A third female ex-employee of the National Restaurant Association says Cain showed "aggressive and unwanted behavior" toward her, including "sexually suggestive remarks or gestures," the Associated Press' Jack Gillum and Stephen Ohlemacher report. "The employee described situations in which she said Cain told her he had confided to colleagues how attractive she was and invited her to his corporate apartment outside work." The woman did not want to share her name, the Associated Press says.
Cain has called the sexual harassment accusations made against him in the 1990s baseless
. But a polling consultant who worked with the National Restaurant Association when Cain was running it told
the Oklahoma radio station KTOK
that he expected the claims to come out Wednesday. Chris Wilson, of Wilson-Perkins-Allen Opinion Research in Washington, told the station he saw one of the incidents one of the women complained about:
"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 gonna come up."
Wilson described the woman as a low level staffer who was maybe two years out of college. "This occurred at a restaurant in Crystal City (Virginia) and everybody was aware of it," he continued. "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."
: Wednesday afternoon Politico's Jonathan Martin
spoke to Wilson, who told him at least three people were present at the restaurant and some asked Cain to stop. "It was very uncomfortable," Wilson told Politico. Martin notes Wilson supports Cain's rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Rick Perry.
reports that conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace says Cain made "awkward" and "inappropriate" comments to two female staffers at the radio show. Deace would not elaborate on what Cain said. But Martin notes Cain's campaign manager, Mark Block, made a cryptic reference to the incident Tuesday, saying, "Mr. Cain has never sexually harassed anybody. Period. End of story ... As the hours go by, it’s interesting that we even hear from a radio talk show host of Iowa that a receptionist thought that Mr. Cain’s comments were inappropriate."
Amid the new harassment claims, Cain accused the Perry campaign of planting the story in an interview with Richard Miniter
Wednesday. But what's weird about Cain's accusation is the way it undercuts his earlier claims that he had trouble remembering the incidents or that there had been a settlement. Cain says he told one non-family person about the claims in 2003 -- campaign consultant Curt Anderson, who was working on Cain's 2004 Senate campaign. Cain told Miniter:
"I told my wife about this in 1999 and I’ve got nothing to hide ... When I sat down with my general campaign consultant Curt Anderson in a private room in our campaign offices in 2003 we discussed opposition research on me. It was a typical campaign conversation. I told him that there was only one case, one set of charges, one woman while I was at the National Restaurant Association. Those charges were baseless, but I thought he needed to know about them. I don’t recall anyone else being in the room when I told him."
But if Cain was worried about the story coming out just seven or eight years ago, how could he have forgotten since then? Anderson, who was recently hired to work for Perry, denies he was the source. "I never heard about this story until I read about it in Politico," he told Miniter.