Herman Cain says he's going to set the record straight now that someone's publicly detailed an alleged instance of his sexual misbehavior. The former Godfather's Pizza CEO told late night host Jimmy Kimmel that he'll fight the latest harassment allegations head-on because there is not an ounce of truth to the claims.
Cain responded to the charges at a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Phoenix. On the prospect he could drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Cain asserted, "Ain't gonna happen." He accused the "Democratic machine" of manufacturing the controversy.
In response to a question from a reporter, the presidential candidate signaled he'd be willing to take "a lie detector test" to prove he's not guilty of any wrongdoing when it comes to the charges. He added, however, "But I'm not going to do that unless I have a good reason to do that."
Cain also attempted to clarify that he was not undermining the issue of sexual harassment, and said that it was not an act only perpetrated against women.
"Let me reiterate that sexual harassment is a very serious charge," Cain said. "I've also seen situations where women have attempted to sexually harass men."
On Monday a Chicago woman graphically described an incident she said took place in 1997 when she sought job advice from Cain. At the time he headed the National Restaurant Association.
With her attorney Gloria Allred at her side, Sharon Bialek said she had hoped Cain would acknowledge the incident as wrong and apologize. She is the fourth woman who alleged that Cain engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior.
Earlier in the day, Cain sought to undercut the credibility of the latest woman whose accusations are threatening his Republican presidential campaign. His chief rival, Mitt Romney, weighed in for the first time, calling the allegations "particularly disturbing."
On whether he anticipates additional charges of sexual harassment could arise on top of the handful that came to light over the past week, Cain said on Tuesday, "There will probably be others" because there's "a machine" working to keep "a businessman out of the White House." He added that if more accusations continue to surface, he "will continue to respond."
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