POLITICS

John Brabender, Santorum Strategist, Attacks Cain Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

11/01/2011 01:51 pm ET | Updated Jan 01, 2012

A strategist for Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Tuesday called on fellow candidate Herman Cain to be more forthcoming on sexual harassment allegations made against him in the 1990s.

Politico reported Sunday night that when Cain was head of the National Restaurant Association two women accused him of inappropriate behavior, receiving financial payouts to leave. Cain shifted his story Monday from denying that he knew of any settlement to saying that he was "aware that an agreement was reached." Cain has repeatedly said that he has never sexually harassed anyone.

"You said that yesterday that Herman Cain answered every question asked on this issue. The problem was the answers changed during the day, and so if you want to be the frontrunner then I would encourage you to help all Republicans make sure we beat Barack Obama by making sure that your campaign and your candidate is forthcoming," said Santorum strategist John Brabender to Herman Cain campaign chair Mark Block, who were both on stage at a breakfast hosted by National Journal.

Block responded, "I think one of the problems that you all have is that we've run an unconventional campaign." He added that the campaign had raised $250,000 online after the allegations broke.

Santorum, a former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, has attacked Cain over his position on abortion. Cain said in a recent interview that he did not believe in abortion in any circumstances, but that his views were not a "directive to the nation." Santorum said his position was "quintessentially pro-choice." Brabender continued to attack Cain on abortion at the breakfast Tuesday, saying, "We're as confused as ever."

The campaigns of Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former House speaker Newt Gingrich and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman all said they had nothing to do with pushing the story.

A spokesman for Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said their campaign stays away from "the personal attacks and mud slinging" but planned to go after Cain, Romney and Perry "over issues like their support of the bailouts and TARP."

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