World & Nation

Jon Huntsman: Herman Cain a distraction in GOP race

Herman Cain
A computer screen shows a photograph of Ginger White while a live CNN interview shows Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
(Mladen Antonov / AFP/Getty Images)
Washington Bureau

Jon Huntsman suggested Tuesday that Herman Cain’s personal saga is hurting the entire field of Republican presidential hopefuls, and that the former restaurant executive is right to reconsider his candidacy.

Speaking with the Boston Globe, the former Utah governor said he was again disappointed to see Monday night that a fresh report about Cain -- the latest alleges an extramarital affair; it follows accusations of sexual harassment earlier in the month -- was getting more attention than the major issues.

“What about a [financial] downgrade that is being anticipated? What about Europe? What about so many other issues out there that we ought to be talking about and that people ought to understand where candidates come down on those issues?” Huntsman said.

“Every time another accusation comes up, it diminishes our ability to stay focused on the issues that really do matter for the American people. And I think that’s a disservice to the voters,” he added.


Other GOP candidates have thus far avoided such a direct response. Rick Perry avoided questions about Cain after an event in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday.

The Des Moines Register reported that when Michele Bachmann was asked about Cain during a radio interview, she said he was simply acknowledging reality.

“They recognize that the support has really dropped out of their campaign because of those questions,” she said.

An NBC reporter tweeted that Newt Gingrich only said he hopes that Cain makes the right decision for him and his family.


Maeve Reston contributed to this report.

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