Perry: Our campaign didn’t have anything to do with it
November 3rd, 2011
07:12 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry: Our campaign didn’t have anything to do with it

(CNN) –- Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in an interview with CNN Thursday his campaign had nothing to do with leaking details of past sexual harassment charges against fellow candidate Herman Cain.

“We found out about this the same time that I suppose the rest of America found out about it, both on the Internet or the next day in the news,” Perry told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “You know, I don't know how to tell it any other way except we knew nothing about it.

Perry continued, “My folks at the campaign said, 'Listen, this is what's going on out there, this is what's happening on the Internet, and we don't have any comment because we don't have anything to do with it."”

On Wednesday, Cain and some of his campaign staffers publicly blamed a Perry aide for leaking the initial details of past sexual harassment claims to Politico. The aide, Curt Anderson, said on CNN Thursday morning that those claims were false.

In the interview on CNN, Perry said he would fire any campaign staffers if they were implicated in political maneuvering such as leaking damaging stories about other 2012 hopefuls.

“I would say, 'Listen, if you're passing on rumors that are that heinous, that bad, you don't need to be working with me,'” Perry said.

Though Perry said his organization wasn’t responsible for the Cain leaks, he acknowledged that the kind of negative research was a hallmark of campaigns.

“There's more stuff floating around out there in campaigns,” Perry said. “I tell people, this isn't my first rodeo. They're going to say all kind of things about folks. I'm going to stay focused on how America gets back to work.”

Perry also weighed in on speculation that he was inebriated while giving a speech in New Hampshire Friday.

“I have no idea how these things get started,” Perry said. “It was a good speech, well-received, and if I had the opportunity to do again, I'd give it exactly like I gave it.”

When asked by King to explain his drop in national public opinion polls, Perry brushed off the question, saying he was no stranger to tough elections.

“It's just another poll,” Perry said. “I really don’t pay a lot of attention to whether it's a YouTube spot or if it's a poll. I know how to run (an) election. I know how to take the message to the people and that's what we’re going to keep doing - talking to Americans about what they really care about.”

Also see:

Cain continues fundraising streak amid harassment claims

Perry aide: I didn't leak the Cain story

Gingrich: Rival leaking Cain details would be a 'pariah'

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Marcus

    Who seriously cares what Rick Perry or Herman Cain think.... Ron Paul is the only electable GOP candidate that would unseat the current POTUS. CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and other media outlets don't want you to think Ron Paul during this next election as that is what would happen... Well to heck with these worthless mass media outlets that spew lies and more lies.

    November 3, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  2. Tennesee Jed

    All of the current Republican candidates have talked about eliminating environmental protection in their speeches and during the debates and want to abolish significant environmental regulations, programs, and government agencies that protect your environment, all in the name of jobs. A vote for Cain or Romney or Perry or anyone in the republican presidential field equals dirtier waterways, increased air pollution, contaminated drinking water, elimination of endangered species protection, reduced public control of hazardous waste, continued denial of human induced climate change and it’s threat to humanity, and a rollback of half a century of environmental progress that has given us quality of life and has contributed to the increasing average human life span. Don’t believe me? Think this is a liberal scare tactic or lie? Review the environmental plans and statements for Bachmann, Paul, and all of the candidates, and see for yourself. Environmental programs create jobs, and environmental degradation destroys jobs. The plans to exploit America’s energy “under our feet” will substantially increase air pollution, damage waterways and wildlife, and reduce the quality of our public lands. Presidents Nixon, Reagan, and Bush Sr. each passed milestone environmental regulations during their presidencies (by the way, all 3 were Republicans, and the environmental movement started under Nixon.) For decades and until recent years the environmental movement was bipartisan, but these candidates and the extreme conservatives of 2011 have proven that those days are long gone.

    November 3, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  3. Rich

    It sure wasn't any Democrats that leaked it as Herm Cain would be a wish come true if he runs as would Rick Perry...

    November 3, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  4. mjschriner

    I don't believe either of them and the odds of these two being elected is almost ZERO anyway!!!

    November 3, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  5. Mike Hou

    There is no need for any conservative to leak negative on a fellow conservative, there are thousands of libs doing that already, Research for anything they can twist into a PC violation.

    November 3, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  6. Nik

    Going off of what is said in the article and what is to be veiwed in the video, it is hard to decide whether Perry did have nothing to do with the scadle of Cain. He personally may have never said aything at all, and yet, one of his subordnates mught have had something to do with the evidence that was leaked. One of the people working for him could have easily dont this to try and help him in their own way.

    November 3, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  7. Keith

    This is working out better than the owners of the GOP could have hoped. The owners of the GOP have already selected Romney. With Cain rising in the polls they needed to shoot him down. With the blame landing on Perry, that makes it a lovely double-hit for them.

    November 3, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  8. guest

    Simple question is who has the most to gain? If Cain is gone doesn't that bump Perry up?

    November 3, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  9. Mark

    Personally I doubt he had anything to do with it, this is ugly season, things are going to come out, and I'm just watching Cain trying to blame everyone but himself. I care far less about some old and unproven allegations than I do how he manages a response to a crisis.

    November 3, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. Merlin

    What we don't need is "mud-slinging". What we really need are candidates who are passionate about their country and will work with all members of Congress to find solutions to the problems facing our country. I'll vote for anyone who has this passion. Unfortunately, none of these candidates posses these qualities... How depressing.

    November 3, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  11. Jim

    Perry said that he did not leak the Cain leak. He never said that his aid did not leak the story.
    Perry continues to lie. Just like he did as Governor of Texas.

    November 3, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. funnyname

    Why is it even an issue whether Perry's campaign released the info? Why not focus on explaining what he did and why he settled the claims? Cain has already admitted to paying out settlment.s. Can't Cain step up and take some personal responsibility for his actions? Isn't that what conservatives are supposed to be all about?

    November 3, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Me

    I would say, 'Listen, if you're passing on rumors that are that heinous, that bad, you don't need to be working with me,'” Perry said.

    Well, thar ya go! He denies it came from his staff but still manages to describe the acts as heinous, which they are, but his still creating that mentality of whispers.

    November 3, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. anonymous

    Perry is right

    November 3, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. Michelle

    Gov. Perry, I just watched your Cornerstone speech on YouTube. It was a great speech! Excellent policies and wonderful sense of humor. I really enjoyed it. I am not sure why some people are attacking you for this speech? You will be a great president for our country and I support you all the way! Go, Gov. Perry!

    November 3, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |