Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was consistent Monday in saying he has “never sexually harassed anyone.” But some parts of his response to a Politico report about past allegations had shifted by day’s end.
After saying earlier in the day that he was “unaware of any sort of settlement” being reached with any woman who once worked with him at the National Restaurant Association, Cain said last night on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren that he now does remember the association’s general counsel telling him that “because there was no basis for this, we ended up settling for what would have been a ‘termination settlement’ … maybe three months salary or something like that.”
Cain was heading the association at the time. Asked by Van Susteren if he had signed off on the settlement, he said: “I don’t recall signing it.”
Also last evening, on the PBS NewsHour, Cain said that he only knew of one claim of harassment that had been made against him while he was at the association. Politico reported there were two. He had this exchange with host Judy Woodruff about what he remembers regarding that one allegation:
Cain: “One incident with the one who made the formal charge, the only one that I could recall after a day of trying to remember specifics, was once I referenced this lady’s height and I was standing near her, and I did this saying, you’re the same height of my wife, because my wife is five feet tall and she comes up to my chin. This lady’s five feet tall and she came up to my chin. So obviously she thought that that was too close for comfort. It showed up in the actual allegation. But at the time when I did that, you know, it was in my office, the door was wide open, and my secretary was sitting right there, as we were standing there and I made the little gesture. Other than that, I can’t even recall what some of the other things were. And as I mentioned, they were all found to be baseless.”
Woodruff: “And there was some mention of a hotel room at a convention or at a meeting. Did any one of these women, were they ever asked to meet you, or. …”
Cain: “That I absolutely do not recall. You know, I have no recollection of that.”
Woodruff: “Was there any behavior on your part that you think might have been inappropriate?”
Cain: “In my opinion, no. But as you would imagine, it’s in the eye of the person who thinks that maybe I crossed the line.”
NPR’s Tamara Keith rounded up the story on Morning Edition.