Overheard on CNN.com: Let Cain's accusers come forward
GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain says he has been "falsely accused" of inappropriate behavior toward female employees.
October 31st, 2011
02:28 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Let Cain's accusers come forward

Comment of the morning:
"Don't blame the Dems for this one. The Republicans are starting to eat their young." - Nevis

Cain denies harassment allegations

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain told Fox News he had "never sexually harassed anyone" in response to a Politico report alleging that two women employees settled with the National Restaurant Association after complaining about him when he led that group in the 1990s. The women's names were not released. John Avlon, a CNN political contributor, said Monday that while Cain needs to address the allegations, the story may "smack of opposition research" by another campaign.

Many CNN.com readers said Cain had a right to know his accusers and others said he should just come clean if the story's true. MotherLodeBeth said, "Unless the women come forward and can be grilled on the facts and why they settled, it's all hearsay to me."

Motley said, "Anyone can make allegations of any nature; it does not mean they are true, nor does it mean that if two women did receive separation packages that it was due to harassment. Sorry, I prefer facts to judge someone other than rumors and allegations."

Mr. America said, "He should just say, 'Yes I did it, let's move on.' Now they will get him on lying. Same problem Clinton had."

Many pointed fingers at the Republican Party. pinarello said, "How convenient. Cain starts to gain some traction, and the smears start coming in." Desmond, A Canadian said, "Here they come, typical GOP dirty smears, completely predictable. A sign that Cain is a force to contend with. We all knew that this was going to be an ugly election."

once upon a horse said, "So they are so sure that liberals are the ones that started this, huh? Well lately it seems that it's been more Republicans going after Cain than the left." kravitz said, "Politico is a Republican-owned publication with a conservative Republican tone, not a 'liberal' or even moderate one."

Other CNN.com readers asked who care? Observer said, "Cain's statement that he opposes abortion for any reason tells us all we need to know about his intelligence. This story doesn't matter after that." Bigred said, "Based on his experience in politics, his real grasp of America's political and economic realities, and his knowledge of the works of Washington - all of which amount to zero - we would be hard-pressed to find a less capable candidate."

Brannon said, "Herman Cain was never convicted of sexual harassment. So I couldn't care less. He’s still a brilliant, educated, uncorrupt from the government man with a plan."

Ron said, "I suppose if you dig enough there is bound to be some dirt in everyone's past. Herman Cain is no exception. Let's see how this plays out ..."

Everaldo Jones said, "I don't think a little sexual innuendo should stand between the country and the leadership it needs. We are electing a commander in chief, not a pope."

Do you feel your views align with those of these commenters? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Who are the women?
    What is their assertion?

    October 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |

      ATTENTION ALL BLACKS AND HISPANICS – Maybe we need to repeat this yet agiain – We Democrats, as you know, graciously give you welfare, no taxes, free passes in most areas of life. For that, we DEMAND, yes DEMAND that none of you, not even one, go off our plantation. After all, don't we all know that you cannot make it on your own? Yes of course we do. We really, really care for you and it is for this reason that we DEMAND that you do exactly as we say or we will be forced to DESTROY YOU. Herman Cain has chosen to go off our benevolent plantation and become a hard working conservative with his own ideas. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT ALLOWED. Our regime will get him, don't you worry. Our state-controlled media and the regime is already going after him as you can see, except for that EVIL FOX NEWS. Do not listen to FOX because they have subliminal tones which melt your brain. Now, look at me and chant EAT THE RICH, EAT THE RICH, EAT THE RICH. Now that is better. Now, go join that union. Do not make us come after you.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • popejon

      LAUGHING AT LIBERALS, State controlled media? you do know that politco is a conservative leaning News paper right?

      October 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • John D

      Inflammatory language aside, your argument is just dumb.

      You're aware that there's a primary campaign going on right now, right? Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are the people with the most to gain from smacking Herman Cain right now.

      Actually, as a halfhearted Obama supporter, I can say that Cain is the candidate I'd MOST like to see facing Obama in the general next year.
      Romney WOULD beat Obama. Perry COULD.
      Cain, on the other hand, can't. He's unelectable.
      He espouses extreme opinions and has little political experience. He'd get crushed.

      Believe me, Obama is PRAYING Cain gets nominated.

      October 31, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. April

    LOL. Good bye Mr. Nein-Nein-Nein!

    October 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      LAUGHING AT LIBERALS is a whack job!!!!

      October 31, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Verbal, at least.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Anyone can assert anything.
    It happens frequently, in every walk of life.
    I said this on another blog: Herman Cain is making *somebody* very nervous...and I don't think it's the Dems.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      How true!

      October 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • popejon

      Considering politico is a conservative leaning news paper, by default its anybody but the Dems.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mattsmoski

    Dirty politics, baseless, no person coming forward. These things always come out during the campaign. The women wait all these years and then say how hurt they were. In this case their is no women, even more disgusting.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      Typical MAN response!

      October 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • John D

      It doesn't sound completely baseless.

      Evidently, they made a complaint against Cain back in the 90s, with the end result that the National Restaurant Association paid them to go away.
      That's not exactly equivalent to a finding of guilt in a criminal court, but generally speaking you don't "settle" these things if you think they're entirely baseless.

      I'm not gonna convict Cain from here, though.
      If there's one thing any of us know, it's that we don't have all the facts. ...Actually we barely even have SOME of the facts.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROB

      They can't come forward and say anything as a condition of the settlement...the settlement is an admition of guit you only need know of it's validity, and fyi it has been cooberated by the NRA by the way.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • John D

      It's not an admission of guilt.

      It doesn't look GOOD, but there are valid reasons why an "innocent" person would offer to settle anyway.
      Maybe he thought he wouldn't win, notwithstanding his innocence. Maybe he was just worried about litigation costs or the invasive and time-consuming process of a hearing.

      Again, I'm not saying Cain is "innocent" or "guilty"; we don't have enough information.

      October 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • MOJO

      Polish dribble... in a settlement like the one with these (2) ladies there is always a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) which everyone signs. IF that is violated, then the person who TALKS gets to pay back all the $$$ she received and may even be sued!

      So, that's the name of that tune.

      Hermie has 0-0-0 chances of being elected president, anyway, so who really cares?

      October 31, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tensor

    Come forward? They already did. Separately. And their claims were found to have merit That's the reason for the large settlements with a confidentiality clause attached. Just ask Mrs. Hermain Cain – pretty sure she can tell you all about it ... in detail.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chris

    Typical microscopic political BS. Herman Cain has at least stirred up a debate about what is wrong with our tax system. I hope he stays in the race for a long time.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      Me too, he doesn't have a chance against Pres. Obama!

      October 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JD

    What a bunch of BS. The Dems will do anything to try to save Obama and his failed plans including making up stuff. This is not news, they are trying to pull a Clarence Thomans on him. It didn't work then it won't now.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROB

      I think you are forgetting that the Democrats would LOVE to have Cain as the GOP nom. , an untested, ex bussiness man talk show host who's idea of saving a company is simply closing half of its stores, laying off thousands and proposing a 9% Federal sales tax on the poorest Americans while lowering yet again the taxes on the rich...a democrats dream come true.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • John D

      I agree that Obama would MUCH rather face Cain than Perry or Romney.

      This probably came from one of the other Republican campaigns.

      October 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • popejon

      JD, you do know that politco is a conservative leaning News paper right?

      October 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROB

      Dude! Perry is also a dream come true...he is so far right he can only make left turns in a roundabout! his crazy views are also Obama gold. The only real problem candidate for obama is the least popular with his own party...oh ya and he is by far the smartest...Huntsman.

      October 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • allanhowls

      JD: Have you read the book "The Real Anita Hill?" You know, the one that pretty much got Thomas onto the court.
      Yeah, the author has recanted everything. He was paid by the right to smear Anita Hill, and that there was real merit to the accusations against Thomas.

      So if you're saying this is another Clarence Thomas job, then you're saying that this is a concerted campaign to smear and marginalize women who were the victims of workplace harrassment, all in the name of political convenience over common human decency.

      So maybe you want to re-think that. Or, as a Republican, you probably don't.

      October 31, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mark Hudson

    The confidentiality clause will keep the women from speaking out. If the allegations are untrue, why did Cain make a pay out to the two women? Time to go home Mr. Cain.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROB

      He said he didn't know about the pay out...wow there is a CEO who really has his head in the game of his company huh!

      October 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jacob

    Well that destroyed any chance he had of winning

    October 31, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Michael

    What a mess. As 'banasy' stated, Mr. Cain has someone on edge. And they are going to do all they can to keep him out. Just as the 'publcans are messing with Mr. Obama.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ROB

    Large companies don't pay compansation/settlements to employees who's comments have no merit...They also don't settle any kind of complaint without the CEO knowing.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |


    October 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROB

      phuuk eue

      October 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    You do realize that we're laughing at *you*, right?

    October 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Charlou

    Tell the woimen to come forwartd proof is the best .

    October 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
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