CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Cain wanes? Newt waxes? It’s hard to imagine what Herman Cain will say at a press conference on Tuesday that will take the minds of the media as well as his supporters off the lengthening list of sexual harassment allegations against the Georgia businessman.
However, it appears Cain, who last visited Iowa in August, is developing a strategy. He’s playing the victim, including use of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ “high-tech lynching” line.
He doesn’t stop there. In the news release, he goes after both his latest accuser – Sharon Bialek, who claims Cain groper her while they were together in a car – and her attorney.
He first notes that the woman’s attorney, Gloria Allred “is a celebrity lawyer who specializes in generating publicity for herself and her clients” and has given more than $10,000 to President Obama a liberal Democrats.
“The questions the media should be asking are who’s paying for Gloria Allred’s fee, how did (Sharon) Bialek get introduced to Ms. Allred, and was she paid to come forward with these false accusations or was she promised employment?” according to the statement from J.D. Gordon, vice president of communications for Friends of Herman Cain, Inc.
Cain doesn’t stop there. He attacks the credibility of his most recent accuser.
“After attacking Herman Cain through anonymous accusers for a week, his opponents have now convinced a woman with a long history of severe financial difficulties, including personal bankruptcy, to falsely accuse the Republican frontrunner of events occurring over a decade ago for which there is no record, nor even a complaint filed,” Gordon said.
The accusations from a fourth woman would seem to make it harder for Cain to hold on to his supporters. Yet his campaign continues to send out email appeals for money. That includes one announcing his Iowa Fund “is about to surge past the $700,000 mark.” However, his goal is $999,000 as of Thursday.
While Cain appears on the brink of becoming last month’s flavor of the month, Newt Gingrich’s campaign is working hard to make people believe he’s the next “comeback kid.”
The Gingrich campaign bases that on a We Ask America poll of 864 “clear-eyed, corn-fed Iowa voters” who said they plan to participate in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses.
While Cain’s pack-leading support showed no signs of crumbling after a week of media coverage of the sexual harassment allegations, the poll found Gingrich running second ahead of Romney.
The pollster’s analysis: “If Cain’s problems continue to grow, we may see Gingrich surge ahead here to take the lead. But given Newt’s penchant for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, could Iowa finally give Romney the boost he’s needs to make the pundits’ consensus winner land on top?
“There’s LOTS of time left here, and the jockeys are just now going to the whip. We think the smart move here is to expect the unexpected.”
Meanwhile, Texas Rep. Ron Paul is the winner in this month’s Iowa Independent “If the caucuses were held tonight” survey.
“Baggage is creeping up on everyone else, but Paul is traveling lightly,” said one member of the panel, which ranked Cain second and Romney third.