POLITICS
11/03/2011 09:44 am ET | Updated Jan 03, 2012

Curt Anderson, Rick Perry Adviser, Again Denies Leaking Herman Cain Harassment Story

WASHINGTON -- An adviser to Rick Perry's presidential campaign said Thursday that he never had a conversation with Herman Cain about sexual harassment, contrary to Cain's assertion.

Curt Anderson told CNN "it's just not true." Asked in an interview whether he believed Cain was lying in his statement to Forbes magazine, Anderson said, "I'm not here to add any more name-calling" in the controversy over sexual harassment allegations currently clouding the Cain campaign.

Anderson, who advised Cain in a Senate campaign earlier, said: "I didn't know anything about this so it's hard to leak something you don't know anything about."

Anderson added in the interview that if one "blabs" to other people about something said in confidence, "that's unethical. And that's not the way I live my life." He repeated that he admires Cain.

"I really like Herman Cain, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him," Anderson said. "I have tremendous regard for the guy, and I think he's a guy -- he's a great conservative leader, he's run a great campaign and I really enjoy him."

HuffPost's Jon Ward reports on the background of the accusations:

Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and of the National Restaurant Association, himself originally made the charge of leaking the story against Perry adviser Curt Anderson -- who worked on Cain's unsuccessful 2004 Senate campaign and who knew about the allegations then, according to Cain -- in an interview with Forbes Magazine earlier in the day.

The Perry campaign denied the charge immediately Wednesday, as did Anderson in a written statement. Late in the evening the Texas governor's campaign communications director, Ray Sullivan, sent out a new statement to reporters accusing Cain and Block of "reckless and false" behavior.

Despite Anderson's denials Thursday, he did appear to express some amount of sympathy for the position Cain was in.

"He's in a tough spot, and it's very rough, and candidates, when they get into a firestorm like this, have, you know, sometimes come unraveled," Anderson said. "It seems to me that they're kind of grasping at straws and fishing around, trying to figure what to do, how to get out of this. And it's a lot of stress, I mean these guys are under tremendous stress in these situations and so, they're floundering and maybe it's a diversionary tactic or something."