it was.

I support the current path to citizenship, not a new path to establish, you know, a legal -- a legal sort of classification or something else.

BLITZER: So if you were president and you have 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States and let's say -- I'm just throwing out a number -- eight million of them have established roots in this country, what would you do?

What would you tell those people?

CAIN: I would empower the states. That's where I differ from a lot of other people. When I talk about my four part solution to the illegal immigration problem, secure the border for real, promote the path to citizenship that's already there, enforce the laws that are already there. And the way you do it is you empower the states. Let each state decide how they want to deal with illegal --

BLITZER: So if New York State, for example, said, you know what, there's a million illegal immigrants here in New York State, we're going to let them stay and give them legal residence -- CAIN: And --

BLITZER: -- if you were president, that's OK with you?

CAIN: If it doesn't break any federal laws.

BLITZER: Well, what does that mean, if it doesn't break any federal --

CAIN: Well --

BLITZER: -- they're here illegally, so that's broken --

CAIN: They --

BLITZER: -- the federal law --

CAIN: -- they've already --

BLITZER: -- already --

CAIN: Right. They've already broken it. But what I'm saying is I want the states to be empowered to enforce federal law. Now, if they want to something different to deal with the illegals that are already here, I believe that we empower the states to do it. A one size fit all is what I'm saying will not work, which is why I want to send it to the states.

BLITZER: The -- the whole notion of illegal immigration has come up because of Rick Perry. You remember, he got into deep trouble --

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: -- because he said that children of illegal immigrants who've grown up in Texas --

CAIN: Right.

BLITZER: -- should be eligible for in-state tuition.

Are you with Rick Perry on that?

CAIN: I'm not with him on that for the following reasons. We are a nation of laws. And we should not do anything that's going to compromise our laws or, as some people interpret that, put people who are children of illegals in front of kids that are here that was -- that were born here, that their parents were born here.

We have to stick to the laws. If you look at Mexico, that 40 percent of the people in Mexico already believe that Mexico is a failed state.

Why?

Because of the lawlessness. And I do not believe we should go down that road no matter how much it might appear to become compassionate.

BLITZER: Mr. Cain, I want you to stand by, because we have a lot more to talk about.

We're also learning about some new developments involving Herman Cain and we're going to talk about this.

There's a breaking news story that is just developing.

Stick around. We'll share it with you, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: All right, we're just learning from Herman Cain himself that a third woman is about to come out and make some serious accusations against him. We all know the first two women --

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: -- accusing you of sexual harassment.

CAIN: Right.

BLITZER: What can you tell us about this third woman who is about to going public and accuse you of what?

CAIN: This particular individual, which will be named in the story, as we understand it -- my attorney has talked with the reporter who is going to come out with this story.

This individual is going to accuse me of an affair for an extended period of time. I don't want to specify, because I don't know what's in the story.

Secondly, it is someone that I know who is an acquaintance that I thought we are a friend. That much I do know.

But other than that, Wolf, when we dealt with the previous allegations and I went forward, went in front of the public and said they're false and they're baseless, we did -- we were reacting to what we knew.

At this point, I'm just simply saying these are going to come out. And until we know what they are, then my attorney doesn't know what to respond to.

Those are the -- all of the details that I have.

Now, given that, I know that the court of public opinion is going to formulate its own opinion. I can't control people who are going to make a decision based upon accusations. When specifics are made, through my attorney, because we are trying to run a campaign. Were trying to connect with the people on the issues. Through my attorney, we will respond to every detail and every allegation. But I just wanted to give you a heads-up and your audience a heads-up, here we go again.

BLITZER: Because we have learned -- and I knew this a while ago, earlier in the day, that an Atlanta TV station has been saying they've got explosive new information --

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: -- that could shake up the national race for the Republican presidential nomination.

So what I understand you saying is that this Atlanta TV station --

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: -- has been in touch with you and your attorneys --

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: -- and has told you what they have. And they've asked for your response.

CAIN: Right. But they haven't given us all of the information they're going to put in the story. So we don't have --

BLITZER: What did they say to you?

CAIN: They just said, you know, they -- they mentioned the name of the individual --

BLITZER: And you know this woman?

CAIN: And I do know who -- who she is. And they mentioned what the accusation is going to be. But until the story comes out, I'm not at liberty to respond to something, at this point.

Now, when the story breaks, through my attorney, Lin Wood, of Atlanta, Georgia, we will respond.

We chased all of these other rumors for two weeks before. And as it turned out, they were baseless.

Why?

Because they weren't able to come up with any documentation, any proof or anything that was credible.

And so we will address these when they come out. But at this point, I just wanted to give you a heads-up. I don't have anything to hide. And we will address every one of the details as we know them.

BLITZER: Well, tell us the nature of your relationship with this woman.

CAIN: Friend and trying to help a friend because not having a job, etc. And this sort of thing. That's all there is to the relationship.

And here again, I don't know what's going to be claimed in the story. It was someone who was supposed to be a friend, but, obviously, they didn't see it as a friendship. BLITZER: And when you say friend, was it an a -- I mean I'm asking. These are awkward questions, but I'll ask you the questions you're going to be asked.

Was this an affair?

CAIN: No, it was not.

BLITZER: There was no sex?

CAIN: No.

BLITZER: None?

CAIN: No.

BLITZER: And if this woman says there is, she's lying, is that what you're --

CAIN: Well, Wolf, let's see what the story is going to be. I don't want to get into, you know, being pinned down on some things until we see what the story is going to be.

BLITZER: Because -- but they basically gave you the outlines, this Atlanta television station --

CAIN: They gave my attorney the outline. And so I'm now speaking secondhand in terms of what I know about the story. When we know the story, we will respond.

BLITZER: So basically, from what I hear you saying and what this Atlanta TV station has been teasing for the past hour or so, is that a woman is going to come forward and say she had an affair -- and affair with you.

CAIN: This is the understanding that we have, through my attorney, about what's going to be said.

BLITZER: What a -- what -- without giving us her name, tell what was she like?

I mean tell us a little bit -- something about this woman --

CAIN: No.

BLITZER: -- the nature of the friendship.

CAIN: No, I'm not going to do that, Wolf. It would be premature.

BLITZER: Did you work with her?

CAIN: No. Wolf, that would be premature because just like I'm concerned about someone slandering my reputation and image, until I know exactly what the claims are, I'm not going comment on those claims, unfortunately. BLITZER: So but this -- as you understand it, the two women who accused you of sexual harassment. Now a third woman potentially coming out and saying she had an affair with you --

CAIN: And remember that the first two were baseless. They were false accusations. They were not able to prove it. And I went before the media and the public and said here's what I know, here are the facts. And people will have to make that judgment as to whether or not they believe me or believe them.

The same is true of the one that is supposed to be reported on later today.

BLITZER: Because this is a woman you never worked with. The other two you did work with.

CAIN: No. One of the other ones I worked with. The second one that came out, I don't recall ever working with.

BLITZER: The one from Chicago, you mean?

CAIN: The one from Chicago, I recall -- the one from Chicago, I never remembered who she was, her name or working with her. The one at the National Restaurant Association, I do remember working with her.

BLITZER: Why would this woman in Atlanta be coming out right now and making these charges, these accusations?

CAIN: I can only conjecture and I'm not going to do that, Wolf, until we know what it is I'm being accused of.

BLITZER: Well, obviously, she's going to say she had an affair with you --

CAIN: Probably.

BLITZER: -- and we'll see what else, if anything else, she says.

CAIN: Right.

BLITZER: So we'll watch it unfold.

Are you worried this could further hurt you in this Republican race for the White House?

CAIN: I'm more worried that this is going to hurt my wife and my family, because it's going to be proved that it was probably something else that was baseless. And the court of public opinion does not consider that when they want to pass that judgment.

I can take the lumps. I expected this kind of stuff when I made the decision to run for the president of the United States of America. But the thing that I'm worried about is the impact it's going to have on my wife and my family, because they should not be subjected to false accusations that cannot be proved.

BLITZER: Have you spoken to your wife and family about this?

CAIN: Yes, I have. I have spoken to my wife.

BLITZER: How did -- how did they react?

CAIN: My wife's reaction was very similar to mine. Here we go again. And when I told her what little information that I knew about it, her response was the same as mine. And that was, here we go again. We will basically show, when the details become available, that I didn't do anything wrong.

BLITZER: Do you expect other women to be coming out and making similar kinds of accusations?

CAIN: I don't --

BLITZER: Is there any evidence --

CAIN: None --

BLITZER: Is there any indication that --

CAIN: Not --

BLITZER: -- that there are some others out there?

CAIN: None that I know of. I mean, think about it, Wolf. You go through life and you believe that you have some people that are friends. And when someone that appears to be a friend turns around and concocts this story, you've got to question, the hundreds of thousands of people that I have met in my life?

A hundred thousand people could possibly come out.

Do I know of any that might come out?

Not off the top of my head. But you have to look at my entire life and wonder, it's probably an infinite number of people who could come forward with a story.

So I can't possibly say that somebody else might not come up with it. But so far, they've all been found baseless.

BLITZER: Does your wife know this woman in Georgia?

CAIN: No.

BLITZER: Nobody in your family knows this woman?

CAIN: No.

BLITZER: How long did you know her as a friend?

CAIN: I won't get into that, Wolf, because it's all premature.

BLITZER: But you're staying in this race? You're not dropping out?

CAIN: I'm not dropping out of this race, no. As long as my wife is behind me, and as long as my wife believes that I should stay in this race, I'm staying in this race, because I am sick and tired of the hurt and harm that somebody out there is doing to my family, more so to me, with these baseless -- these baseless charges.

See, what this says is, is that somebody is awfully afraid that I'm doing too well in this Republican nomination to continue to dig up these stories to try and put a cloud and a damper on my campaign. We are going to stay focused on this campaign.

BLITZER: Is there a racial element, do you believe, because none of the other candidates have had these kinds of sexual harassment or affair relationships emerging in the last few months.

CAIN: The --

BLITZER: Is there something else, in your mind, that's going on here, targeting Herman Cain?

CAIN: There could be. But I can't say for certain. And I haven't spent a lot of time trying to analyze whether or not it was some put --- something that is racially motivated.

I want to stay focused on this campaign, our trifecta -- fixing this economy, the national strategy that I'm going to roll out tomorrow at the Hillsdale College. And then in a week or so, we have a dynamite energy independence strategy that worker going to be rolling out.

This is what we've been focusing on, which is why I want to continue to focus on that, which is why any details that come out we're going to handle them through my attorney, Lin Wood.

BLITZER: And all -- and throughout all this, these weeks now that these sexual harassment allegations and now this new allegation, have you ever said to yourself, you know what, it's not worth it, it's not worth running for the Republican presidential nomination, maybe I should drop out?

CAIN: What I have said is, why?

And I come back to, it's for the grandkids. That's number one.

BLITZER: What's for the grandkids.

CAIN: Running for president.

BLITZER: For your grandkids?

CAIN: My grand -- all the grandkids. That's why I'm doing this, for the grandkids. So that's the number one -- when I -- have said, why am I putting myself through this?

The answer is for my grandkids and all of the other grandkids out there, to leave them a nation as good as or better than the one that we were able to pursue our opportunities.

But then the second reason that I continue to hang in there is because if I drop out because of this kind of mess, as my grandmother would call it, then the system wins. And one of the reasons I'm running is to change the system. And this is one of the aspects of it. It's just the way it is, but I'm not going to allow this sort of thing to cause me to drop out simply because it's tough on me.

I don't want it to be tough on my family. And there comes a point that if it's tough on my family, I have to consider that at that particular point in time.

BLITZER: And you would drop out if it got overwhelmingly tough?

CAIN: I would -- I'll make that decision depending upon the circumstances and how it is impacting my wife and my family. That's my number one concern by all of these accusations.

BLITZER: I've got other questions I want to ask you.

I want to take a quick break.

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: But just to recap right now, we're bracing -- we're getting ready and you -- I'll put it in your words, for what?

CAIN: Another accusation that I had an affair with someone, another woman.

BLITZER: Stand by.

We'll continue this conversation.

CAIN: OK.

BLITZER: More with Herman Cain here in THE SITUATION ROOM, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We're back with the breaking news, Herman Cain.

Mr. Cain, as you know, we've been talking about this woman who is about to go forward, according to a television station in Atlanta, and say she had, in the -- in the words of this television station in Atlanta, a 13 year affair with you. A 13 year affair with you.

And you've been told by this television station that this is coming. You've -- you've been discussing it with your lawyer, Lin Wood.

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: -- in Atlanta. You're going to issue a formal statement after you hear specifically what she has to say.

But did you have a 13 year affair with this woman?

CAIN: No, I did not.

BLITZER: Did you know her for 13 years?

CAIN: Yes. But I did not have an affair, OK. And until I see and hear exactly what's going to be -- what the accusations are going to be made, let's move on. But I acknowledge that I knew the woman. I acknowledge that I've known her for about that period of time. But the accusation that I had a 13 year affair with her, no.

BLITZER: Do you suspect she has any evidence -- e-mails, letters, gifts, anything that she will be able to bring to try to confirm this?

CAIN: Wolf, no. That's --

BLITZER: So --

CAIN: I don't -- Wolf, when you've done nothing wrong, no. I mean if -- just like the second woman a few weeks ago came in with this statement and these so-called documents which could not stand up to -- to scrutiny, I have no idea what it is that she's going to have to show proof. So I -- until -- we can't respond to what we don't know. We can't respond to what we don't know.

BLITZER: All right. I want to move on to some other issues.

CAIN: OK.

BLITZER: But you understand that this explosive allegation that is about to be made by this woman --

CAIN: I understand.

BLITZER: -- claiming a 13 year affair with you, that that's going to certainly dominate the news cycle --

CAIN: Sure it is.

BLITZER: -- as far as you're concerned.

CAIN: And, Wolf, this is why, since I was going to be on your show to talk about my campaign, I wanted to get out in front of it. Because I have nothing to hide. I have done nothing wrong, just like it was demonstrated for the first two times around.

BLITZER: Let's talk briefly about some other issues. Newt Gingrich says he is more conservative than Mitt Romney. Are you more conservative than Newt Gingrich?

CAIN: If you define more conservative, I can respond to it. Because here's the problem when you talk about who's more conservative, which issue are you talking about? Because just to say more conservative, what are we talking about?

Are we talking about life? Are we talking about second amendment? Are we talking about, you know, the constitution? So saying yes or no is a very never less question to answer because there are so many aspects of what a lot of people consider conservative.

Let me give you my definition. My definition of conservative is someone who strongly believes in less government, less taxes and more individual responsibility. That's my definition of conservative.

BLITZER: But under that definition, how would you define yourself compared to Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich?

CAIN: Relative to those three criteria, I believe that Speaker Gingrich and I are probably both equal in terms of how we feel about less government, less taxes and more individual responsibility.

I have heard Governor Romney say exactly the same thing. But when you start to get into some other specific issues in testimony of what is considered conservative or not conservative, I don't think you can consistently say yes or no.

But on those three, I happen to think that all three of us are equally conservative.

BLITZER: Correct me if you're wrong, you like Newt Gingrich a lot more than Mitt Romney.

CAIN: I respect both of those gentlemen -- I respect both of those gentlemen for what they do for different reasons. I respect Newt a lot because of the vast amount of experience that he brings.

I respect Governor Romney for the experience that he brings and the fact that he has a business background. So I have nothing but the highest level of respect for both of them.

BLITZER: I watched your new 5-minute video on 9-9-9.

CAIN: The movie.

BLITZER: The movie as you're calling it that came out. It explains what have you in mind. You know that a lot of your Republican counterparts, your challengers for the nomination, they say you are creating this new stream of revenue for the government by having a national sales tax at 9 percent.

But say in Europe it started low and went up to 20 percent. It could wined up being 20 percent here. How do you respond, that once you create a stream of revenue for the federal government that will only go away and only go up.

CAIN: It is really very simple. Tax structures don't raise taxes, politicians do. The reason that Europe ended up with the system it has is because of hidden taxes. In our 82,000 page tax code, we are hit with sneak taxes all the time. The difference is under 9-9-9 plan, you know what the tax is. It is 9 percent visible.

BLITZER: But Congress could raise it. CAIN: They could raise it just like they could raise them now. They've got thousands of ways in the current tax code that they could raise taxes and we not know about it until we have been bitten.

At least with 9-9-9, you know what it is. It's the lowest possible rate in order to generate the same amount of revenue and it is visible. So the American people will hold Congress' feet to the fire because they will know what it is if they try to raise it.

BLITZER: I want to read to you what former President Bill Clinton told Nick Christoph, the columnist from the "New York Times". He said the Republican nominee would have to deal with, quote, "a political environment in the Republican primary that basically means you can't be authentic unless you've got a single digit IQ. He was really blasting.

CAIN: That's kind of a smack, right?

BLITZER: Yes. Although he did say in a separate interview with News Max that Newt Gingrich, he liked what Newt Gingrich had to say about illegal immigration.

CAIN: Well, here's what the people are saying. The people are going to have the last word and the people are responding to me in particular, to the fact that I have concrete solutions that I'm putting on table.

That are considered bold and even though I have not held public office, they don't care. So President Clinton's comments I don't want to respond to, but I just know that American people will have the last word.

The voters are going to have the last word. Now I know I have fallen in polls, but I didn't fall all the way to the bottom. We are in third place. You know --

BLITZER: Of the national polls.

CAIN: On the national polls, depending on which one you look at, but if you lock at the ones like clear view politics, I'm still in third place.

BLITZER: You are fighting with Ron Paul.

CAIN: Exactly, but here is my point. My point is I didn't fall all the way to the bottom. Did some people believe the Herman Cain train simply because of the accusations? Probably.

BLITZER: The sexual allegations.

CAIN: Yes, but most people didn't. Secondly, the other point is, when I talk about how to fix the economy, 9-9-9, what about my national security strategy, which is peace through strength and clarity.

Remember we talked about this earlier. We don't have a lot of clarity because it wasn't real clear what the relationship is ought to be in the future and then thirdly energy independence. We are too dependent upon foreign oil.

We have the resources right here in the United States of America to become energy independent. In a couple of weeks, we are going to present that very bold plan for how we achieve energy independence. You want to know how many years we can do it?

BLITZER: Yes.

CAIN: Nine.

BLITZER: Nine years?

CAIN: Nine years.

BLITZER: You love that number nine. You know, what also you and you know this was that the editorial board meeting in Milwaukee.

CAIN: Yes, it did.

BLITZER: You know, we got the video from the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and we played it on the air and have you a long pause about Libya and you seemed to be confused about U.S. policy toward Libya.

Professor Fouad Ajami, of the Hoover Institution, he's a Middle East scholar. He was on our show. We played that clip and I asked him what he thought.

This hurt you more maybe more than the sexual harassment allegation, but I want to you to qualify here what's going on here. Listen to what Professor Ahjami said here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FOUAD AJAMI, HOOVER INSTITUTE: I think it is a disgraceful moment. I think the flight from the world, if you will, is just a problem in our country. The idea that someone is running for president and so unprepared and in fact, he tried to make a virtue out of his ignorance a while back, he said he doesn't care and he doesn't know the name of (inaudible) so he glorified ignorance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: Well, first of all, I did not glorify ignorance. Was it embarrassing? Yes. Was I caught off guard? Yes, because of a number of factors. That was a 40-minute interview and they pulled out 40 seconds to embarrass me and they did.

Yes, I was embarrassed by that, but that doesn't mean I didn't know the answer. What I was doing is gathering my thoughts so I wouldn't state anything incorrectly. No one said I didn't say something wrong.

They just question the pause and the fact that, yes, I was exhausted. I was probably too tired to do that particular editorial board that particular day and it ended up biting me. I ended up having a very embarrassing moment going all over the place. But I learned from it. I think the American people want a president who is willing to admit, yes it was embarrassing, but I learned from that. I will not put myself in that kind of position again knowing that something like that could happen.

BLITZER: So are you pacing yourself more doing less events?

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: Trying to make sure you don't get tired?

CAIN: Yes, exactly. And that was the problem. I had a very strenuous day. Not making excuses, but we should not have done it on the heels of everything that I had done. But, yes, I am pacing myself much, much better now to make sure that I don't be in a position where I'm going to be hit with a lot of rapid fire questions. Like in you show and then not be ready for it.

BLITZER: You were ready today obviously. Let me just button up the interview because we are all out of the time.

CAIN: Yes.

BLITZER: You are facing explosive accusation coming from Atlanta from a woman who is about to tell a television station in Atlanta, George. She had a 13-year affair with you. This is going to cause a lot of grief, a lot of angst if you will in your campaign among your supporters.

CAIN: I know it is, but there is nothing I can do to control that if someone decided that they want to do something like this and make it public. All we can do is figure out how we're going to handle it.

Because of the previous false accusations, we will decide how to handle it and we will handle detail by detail accusation by accusation through my attorney Lynn Wood. We will address all accusations when we know what they are.

BLITZER: Have you discussed with Mr. Wood potential libel lawsuit against these women?

CAIN: We have not at this point, but we are not taking anything off of the table.

BLITZER: Herman Cain, kind of you to spend time with us. This is going to be an exciting night for you, I'm sure not the way you wanted, but I'm sure you will get ready for the questions that will unfold.

CAIN: When I go to this fundraiser that I'm permitted to go with supporters, I am going to have a nice steak dinner. When you've done nothing wrong, I'm going to continue my routine as normal as planned.

BLITZER: Good luck. I hope you enjoy the dinner. There are a lot of great steak places. I will give you some recommendations during the commercial break. We'll stay in touch. Appreciate it very much.

CAIN: Thanks, Wolf. 

25 Years After the Wall Fell, Challenges Remain
Cathy Young · November 12, 2014

The Situation Room

Author Archive

Follow Real Clear Politics

Latest On Twitter