November 3rd, 2011
08:35 AM ET
7 years ago

Perry aide: I didn't leak the Cain story

(CNN) – Curt Anderson, a newly hired consultant with Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign, denied any involvement in the leaking of allegations that rival candidate Herman Cain was accused of sexual harassment in the 1990s.

"I didn't know anything about this, so it's hard to leak something you don't know anything about," Anderson said Thursday on CNN's "American Morning." "I didn't know anything about this, I didn't leak it."

Anderson previously worked on Cain's unsuccessful 2004 U.S. Senate campaign in Georgia and the Cain campaign blamed him Wednesday for leaking the story.

Cain, a former pizza executive, told Forbes he alerted Anderson to one of the alleged incidents during that Senate campaign, a claim Anderson denies.

"Those charges were baseless, but I thought he needed to know about them," Cain said. "I don't recall anyone else being in the room when I told him."

But Anderson said Cain's presidential campaign is "floundering," and placing blame on him is a "diversionary strategy."

"They're grasping at straws," Anderson told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger. "They figured it's a good diversionary strategy to take him out of the limelight to say someone else did it."

"I'm disappointed he tried to use me as a pawn to try to get out of this mess he's in, but I'm not going to use that to discolor everything I know about the guy," Anderson added.

The Perry campaign also claimed it did not know about the allegations until POLITICO first published the story Sunday.

"No one at our campaign was involved in this story in any way," Perry campaign communications director Ray Sullivan said. "Any claim to the contrary is patently false."

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Rick Perry
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. "Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine..."

    Given core republican values for hypocrisy, cheating on family, and lying under oath, Cain's numbers should go even higher!!

    November 3, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  2. Obama 2012

    I'm highly suspicious of this guy... He ran Cain's Senate campaign and are you seriously going to say Cain did not disclose information like this to him while he(Anderson) was the campaign manager.

    Then you have the Chris guy saying he witnessed Cain harassing women yet waits till now to speak about it, never mind the fact he works for the Perry PAC.
    Logic arrows are pointing to the Perry campaign or at least someone on the right.

    November 3, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  3. catwill

    The moral of this story is someone is not telling the truth which is a lie by any other name. Mr Cain should allow the truth of the agreement with the women to be revealed thereby allowing the other side of the story.

    November 3, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  4. Rod in Dallas TX

    Perry is a dirty dirty politician so I wouldn't be surprised if he did leak the info. Then, his campaign turns around and says this is something Romney would do. He's trying to discredit two people but it only making himself look stupid. People of America, if you don't want another idiot in office like Bush, DO NOT VOTE FOR THIS GUY!

    November 3, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  5. WhereIsPalin

    This is just part of the political process that helps us choose our president. We need help.

    November 3, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  6. Sandy

    Yeah, right! Perry has the most to gain from outing Cain.

    November 3, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  7. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    There's no one Cain can blame except himself. So if he's President, he's going to place blame on his administration and not himself?

    November 3, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  8. Sandy

    Or maybe Romney did do it, as Cain is/was beating him in the polls. Maybe Romney and Perry teamed up. LOL

    November 3, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  9. boocat

    I'm loving every minute of this. Watching the Republicans implode is a wonderful sight to see. And the best part is, they don't have ONE viable candidate to run against Obama.

    November 3, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  10. BCW - NYC

    Let the GOP nuts fight. I have popcorn and drinks ready for the next debate. Last debate, Romney's hand is on Perry's shoulder. Would this time, Cain slaps Perry silly? The GOP debate is much better than other reality shows.

    November 3, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  11. Inez

    1. Why does this matter in 2011?
    2. Why is this coming out now?
    3. Someone wants attention, publicity and maybe money
    4. Is there really so little going on that this is major news? I could care less

    November 3, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Mike

    Republicans slinging mud at other republicans? That goes against one of Ronald Reagan's commandments "Thou shalt not say anything against a fellow republican". What I think is funny is that Rush was accusing democrats. Hey Rush, you werer wrong, again!

    November 3, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. Richie P

    How is this possible? Cain said he himself did not know of these accusations and was unaware of any settlement.

    November 3, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. Seattle Sue

    Really what difference does it make as to who leaked the story. There was actually a sexual harassment suit filed against Herman Cain and the lady was awarded $35,000.00 dollars. So the question is what did Cain do to the lady. It's just a distraction from the sexual harassment suit as to who leaked the story.

    November 3, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  15. Catherine

    Does it really matter who leaked it? Any politician that has a skeleton in their closet should expect that it will come popping out eventually. They should be prepared to explain and it they were truly smart, they would do a first strike get it out there with their explanation before anyone else 'leaked' it. I don't feel sorry for any politician who has old scandals coming out and biting them in the butt. Cain should have addressed this instead of prevaricating. A simple I didn't mean it in the way the woman took it and I was truly sorry for upsetting her, would have gotten him bonus points.

    November 3, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. once upon a horse

    of course he didn't leak just HAD to be a left wing media person who did it. That's what Rush, Ann Coulter and FoxNews claimed and of course they are NEVER wrong.

    November 3, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. KEG

    Some say liberals did this? Perry was a Liberal Democrat prior to 1988. He changed to Republican so he could win a political position. Perry is out to win or take everyone down with him.

    November 3, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Christy

    WHO CARES who leaked it? What a bunch of High School BS. Don't do something you don't want to be brought up later. Period. Blame the messenger? Start a cat fight within your own party to divert blame is just childish. Then... "I didn't tell! He told!" Good lord... Perry has been very clear that he disagrees with the way that the debates have been going and doesn't even feel right about participating, but he sorta has to in order to remain viable. Bottom line, quit your whining, Perry and own up.

    November 3, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. Christy

    CORRECTION: Quit your whining, CAIN and own up. ( I need to finish my coffee before posting comments). That is all.

    November 3, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. diridi

    perry's nasty drama and idiotic thought is making all this hullabaloo...

    November 3, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  21. tmcsr69

    What would you expect to hear from the Perry campaign? Unless Cain has proof of his allegations, he should have kept his mouth shut and let the media out those behind this.

    November 3, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. CarolO

    WHO leaked this story should not even be the issue but what the story is all about. Cain should have been honest up front and not trying to hide this and whoever leaked the story wouldn't have mattered. Cain is trying to take the story off himself and putting it onto someone else instead of simply being up front to start with. Numerous people know of this so it could be anyone.

    November 3, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. OKTOGO77

    @Inez – it's called "American Politics". And while the incidents themselves may not matter if they are baseless (although, it's becoming hard to accept that they are), what matters now is how ineptly and untruthfully Cain has handled this "leak". And it's major news, because he's at the top of the Republican polls, and if he turns out to be a cheater and a liar, the American public deserves to know that.

    Up to this point, he has painted himself as a conservative candidate who also happens to be an ordained minister. Wouldn't you want to know the truth about him if it turns out to be a different "truth" than that with which he has portrayed himself? Anyone running for any public office in this country has to be know that even the smallest indiscretion from "x"-number of years ago will be dug up and made public. How the candidate handles that revelation can be more important sometimes than the incident itself and speaks to the character of the candidate. Herman Cain gets a huge "FAIL" for his inconsistent and contradictory handling of this one – no matter how large or small it turns out to be.

    November 3, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. Richie P

    One thing's for sure: it wasn't a democrat who leaked it. Cain's winning the Florida straw poll was the happiest day for democrats since Michelle Bachman winning the Iowa straw poll. The last thing any sane democrat would do is get in the way of anybody who challenges Mitt Romney for the republican nomination. If democrats wanted to interfere, they would do something to knock Bachman and Perry out of the race, so Cain can gain those supporters and increase his odds of eventually beating out Romney from none to very slim.

    November 3, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. Mark

    Cain claimed that he was unaware of this issue, which is why it "took so long to remember all the details." And yet this story shows that he was speaking to his staff about these incidents in 2004. The American people are not all idiots, so don't think you can get away with this, Cain.

    November 3, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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