Perry Camp Denies Role in Cain Sex Harassment Story

Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Mitt Romney at the Dartmouth College Republican debate on Oct. 11, 2011.
Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Mitt Romney at the Dartmouth College Republican debate on Oct. 11, 2011.

Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign is adamantly disputing the suggestion that it helped orchestrate a Politico story on past allegations of sexual harassment involving businessman Herman Cain.

In an interview on Fox News, top Cain adviser Mark Block blamed Perry adviser Curt Anderson — who worked on Cain's unsuccessful 2004 Senate campaign — for the story, saying Perry and his campaign "owe Herman Cain and his family an apology."  

Reached by phone, Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan called Block's claims "outrageous" and said the campaign first learned of the allegations against Cain by reading the story in Politico. "Nobody and no one at this campaign was involved in the story in any way," Sullivan said.

Anderson said in a statement that he's known Cain for seven years and that these allegations were news to him. "I have great respect for Herman and his character, and I would never speak ill of him, on the record or off the record," Anderson said.   

Sullivan, meanwhile, attempted to shift the focus toward supporters of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. He said said there were "real ties" between two of them and the National Restaurant Association, where Cain was serving as CEO when the allegations were made. Sullivan said two former National Restaurant Association officials had given money to Romney, but he provided no evidence that the Romney campaign had anything to do with the leak.

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said any suggestion that Romney was behind the story was "ridiculous" and "absolutely not true."

 

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