Herman Cain said today he will make his “final decision” on whether to stay in the race or leave sometime in the next week, saying he was concerned about the impact remaining a candidate could have on his family.
“This is about trying to bring down Herman Cain,” Cain said of the allegations on Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto. “But if they’re going to bring down Herman Cain at a heavy price on my family, I am in the process of reassessing that.”
“My wife loves me. She just told me that again today,” Cain added.
He maintained that while he had financially assisted Ginger White, there has been no sexual relationship. Speaking about the phone records White had presented, Cain said, “If she was texting me at four or five in the morning … that doesn’t mean I was calling her,” and added that he had talked to “a lot of people 61 times.”
Calling the allegations a “direct character assassination,” Cain suggested the Beltway elites were targeting him. “This is why people like me don’t run,” he said. “Because if the establishment sees that you are credible and that the people are getting behind you, they want to bring you down.”
Speculating about why he had been accused of having an affair and sexual harassment while other GOP candidates had not faced similar charges, Cain said, “I can only conjecture that maybe I am the Democrat’s worst nightmare if I win the nomination.”
In response to a question about a column by the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen that questioned why the allegations against Cain were seen as more troubling than Gingrich’s admitted past sexual mistakes, Cain mused, “Maybe the Democrats want Newt Gingrich to win the nomination so they can then go after his personal life, but they need to knock me out now.”
He stressed that he had received support from voters, but also left the window open for exiting the race.
“The e-mails have been just overwhelming in terms of encouragement to stay,” Cain said. “But I’ve got to think about my family first.”
UPDATE: Video of the interview: