WASHINGTON -- Herman Cain denied on Friday that he had "fumbled" his reaction to the Politico report about women who alleged he had sexually harassed them, saying that the news outlet was trying to "bait" him into giving them more information.
"We were contacted by Politico, who was trying to bait us into saying something when they didn't identify the individuals," Cain said in an interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto on Friday.
"And so as a businessman, it was my decision to my staff -- wait and see what they put out there," Cain continued. "That's like negotiating against yourself. They had no documentation. They hadn't identified who the women were, and we were supposed to respond? No. So we waited. Then when they put it out there and I went on TV that Monday basically recalling what i remember and, yes at the beginning of the day, I hadn't recalled as much as by the end of the day."
Cain said that the reason he did so many public appearances in the days immediately following the Politico story, first published on Oct. 31, was that he wanted his supporters to know he "had nothing to hide."
"Although I may have not precisely stated at the beginning of the day versus the end of the day, that last interview that I did with Greta [Van Susteren] basically laid out all of the facts, and that is when we clarified the difference between settlement and agreement, and a recollection of everything I could relative to that," he added, perhaps trying to account for the large number of inconsistencies present in his initial explanations of the allegations.
While speaking to Cavuto, however, he produced another inconsistency. After saying earlier this week that he was willing to take a lie detector test to prove his innocence but saw no immediate need to do so, Cain told Fox that he would only take a test if his accuser or accusers did so as well.
"When they take a lie detector test, I'll take a lie detector test!" he proclaimed.
Cain was also pressed on a recent comment he made about the possibility of Anita Hill, the famed accuser of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, endorsing his candidacy. (Hill has largely refrained from commenting on the matter).
"I found the comment from one of the attendees to be hilarious," he said. "And my response was ... 'Is she going to endorse me?' That was funny. That was hilarious because I would never in my wildest dreams expect her to endorse me. They got a laugh out of it. I got a laugh out of it."