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Florida Co-Chair Questions Legitimacy of Accusations

10:15 PM, Nov 3, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Three women claim Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually harassed them. 

How much are these allegations from his past hurting his run for the Republican presidential seat? 

"I think it's highly curious, and highly suspect on the timing," Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Bishop said.  Bishop is a Florida co-chair for the Cain campaign.

While he has no inside information on the allegations against Cain, he does not believe the presidential candidate has sexually harassed anyone. 

"He's now a target," Bishop said.

Bishop said even though there was a financial settlement with one of the accusers, it does not mean Cain was guilty. 

"You can be completely right, be completely guilt-free of anything of whatever the accusation might be.  You have to make a business decision.  Is it worth fighting it, or do you settle to make the problem go away and stop making it a distraction?" he said.

UNF Political Science professor Matthew Corrigan said it's not quite that simple. "Before you can do that, you've got to get your version of the facts out, and his problem up to this point is his story has shifted a few times." 

Corrigan said it's too early to tell if these allegations will hurt Cain's campaign.  "One of the problems with this scenario is you've had actual women file complaints," he said.

Corrigan said the longer this case drags on, the worse it is for Cain.

"You've got southern conservatives who are attracted to his campaign, and do allegations like this hurt him among southern conservatives?  That's an important question that we don't know the answer to yet," Corrigan said.

"It just reeks of dirty political tricks. We've all seen it time and time again, and we'll see what happens with it," Bishop said.

Herman Cain will be in Jacksonville on Friday, Nov. 18.
He has committed to attend the "Stand Up for America" event.
Cain along with Karl Rove and others, will be discussing issues like debt and taxes.

First Coast News

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