Jon Huntsman On Herman Cain Sexual Harassment Allegations: Information Must Come Out
WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman said fellow contender Herman Cain should release more information about his settlements for allegedly sexually harassing staff in the 1990s, saying the matter distracts from more important issues on the campaign trail.
"We're not able to talk about jobs, we're not able to talk about our position in the world, and that hurts -- that hurts the American peoplem," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It's got to come out in total. Legitimate questions have been raised, and that information has to come forward."
Cain, who has been accused of sexually harassing three women when he was head of the National Restaurant Association, said on Saturday that he will not answer more questions about the accusations, which dogged him last week after an Oct. 30 Politico report.
During a Saturday debate with fellow candidate Newt Gingrich, Cain said the media has been nit-picky and unfair to him.
"There are too many people in the media who are downright dishonest. ... They do a disservice to the American people," Cain said, according to the Associated Press.
Huntsman said the issue does not have to bring Cain down, but that getting more details out would likely be a good start.
"That's totally up to Herman Cain, someone I've come to know as a decent, decent man and a good candidate," he said. "It's been said over and over again that it's up to Herman Cain to get the information out and get it out in total. That's important because we've got some important issues to deal with in this campaign, and this is taking all of the bandwidth out of the discussion."
Huntsman's bigger concern with Cain, though, is his lack of foreign policy experience. Huntsman, who was governor of Utah from 2005 to 2009, most recently served as ambassador to China under President Barack Obama. He has touted that experience on the campaign trail, saying it puts him ahead over other candidates.
Cain, meanwhile, made a gaffe last week when he said China does not have nuclear weapons capacity, even though the country tested such weapons for the first time in 1964. He later said that he "misspoke."
When asked about the incident, Hunstman hinted that Cain's lack of foreign policy is a major weakness.
"I think at some point the substance does matter, and you've got to have a commander-in-chief that understands the world in which we live," he said. "It's complex, it's confusing, it's unpredictable, and it's not going to get any less so as we move forward."
"It would be nice to have a president in office who actually had a head-start and actually knew [China] intimately well," he said.