MSNBC host Martin Bashir called on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain to resign from his church over his alleged 13-year affair with an Atlanta woman.
Bashir has not minced words about Cain on previous occasions, and he continued that pattern on his Friday show. He mentioned that Cain is set to make a major announcement on Saturday --one that many suspect will herald the end of his presidential campaign. (UPDATE: Cain ultimately announced that he was suspending his campaign.) But he said that it wasn't enough for Cain to leave the race.
"Isn't it time he also considered resigning his position as an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta?" he said. "...If Herman Cain is proven to be lying, and drops out of the race, doesn't that also disqualify him from holding a position in the local church?"
In an ultra-harsh assessment of Cain's behavior, Bashir quoted from the "statement of faith" from Cain's church: "nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on Earth but his own determined depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel."
"If Mr. Cain withdraws from politics, then he must surely resign his position in the Church because one thing's for certain, hypocrites can lie in the pew but should never lead from the pulpit," Bashir concluded.WATCH:
Herman Cain's accusers:
On Oct. 31 Politico broke the news that two women had filed sexual harassment claims against Herman Cain when he ran the National Restaurant Association 20 years ago. At the time the story was published the women wished to remain anonymous, but one, Karen Kraushaar, came forward on Nov. 8, the day after a third woman, Sharon Bialek, held a press conference alleging she was sexually harassed by Cain. Kraushaar, a Treasury Department spokeswoman, was an employee at the National Restaurant Association during the time Cain was head of the group. She did not discuss the details of the claim, but her attorney described the story Bialek told as familiar. "I'm not authorized to give specifics, but the conduct is similar and it's corroborating evidence for the complaint my client filed." Kraushaar received a settlement of about $45,000.
One of the first women known to have filed a sexual harassment claim against Herman Cain has shown no interest in revealing her identity or publicly discussing the accusations. The woman, who works for a New Jersey lobbying firm, has deliberately dodged reporters and turned down requests to hold a joint press conference with the other women accusing Cain of sexual harassment. The woman filed a complaint accusing Cain of inappropriate behavior in 1998, while working at the National Restaurant Association. She left the job after receiving a $35,000 settlement.
Shortly after the story broke that two women had filed sexual harassment claims against Herman Cain, a third woman, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press she also considered filing a complaint while working at the National Restaurant Association. The woman accused Cain of making sexually suggestive remarks and gestures, even inviting her to his corporate apartment for a private visit. She described his behavior as aggressive and inappropriate, similar to the claims made by the previous accusers.
Sharon Bialek was the first woman to go public with accusations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain. She held a press conference on Nov. 7 in New York, and claimed Cain made inappropriate advances toward her in 1997, while she was seeking a job. Bialek said that while the two were sitting in the car after dinner and drinks, Cain stuck his hand under her skirt, and also grabbed her head and pushed it toward his crotch. She said that when she protested, Cain responded "You want a job, right?" Bialek, a single mother, appeared with celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred. She said, "I'm coming forward to give a face and a voice to the women."
Atlanta businesswoman Ginger White came forward on Nov. 28 alleging she and Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair. White said in an interview with Fox 5 Atlanta that she first met Cain in the late 1990s when he was president of the National Restaurant Association, and the affair ended shortly before Cain announced he was running for president. Before the Atlanta TV station reported the news, Cain, who was in the middle of a segment on CNN, broke the story himself. He told anchor Wolf Blitzer, "This individual is going to accuse me of an affair for a specified period of time." Cain denied any wrongdoing, calling the woman "an acquaintance who I thought was a friend."
A far cry from the typical campaign wife, Herman Cain's wife, Gloria, has stayed out of the public eye during her husband's campaign, even after the sexual harassment claims were reported. But on Nov. 13, as the scandal continued to unfold, Gloria Cain finally came forward and gave her first interview since her husband announced his bid for the presidency. Appearing on Fox News, Cain said the sexual harassment accusations against her husband didn't ring true. "I know the type of person he is. He totally respects women," she said. "I'm thinking he would have to have a split personality to do the things that were said." Gloria Cain has not responded publicly to the most recent claim, Ginger White's announcement that she and Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair.