By Maeve Reston
5:25 PM PST, November 7, 2011
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said his wife of 43 years had been “disgusted” by the allegations of sexual harassment made against him and described the complaints as erroneous, but he did not address the substance of the accusations during a radio appearance Monday night.
Earlier on Monday, an acquaintance of Cain, Sharon Bialek, publicly accused Cain of grabbing her during a 1997 car ride and making unwanted sexual advances toward her. In his interview with Fox Radio host Bill O’Reilly, Cain once again blasted the media for reporting on what he described as a distraction and sought to turn some of the blame on rival Rick Perry (who has said his team had nothing to do with the revelations).
Asked by O’Reilly Monday night what had most surprised him about the 2012 campaign, Cain answered: “Media scrutiny over insignificant stuff.”
“This should have been a story that should have been dead in less than two hours,” Cain said. “The media scrutiny to try to turn this into a story bigger than it is, to get us distracted and to get this nation distracted. I want to talk about building the economy.”
Framing the revelations as attacks against him, Cain described the discussion as “nasty” and said his wife of 43 years was handling them as he expected her to.
“She is disgusted that this has happened. She is disgusted with how the story has been twisted,” Cain said. “She is still 200% supportive of me and she is still 200% my wife. So she’s handling it.”
Cain insisted that his talk with O’Reilly would be his last interview on the accusations.
“I’m not talking about it anymore,” Cain told O’Reilly. “This is the official last time. If I get another request I’m simply not going to do the interview, because we are going to stay on message.”
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