A fourth Herman Cain accuser stepped out of the shadows today. In the company of attorney Gloria Allred, she described an incident with him from 1997 that sounds more like sexual assault than it does harassment.
Via Business Insider:
At the news conference, Bialek described how she went to Mr. Cain for job advice after she was let go by an educational foundation tied to the National Restaurant Association.
Bialek described an incident in July 1997 where she and Cain were in a car and her offered to show her the trade group's headquarters. She had come to Washington, D.C. as part of the job search and was surprised to find that she had been upgraded at her hotel to a "palatial suite."
Cain took credit for that upgrade, she said.
"Instead of going into the offices, he suddenly reached over and … put his hand on my leg, under my skirt toward my genitals," Bialek said.
"He also pushed my head toward his crotch," she said.
Bialek also described how said she recently saw Cain at an event and asked if he remembered her.
"I want you, Mr. Cain, to come clean. Just admit what you did. Admit you were inappropriate to people...and then move forward."
"Mr. Cain, I implore you," she says, "Make this right. "
That report didn't mention a key part of the encounter, though. After he pushed her head toward his crotch she pulled back and asked him what he was doing. His response? "You want a job, right?"
Now I'm sure this woman will be villified since she is a blonde Chicagoan, despite the fact that she's a lifelong Republican. But it seems fairly undeniable at this point that Cain had a pattern of sexually harassing women in the late 1990s, and it's fair game when he has put himself in the running for the highest office in the country.
Here is Cain's response:
Just as the country finally begins to refocus on our crippling $15 trillion national debt and the unacceptably high unemployment rate, now activist celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred is bringing forth more false accusations against the character of Republican front-runner Herman Cain.
All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone. Fortunately the American people will not allow Mr. Cain’s bold “9-9-9 Plan”, clear foreign policy vision and plans for energy independence to be overshadowed by these bogus attacks.
I suppose the flat denial is based on the fact that he did take her back to her hotel without further incident? More importantly, what happened to her job prospects?
Maybe most importantly, what will happen to his?
If polls are to be believed, likely nothing. According to this WSJ/NBC poll, most GOP voters aren't very concerned about the allegations.
In the poll, 54 percent of Republican voters say they aren't concerned about voting for Cain after these allegations, while another 15 percent say they are "just a little" concerned.
By comparison, only a combined 13 percent of Republicans say they are a "great deal" or "quite a bit" concerned about voting for Cain.