HILLSDALE, Mich. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is sticking to his topic — defense spending — in his first public speech since an Atlanta businesswoman alleged that they had a 13-year extramarital affair.
Cain addressed an audience at Hillsdale College in Michigan on Tuesday night, just a day after Ginger White detailed their affair in an interview with an Atlanta TV station.
Cain has flatly denied an affair with White, although he acknowledged being a friend of White's and helping her financially. He told his campaign staff earlier Tuesday that he is assessing whether her allegation will create too much of a cloud for his campaign to continue.
In his Hillsdale College speech, Cain called for investment in the military instead of what he called the current policy of "cut, cut, cut."
In a letter released to his supporters late Tuesday, Cain suggested he was going to stay in the race:
"As you probably heard yesterday, a troubled Atlanta business woman used national media outlets to promulgate a fabricated, unsubstantiated story about a 13 year affair with me. I am writing you today to assure you that this woman’s story is completely false.
"I do know Ms. White. I have helped her financially at times over the past few years, just as I have helped many friends and acquaintances throughout the years. I thought Ms. White was a friend in need of a supportive hand to better her life.
"Ms. White has made it apparent that she was abusing the friendship.
"But now I am asking for your friendship. I am also asking for your prayers and support. This is a trying time for my family, my campaign, and for me. It is also a trying time for our country as we are all distracted from the truly important issues facing our nation.
"This evening I have an important speaking engagement at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, where I will be outlining my foreign policy and national security plan. While recent events have taken a toll on me, the people in the audience this evening will not know it. I will deliver my message with vigor and enthusiasm.
"Let me assure you, I am not deterred. America’s future is too important. We will continue on this journey to make America great once again."
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