Oklahoma pollster confirms he witnessed incident involving Cain
November 2nd, 2011
04:34 PM ET
11 years ago

Oklahoma pollster confirms he witnessed incident involving Cain

Washington (CNN) - Oklahoma Republican political consultant Chris Wilson confirmed to CNN that he witnessed Herman Cain demonstrate inappropriate conduct toward a female employee while he led the National Restaurant Association. Wilson first made this charge Wednesday in an interview with KTOK, an Oklahoma radio station.

In that interview, Wilson-who is doing polling for a political action committee supporting Texas Governor Rick Perry's campaign but is independent of it–described an incident with Cain and a female employee.

"This occurred at a restaurant in Crystal City (Virginia) and everybody was aware of it," said Wilson, who was a consultant for the organization at the time, in the KTOK interview. "It was only a matter of time because so many people were aware of what took place, so many people were aware of her situation, the fact she left-everybody knew with the campaign that this would eventually come up."

Wilson would not elaborate beyond his comments to the radio station. He has dismissed any notion that he commented on this for political reasons. He told CNN "I had nothing to do with leaking this in any way, and I've never discussed or shared this story with any of my clients – period."

In his description of the event to the radio station KTOK, Wilson said "I was the pollster at the National Restaurant Association when Herman Cain was head of it, and I was around a couple of times when this happened and anyone who was involved with the NRA at the time, knew that this was going to come up."

On the radio, he predicted "if she (the alleged victim) comes out and talks about it, like I said, it'll probably be the end of his campaign."

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Al-NY,NY

    Ann? Fatty LimpOnes? I'm sure Shammitty, Levin, and the rest of the talking heads will somehow try to spin this into STILL being a "left-wing conspiracy" If it wasn't so pathetic, it would be funny.

    November 2, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. rb

    Wow. There are 300+ million Americans. Say half are republicans. Thats about 150 MILLION people to pick from. I watched some of the debates. I'm thinking the GOP could have picked 8 or 9 better people from a single random subway car.

    November 2, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Mark

    So you have conservative pollsters and media outlets outing the story, but this is somehow a left wing conspiracy, I'll try not to laugh; face it, this is primary season, its a full contact sport, and Cain should have long ago prepared for the eventuality this would surface.

    November 2, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. DoNotWorry

    S. harrassers are generally surprised how many people see what they do and know what is going on. These people make workplaces very uncomfortable and there is usually general conversation about how to "deal" with their s. harrassment. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

    November 2, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. DoNotWorry

    I did see a comment the other day about it being Rick Perry's doing... so this is where that came from. Funny that the Dems were taking all the blame. A bit early for that, the Repubs are doing such a good job of sinking their own. Not like it is difficult.

    November 2, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. Texas Annie

    $10 says Perry's polling consultant intentionally leaked it to someone he knew would feed it to the Bachmann campaign thinking if Cain dropped out that Perry would pick up at least half of his supporters. The theory being her group of hungry dogs would be the ones to leak it to the press.

    November 2, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. jnpa

    I wonder if this will have any impact on the right-wing conservative Christian movement, which Cain is part of? This should bring down that whole movement. I am not a republican, but if I were I would vote for Santorum. He is the only one that is not a nut case, nor does he push is religion on everyone. Actually, he seems quite normal! That is probably why the GOP/Tea Party don't want him.

    November 2, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. RINO Bil

    Well, if this guy is backing the story up, according to Ann Koulter, he must be a liberal. Does Rick Perry know about this?

    November 2, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Barry G.

    Well, I don't know whether the reports of harassment are true, but Cain lost me when he said that that the Occupy Movement members should go and get jobs.

    Wasn’t it Woodrow Wilson, or was it Herbert Hoover, who made a similarly outrageous statement about those who were unemployed during the Great Depression, saying that they should go out and get a job, as he did.

    You can't be more out of touch with reality and oblivious to the true plight of people, than that!

    Isn't that like Marie Antoinette, who upon learning that the people were starving and had no bread to eat, said: Then let them eat cake!

    November 2, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Johnathan

    It doesn't matter what results are. Cain's campaign is finished for a simple reason. The GOP will never select a black man for the highest office in the land. They may have been taken aback by his rise and popularity (he is if anything, entertaining). And it may be getting a little out of controlfor them (like the Tea Party), so THEY (GOP puppet masters)are sabotaging his campaign. Just as plain as the nose on your face, the GOP ordered McCain to drop jewish running mate Lieberman for Palin, they will not tolerate a black man to lead their party. Not on God's green earth, despite the entertainment Cain provides. The GOP might as well stumble to the election under this mantra: "Who's bringing you at least ONE white guy to vote for?" – and for all the racial tension they have stirred up in the last few years, it may work.

    In the meantime, the fact that contributions are pouring in for Cain just proves that fools and their money are soon parted.

    November 2, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. TimG

    So what exactly was this behavior ? I am not a fan of Cain's, and while inappropriate behavior needs to be addressed in the work place, I've know women who are flattered if a male they like comments on their dress, but complain about harassment if someone they don't like does the same. Appropriateness is very subjective.

    November 2, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. MaxNatoma

    Can anyone say "the chickens have come home to roost?" The GOP has spent the last three years belittling and undermining the President, questioning his citizenship, his religion and everything else. Now, it seems their field of candidates is falling apart. Cain is toast. Perry looks more and more like a buffoon everyday, as her poll numbers and contributions plummet, Bachmann makes even more bizarre statements. Romney will be the only one left standing and, frankly, his continual flip-flopping make him completely unreliable. Too funny.

    November 2, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  13. Clifford S

    Looks like this could Help Cain, and close the door on Perry

    November 2, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. Justaminit

    Having had a similar experience, it is impossible to imagine anyone "not remembering" the details. That is what let me know he was lying. Think you would forget going through something like that? Don't think so.

    November 2, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Nothiga

    "Oklahoma Republican political consultant Chris Wilson, who is doing polling for a political action committee supporting Texas Governor Rick Perry's campaign, confirmed to CNN that he witnessed Herman Cain demonstrate inappropriate conduct toward a female employee while he led the National restaurant Association."
    Hahaha. It's liberal smear campaign!

    November 2, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. roscoe

    I guess that eliminates any doubt that Perry was responsible for leaking the story.

    November 2, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  17. GonzoinHouston

    For those claiming a "vast, left-wing conspiracy", consider that it would be easier for Obama to beat Cain than it would be to beat Romney. So why would the left want to attack the weaker candidate?

    The woman in the settlement case is asking to be released from the non-disclosure agreement that was part of the settlement. If she can get out of it, then we'll hear her side.

    It was a lot different when the man in the scandal was Pres. Clinton, wasn't it?

    November 2, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  18. Dynko

    How long will the "journalists" (?) continue to beat a dead horse? They've run the story and dissected it ad nauseum. Personally, I'm tired of hearing about it. People wait years to bring this up to defame a person? And the "credible witness" leaves a lot to be desired considering he works for Perry now. The press should be working the IMPORTANT ISSUES of this campaign, not insignificant rumors and inuendo.

    November 2, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  19. SixDegrees

    I'm not a fan of Cain, but the source on this story is extremely suspect. His closing line – "if she (the alleged victim) comes out and talks about it, like I said, it'll probably be the end of his campaign" – is odd, simply because if the story is as widely known and objectionable as he claims...why hasn't he bothered to offer any details himself? Something about this whole story stinks.

    November 2, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  20. Standford

    Now the truth comes out, I thought it was a GOP hatchet job from the beginning. The republicans are motivating and manipulating their T-Baggers with hate and fear. Wake up people! Stop voting for the GOP and their corporate masters!

    November 2, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  21. Hical

    slander comes from the original person defaming an individual AND all those who repeat the defaming.

    November 2, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. glasshouse

    Really??? This same kind of behavior never hurt Clinton.

    November 2, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. NoTags

    The GOP/tp are determined Perry is to get the nomination no matter who they have to throw under the bus. They are desparate for 4 more GWB years.

    Investigative reports; Start looking at Perry's years at A&M. I feel sure you will find some "dirt" on the cheerleader.

    November 2, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  24. Justice786

    Man up, Herman. Let the women speak instead of just maligning them in public, and then lambasting the media. If you have nothing to fear and did not do anything, why hide behind legalities, debate rules, spokespersons and your body guards?

    November 2, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. Adam

    So – another person saying they saw something but won't say what it is? At one point, journalists had integrity – whether he did something heinous or not, this type of smear has to stop. Wait until you have an accuser or God-forbid a fact to share with us about the incident. Worthless media, all of you.

    November 2, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
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