From The New York Times:
An unapologetic and defiant Herman Cain suspended his presidential campaign on Saturday, pledging that he “would not go away” even as he abandoned the Republican presidential race in the face of escalating accusations of sexual misconduct.
“As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign,” Mr. Cain said at a rally in Atlanta, surrounded by supporters chanting his name. “Because of the continued distractions, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, not because we are not fighters. Not because I’m not a fighter.”
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From SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL:
The US Republican race is dominated by ignorance, lies and scandals. The current crop of candidates have shown such a basic lack of knowledge that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein. The Grand Old Party is ruining the entire country’s reputation.
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From the Atlantic wire:
His fellow Republican presidential candidates were reluctant to comment on accusations that Herman Cain sexually harassed several women in the 1990s, but now that a woman is claiming they had a long-term consensual affair, they’re ready to speak out.
Jon Huntsman told the Boston Globe‘s Michael Levenson that Cain should think about dropping out […]
The Des Moines Register‘s Jason Noble notes Michele Bachmann told Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson Tuesday morning that Cain said he will “reassess” his campaign because that’s “code language for the fact that they’re looking at the viability of their effort moving forward … I think that they recognize that the support has really dropped out of their campaign because of those questions.” She went further on the Scott Hennen radio show, CBS News reports, saying, “Everyone has said to me yesterday – when it came out yesterday, everyone said this is it, he’s done … People just don’t see that there is an ability for him to be able to come back after that.”
Newt Gingrich, who’s less desperate for better poll numbers than Huntsman or Bachmann, wasn’t willing to call Cain’s campaign dead yet.
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From STEVE KORNACKI at OPENING SHOT at Salon:
We may be witnessing the political world’s answer to “The Producers,” the Mel Brooks musical about an avaricious showman who concocts a sure-to-flop production that somehow turns into the surprise hit of the season. It’s called the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign.
The former House speaker has rocketed to the top in national GOP polling, and with only weeks remaining until the Iowa caucuses he now has an opportunity to cement his status as the conservative movement’s designated alternative to Mitt Romney. In a month full of breakthroughs for him, Gingrich scored his biggest coup yet over the weekend, when the Manchester Union Leader awarded him the most coveted newspaper endorsement on the Republican side.
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From THE HILL:
Early stumbles at Tuesday’s GOP foreign policy debate had little to do with policy — instead, the Republicans vying for their party’s presidential nomination struggled with names.
First, Mitt Romney tried to play off of a joke by debate moderator Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer asked candidates to give short introductions, joking, “Here’s an example of what I’m looking for: I’m Wolf Blitzer and yes, that’s my real name. I’ll be your moderator this evening and I’m happy to welcome each one of you to our debate.”
When the introductions turned to Romney, he opened with, “I’m Mitt Romney and yes, Wolf, that’s also my first name.”
But as political watchers were quick to note, Romney’s first name is not Mitt — it’s Willard. Mitt is Romney’s middle name.
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From CBS NEWS:
Herman Cain suggested Friday that the Taliban were playing a role in Libya’s new government. The comment initially was seen as another foreign policy misstep from the Republican presidential candidate, but aides later pointed to a one-time Libyan rebel leader who fought in Afghanistan to back up Cain’s claims.
Cain has spent the week trying to calm jitters about his foreign policy after he struggled to answer whether he supported President Barack Obama’s approach to Libya. He ended the week trying to blame reporters for the moment, which was captured on video and quickly spread around the Internet.
Cain’s critics seized on Monday’s incoherent answer as the latest evidence that the former pizza executive is unprepared to be the GOP’s nominee.
From Alexandra Petri at ComPost at The Washington Post:
No wonder he’s currently riding at the top of the polls. Newt Gingrich has a lot going for him.
For example, he’s not Mitt Romney. And then also, he’s not Herman Cain. Nor is he Rick Perry. Nor, if you Google his last name, does an obscene sexual term come leaping into your mind and scar you forever.
Also, when asked questions about places like Libya and Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan-stan-stan, he responds to them, with precision and color, in complete sentences, as though he actually has some knowledge of what he’s talking about.
When you start listing things like this, you get more and more impressed. He has no ranches with racial epithets for names. Sure, there’s the sexual indiscretion, but that was only because he loved his country so much. Can Herman Cain say the same?
From National Journal:
ATLANTA, Ga. – Herman Cain, whose campaign could use some redemption in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal, told a crowd of young Republicans on Saturday that God convinced him to run for president and that he “prayed and prayed and prayed” about it.
The Republican contender made no mention of the allegations from former subordinates at the National Restaurant Association.
Maybe he just can’t spell, and he meant preyed and preyed.
“I prayed and prayed and prayed. I’m a man of faith, I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I’d ever done before in my life. And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. ‘You’ve got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?’” Cain told a crowd of over 100 people at the Young Republican National Federation, an event hosted by the Georgia Young Republicans at the Westin Peachtree Plaza.