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. JW

    I'd be fine with this since it was so long ago, if the guy would just confess and quit hiding it. A man can change. I wouldn't vote for the guy anyways most likely, but I do believe a man can change.

    November 2, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  2. NooSideForMe

    What is really wrong about this is the fact that all the right-wing talk show host have brought race into this, and for them to say that the left-wing was trying to bring Mr.Cain down...I am a father of two daughters and I would have to belive my child if she was to say anyone said somthing. Mr.Cain was the leader of the N.R.A. when this happened and if he felt he did nothing wrong why would he not have a problem with him settling out of court (we all remeber Michael Jackson) this is the fault of Mr.Cain for not, as he said this very troubling incident. How could somone forget somthing this troubling, and why would these radio talk show host not wait untill they got more information instead of playing the race card. Cain=Wrong Limbaugh=Wrong G.O.P.=Wrong

    November 2, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. Dr. Jeff

    Cain would have to have done something heinous to change my opinion of him. Of all the people running for POTUS, he's the best I've seen in a long time. If someone has a problem with him being a conservative and not placidly on the Democrat plantation, they should address their own bigotry.

    November 2, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. David Brewin

    Didn't Bill Clinton have all kinds of allegations floating around him the whole time he was running? What does this have to do with this guy's ability to govern? I'm a libertarian so I'm not voting for any of the Dem/Rep candidates but I'm curious as to why Americans seem to be so hung up on these kinds of things?

    November 2, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. Kay

    It's no wonder our choices for President from both sides can't be better. No one on this earth can run for an office without someone finding something that they did wrong in their lifetime. Our elections are a soap opera that destroys families and feeds the cold hungry media. Whether these allegations are true or not, I say let's move on and stay focused on fixing this country. People want to control us away from the issues, let's not be stupid.

    November 2, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. Max

    The End,

    She should come out and speak about what happened between her and Cain. This is the only way this issue can be amicably resolved. This will be the end of Cain's campaign. he could simply tell the truth and get it over with, but like Anthony Weiner, Larry Craig, Mike Foley and Newt Gingrich he lied before telling the truth.

    This man can never expect to be elected as the 'HOLY' republican nominee and the president of the United States of America.

    This will spell the end of his 15 minutes fame. It's true, he was just the 'flavor of the week' and tasteless flavor he has been.

    November 2, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. Penobscot

    Perry first goes after Romney with his yard dog pastor, now he's got his pollsters sticking it to Cain.

    Perry is playing dirty pool. Perry is less and less desirable as a candidate.

    November 2, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. Mark

    Perry the lyncher?

    So now we know it was a right wing lyncher who was urged by Perry to lynch his own republican 'brother'. Perry is already known as a racist, so what's new if he lynched someone.

    Perry is the luncher, period.

    November 2, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  9. Indy

    Rick McDaniel

    More innuendo.

    Come out with the facts, or shut up.

    Rick McDaniel, this is the first time you have ever asked for facts, you are the kng of posting innuendos about Obama, so it is nice to see you have turned a new leaf and will now only deal with facts

    November 2, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  10. CedarRapids

    "JD – People are getting really desperate here to smear this guy. You're that afraid, huh?"

    Heck no, we would love it if he got the nomination. We would prefer Perry or Bachmann but Cain is a good replacement.

    November 2, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. Denton

    The once respected, moderate, compromising and principled Republican Party has become the Teapublican Party, a party of bumper-sticker slogans, sound-byte candidates who used to sell junk food and quit as governors. As the bard put it, "Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Its spokespeople are entertainers–Limbaugh & Coulter. It has come to represent only busine$$ interests, mostly Big Bu$ine$$, Wall $treet at that, not the little guy with a shop on Main Street. It's rotten to the core and now starting to smell. Pity, it once was the Grand Old Party. Now it should be the Get Outta Politics one.

    November 2, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. Mike Buck

    Amazing how the republiCONS were fine with spending over 49 million to expose the Lewensky affair but now its the liberals fault that Cain is under scrutiny. I'm surprised that this an incident involving a Republican man and a woman... usually its another Senator Craig having a "wide stance" on the gay marriage issue.

    November 2, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  13. T'sah from Virginia

    Cain is on a "Wing and a Prayer." Now there is another woman?? Wow, I did not want him to go down like this – I wanted President Obama to beat him fairly if he happened to get the nomination. 🙁

    Ann Coulter does not know what Black people are all about and neither does Limbaugh or Shamity!!! Ann, Rush and everyone else on the RIGHT that "jumped the gun" and agreed with their latest accusations, forgot that slavery ended a long time ago and NO ONE owns anyone!!!!

    Just learned that Cain was "very aware" of this controversy because they expected it to come out when he ran for Senator and they were expecting it and prepared for it – but it DIDN'T!!! So when he was asked, he should have told to the truth!!

    Obama 2012

    November 2, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. Imil101

    its just goes to show you the racism in the republican party- this incident may have awakened a bunch of black republicans, that call this party their home.
    and it puts the light squarely on rick perry and it shows his racist intentions....

    November 2, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. lcleejr

    cain would have been intelligent if he would have acknowledged that it occurred, answered a couple thousand questions about it and moved on, he instead tries to avoid it, he will be looked down at by most tea party women and all republican women voters.

    November 2, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  16. shybou69

    Herman Cain is done. But he was, in fact, done already. Republicans weren't going to nominate him. Not necessarily because he is black, but because he just isn't really Republican presidential material. And no one believes he would have defeated Obama. Romney will be the candidate, but not before Gingrich and possibly even Santorum and Huntsman make their own short-lived surges in the polls.

    November 2, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  17. Judas

    What a cavalcade of carny freaks this whole bunch POTUS wannabes has turned out to be. It was just a matter of time before they smelled a scandal and moved in for the kill. It’s unfortunate that the Republicans have anointed themselves to be paragons of honor, integrity and morality, so if these allegations have any substance, it’ll be difficult for them to sweep this one under the rug just to protect one of their own. Then again, hypocrisy is a trait they all know too well.

    November 2, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  18. abester

    I haven't heard directly from the women who made the claims. Until then, ya'll can continue to rant. After all, you're the only ones listening.

    November 2, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. Jim Colyer

    Bad boy Cain is dead in the water.

    November 2, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. JBS

    This was don’t by GOP under habded people, ah,ah,ah............a Liberal would have waited until he was the GOP nominee for President before releasing IT, it get...................

    November 2, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  21. CBR

    I believe that Mr. Wilson needed to inform Mr. Cain that he would be doing this interview. He worked with and knew Mr. Cain and should have let him know he would be going public. Seems as if Republicans do not know how to give each other the courtesy of a head's up.

    Mr. Cain needs to explain exactly what he knows about the incidents. Until he does this will haunt him through he whole campaign. Maybe what he said is not worthy of all this press. Why is it all just coming out now? Who is behind the "outing" of this incident?

    November 2, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  22. vikingslost

    Let's put the rest of the Republican field under the microscope to see what they can dig up. Cain's only learning his lesson that the power elite did not want the possibility of a black man as the Republican nominee for President.

    November 2, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  23. Washington Observer

    Chris Wilson is hardly credible - and he is hardly unbiased as he is on the payroll – at least indirectly as a pollster – of Perry the Looney Tooney man from Texas. who certainly appeared smashed in NH today.

    If these women all came out and told their story - there would be a very huge Yawn across America. Grow up America; we got more important things to talk about than this silly stuff

    November 2, 2011 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  24. Rich

    I went to college with Chris Wilson and knew him personally. I can't say that he's above character assassination for a client – I wouldn't trust him unless I was paying him. If others from the NRA come out and verify the claim, then it likely has merit – otherwise, given his ties with Perry's campaign, I've got to say there's not enough meat here to take seriously. Besides, if hearsay is the standard, then Wilson's got dirt of his own to deal with.

    November 2, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  25. Reggie from LA

    Dang! @SecedingfromTexas slapped a Koch-yoke around Cain's neck. That's a heavy burden with all its hateful connotation. A lot of folks don't know that the Pizza Guy HAS BEEN on the INSIDE of Washington. He has portrayed himself as an outsider- bagger, but he has lobbyist in his blood. There's really no need to pursue what actually happened. This guy just told us SOMETHING happened and that victim - she's just chompin' at the bit to tear a hole in Herb. Dude, I hate to see it end so badly, seriously. Would have just preferred he just have been "hated" out as it was going to happen anyway and everybody knew it.

    November 2, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8