Concerned Women for America, a conservative women’s group, wants Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain to clearly address allegations in a Politico story that he sexually harassed several female workers at the National Restaurant Association, when he headed the group in the 1990s.
“I think Herman Cain needs to directly answer the question,” Concerned Women President Penny Nance told Politico
, which first reported the allegations Sunday night. Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon has denied the report, in comments to The Associated Press.
Nance said that, early in her career, she left a trade association job because of sexual harassment, but with no financial settlement.
“I simply found another job,” she said. “Therefore, I know in a very personal way that sexual harassment exists, and that it's demeaning and painful. It should never be tolerated in the workforce and certainly not the White House.”
To be sure, the accusations aren’t “consistent with my experience with Herman Cain,” Nance said. “I have to say in all fairness that this characterization is completely contrary to the Herman Cain I know. Herman Cain has only been 100 percent respectful and deferential to me.”
She said she has never heard complaints about Cain’s behavior from other women in conservative political circles, and that if he had acted inappropriately toward them, they wouldn’t have remained silent. “Our character and reputations are really all we have at the end of the day. Before I besmirch Herman Cain's I would need more than this.”
Nance isn’t the only prominent conservative woman who says Cain needs to give some straight talk on the issue. Dana Perino, former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush, told “Fox and Friends” that Cain’s ambiguous answers to whether he paid settlements to restaurant association staffers won’t “be enough.”
“Cain . . . will have to stand on his own two feet for the rest of the week,” Perino said. “Herman Cain has to have a better answer to the type of question that Geraldo asked [on Fox] when he goes on TV later today.”
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