Update (12:49 p.m. EDT) WaPo has re-edited a story, which we linked to earlier, that included a full quote from Cain Spokesman J.D. Gordon saying that Cain had no intention of dropping out of the race. The Huffington Post has the original quote:
"It's a reassessment of where we stand and the road ahead, similar to other times in the campaign’s history," Gordon wrote in an email. "He is not thinking of dropping out of the race. He is simply reassessing the state of the campaign. We intend to be full speed ahead."
WaPo also tweeted the Gordon response--that Cain had no intention of dropping out of the race--but for now, the quote and article have changed.
Update (12:28 p.m. EDT)- Leaky call? Check. Financial woes aired? Check. Weird denial that makes his latest scandal even weirder? Double check. And now it's time to reel it all back. The Washington Post is reporting that the massive news of Cain "re-assessing" might be a bit hollow. "He is not thinking of dropping out of the race,” Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon told the Post. “He is simply reassessing the state of the campaign. We intend to be full speed ahead.” As for the rest of us not part of Cain's campaign team, we're now firmly in the "will he or won't he and this will last way longer than it should, but we'll continue to speculate" phase of Cain's candidacy as the Post adds, "One adviser said that Cain will ponder his prospects over the the next few days and will make a decision by the end of the week."
Update: (12:01 p.m. EDT)- National Review's Robert Costa has posted the full transcript of this morning's conference call with Herman Cain. The Des Moines Register noted that there were 90 people on the call, so yes, the call was indeed a bit "leaky." Some quotes we've (quickly) gleaned:
- This latest (it's the fifth) allegation hurts (the finances) more than the others
When the previous two accusations, false accusations, came about, we made another assessment. The way we handled those was, we continued on with our schedule. We made an assessment about what was going to happen to our support. But our supporters, and even some folks that we didn’t have as supporters, they stood with us, and they showed it, not only in terms of their verbal support, they showed it in terms of their dollars. Now, with this latest one, we have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud, in some people’s minds, as to whether or not they would be able to support us going forth.
- On the effects of the alleged 13-year-affair with Ginger White:
Any time you put another cloud of doubt, unfortunately, in the court of public opinion, for some people, you’re guilty until proven innocent. And so, the public will have to decide whether they believe her or whether they believe me. That’s why we’re going to give it time, to see what type of response we get from our supporters.
- He's not dropping out just yet
“Over the next several days, we are going to continue with the schedule as usual,” he said. “I’ve got a major speech tonight at Hillsdale College on national security and foreign policy and I will deliver it with vim, vigor, and enthusiasm. And then tomorrow we’ve got some media appearances scheduled. So we’re going to continue until we complete our assessment over the next several days."
- Denial and his "friendship" (and by "friendship" he means "attempting to help her financially") with Ginger White ...
“Obviously, you’re all aware of this recent firestorm that hit the news yesterday,” Cain began, his voice somber. “First thing I want to do is say to you what I have said publicly: I deny those charges, unequivocally. Secondly, I have known this lady for a number of years. And thirdly, I have been attempting to help her financially because she was out of work and destitute, desperate. So thinking that she was a friend, and I have helped many friends, I now know that she wasn’t the friend that I thought she was. But it was a just a friendship relationship.”
"In a conference call this morning, Herman Cain told his senior staff that he is 'reassessing' whether to remain in the race," reports National Review's Robert Costa. Costa added that Cain told his staff in a conference call that he’ll make his final decision 'over the next several days.'" In terms of the nature of the call, Costa noted that, from the sound of it, it wasn't very positive or enthusiastic, "He was very quiet, low key. His entire senior staff was on the call. Not a rah-rah, fight on call. Repeated "reassessing" multiple times." The report is being confirmed by ABC's Jonathan Karl who tweeted, "Mark Block tells [Amy Walter, ABC's Political News Director] the NRO report is true. Cain told staff today he is "reassessing" whether to stay in the race." On ABC, Walter has also confirmed the story, adding:
Cain’s deputy campaign manager, Linda Hansen, told ABC News that on the conference call Tuesday morning, “Mr. Cain told staff simply that, just as every time significant events occur, a reassessment is prudent.”
“A good businessman looks at the entire landscape before making decisions,” Hansen said. “He is, and has been, committed to promoting the issues and solutions that will make this nation stronger. Nothing about that has changed.”
The AP has also confirmed Costa's report, adding that, "Cain told his staff he would be reassessing how to move forward given that the allegations have damaged his fundraising."