Herman Cain said in an interview with New Hampshire's largest newspaper Thursday that his wife did not know about the financial assistance he says he had offered to Ginger White, the Atlanta woman who has said she and the Republican presidential hopeful had engaged in a 13-year affair.
Cain again denied anything more than a friendly relationship with White during a meeting with the New Hampshire Union Leader, saying he helped her with "month-to-month bills and expenses."
Still, his wife was unaware of even a financial relationship until she went public with the allegation Monday.
"My wife did not know about it, and that was the revelation. My wife found out about it when she went public with it," Cain said, according to the newspaper. "My wife now knows. My wife and I have talked about it and I have explained it to her. My wife understands that I'm a soft-hearted, giving person."
Cain is struggling to keep his campaign alive after having just weeks ago been leading the GOP field in national polls. He said this week that he was reassessing whether to go on, but campaign officials have said since that the effort is "full steam ahead."
"Herman Cain is in it to win it. He always has been and that has not changed," Lisa Lockwood, the campaign's Iowa spokesman, emailed reporters Thursday after a meeting with campaign chief Mark Block.
But Cain told the Union Leader he is still considering dropping out.
"Yes, it is an option," he said. If his wife asked him to, he would, he added, "but my wife wouldn't ask me to get out."
Cain has spoken with his wife by phone, but won't meet with her face-to-face until Friday. In retrospect, Cain said, he would have told her about his friendship with White sooner.
"But retrospect doesn't necessarily change what's going on now," he said.
He claimed that White was offered "a lot of money" to make the public claims.
"And one of my objectives is to clear my name and my reputation," Cain said.