Skip to main content

tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  November 8, 2011 4:00pm-6:00pm EST

4:00 pm
building in brooklyn, new york. and that is it for me. i'm brooke baldwin here in atlanta. now time to pass it along to wolf blitzer. "the situation room" starts right now. thanks very much. happening now, herman cain. he's getting ready to speak out about new allegations of sexual harassment. we're standing by for a news conference by the embattled republican presidential candidate. also, a chilling new assessment of iran's nuclear capabilities. an atomic web is believed to be b in its reach. plus, the embarrassing conversation between president obama and the french president picked up on open microphone. what they said about benjamin netanyahu when they thought no netanyahu when they thought no one was listening. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com all eyes on herman cain right now. in one hour, the republican
4:01 pm
presidential candidate will speak out about the latest allegations of sexual harassment dogging his campaign. he's scheduled a news conference that we'll bring you live at the top of the next hour. it comes one day after a fourth woman said he groped her. we're also revealing details about one of the other accusers. jim acosta is following this for us. >> wolf, herman cain's campaign is making the politically risky move of raising questions about the woman who came forward yesterday to say the republican contender harassed her. in the meantime, the identity of one of the women has been revealed. with more revelations and the identities coming out, he insists he is innocent. >> i have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period. >> his comments come as another
4:02 pm
accuser has been identified. a long time federal employee seen here working as a spokeswoman for immigration authorities in 2000 and now at the treasury department. she confirmed on national public radio she, too, accused cain of harassment in the '90s. joel bennett says his client was repeatedly ha hassed by cain. >> my client has decided not to specify the incidents, although she did so in writing to the national restaurant association in 1999. >> her identity was first revealed on the daily. in pr reports, she is a registered republican, but records show she gave $250 to the democratic national committee in 2009. ever since the allegations first surfaced, she has tried to keep her name a secret and there may be a good reason why. >> mr. cain said you want a job,
4:03 pm
right? i asked him to stop and he did. >> one day after sharon told her explosive story accusing cain of offering a job for sex, the republican presidential candidate is firing back. his campaign sent out this e-mail noting her record of financial problems. the fact is that main street bla blalek has had a long and troubled history, which may explain why she has come forward 14 years after the alleged incident. she talked about her struggles on "american morning." >> i have had bankruptcy and it was after the desi of my mother to help my father pay medical bills and a custody battle and like millions of other people out there, you know, i'm struggling. >> cain even poked fun of her hiring gloria allred. >> do you think the other candidates will follow suit and hire women to charge them with sexual harassment?
4:04 pm
>> if they're smart, they will. >> in an interview with abc news, mitt romney said the issue is no laughing matter. >> anytime there's an accuser coming forward, you recognize this is a serious matter and should be taken seriously. >> cain says he's not going to allow these akizations to derail his campaign. it may boil down to who do you trust? lisa murkowski says if any of these stories are true, he could get out of the race. >> actually, she said, he should drop out of the race. >> that's right. she is probably the first female republican to say this. and we are, you know, going to wait and see what happens next. herman cain is going to have this press conference in about 55 minutes from now. we expect him to say he is
4:05 pm
innocent. >> we'll see if he addressed some of the criticism, especially about appearing on a late night talk show and joking about the issue. thanks for that. in jim's piece, we saw the attorney who represents one of the women. i want to let our viewers know that mr. bennett will be joining us live here in "the situation room" in a few minutes. cain's latest accuser has a well-known advocate at her side who's no stranger to controversy or tv cameras. gloria allred. listen to this. >> she reached out to mr. cain for help in finding another job. instead of receiving the help she had hoped for, mr. cain instead decided to provide her with his idea of a stimulus package. >> joe johns is here with more on gloria allred. she's certainly well-known. a lot of people say she's a liberal democrat, a celebrity
4:06 pm
lawyer. she's got a lot of history there defending women. >> that's just the start of it. she is just a towering figure on the american legal scene and not just because of her status as a celebrity lawyer. she is getting called a lot of names right now, but frankly, gloria allred is used to it. >> i'm attorney gloria allred and i'm here today with my client. >> her 35-year carriere has touched the lives of many clients connected to famous men accused of often horrible behavior. o.j. simpson, scott taylor, drew peterson. but it's the stories of the women that grab headlines. ginger lee, who said she exchanged messages with anthony weiner. joslyn james, the porn star and alleged mistress of tiger woods.
4:07 pm
>> she's a real lawyer. she's not just a celebrity chaser. i mean, she is someone who has litigated real cases. who still does real cases and who seems to have an appetite and an attraction for women clients who have been done wrong by men. >> her record, especially in discrimination cases, is said to be good, though hiring her doesn't assure all kints of winning. she lifted a gag order in a high ly publicized san francisco murder trial in 2006 and represented a california woman whose defamation case was dismissed against arnold schwarzenegger. though the appearance is not just about litigation. it's also about pub lissy. >> we need to know the trust about those running for office.
4:08 pm
>> and politics. she's been a big time contributor to democratic candidates for white house and congress, though she says she's not politically motivate d in hr work. >> absolutely not. last big news conference i did in new york was against anthony weiner and my client said he should resign. that he had sent her sexual messages and that was one of the reasons that she thought he should resign. i've also criticized president clinton, when he lied to the american public. >> other republicans have come into allred's sights, too, including meg whitman. allred's client was a former whitman housekeeper who said she was an undocumented immigrant. if there's any criticism, is that's she's one of those public figures who seem to be everywhere. >> you've got to stop, pause for
4:09 pm
a moment. what's the real motivation? where's the book deal? is there a tv or movie deal? >> a lot of questions have been asked about who is paying the legal bill for sharon in this legal matter. gloria allred has said this is a pro bono case, meaning it is free of charge. there's also some suggestion out there, wolf, that just perhaps there was some type of a book deal in the works. she denies that. >> thanks very much. joe johns reporting. joel bennett, is attorney for another cain accuser, he'll be here live. we'll talk about how his client is doing now that she has been identified. more on the allegations coming up in our strategy success. james carville, alex castellani.
4:10 pm
other important news we're following now, including iran. seems to be getting closer than ever toward building a nuclear weapon and may be working on that right now. that's the disturbing discussion of a detailed new report of the international atomic energy agency. jill daugherty's at the state department where they've been going through this report, line by line. jill, you've been combing through it yourself. what's inside? >> i think you'd have to say that it contains very specific details about things like high speed detonators, exper menation with uranium and other materials and also indicates that this work may still be continuing. iran has mastered the critical steps necessary to design and construct a nuclear weapon. but iran's leaders have not yet made the decision to build it. that's the key conclusion of a new report on iran's nuclear program from the agency, the
4:11 pm
iaea. the agency has serious concerns regarding the possible military dimensions to iran's nuclear program, the report says. information indicates iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. the report says it has new information on iran's activities involving the military related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile. iran, the u.n. says, created computer models of explosions and how to trigger them and in spite of assertions by the united states that iran stopped its program in 2003, the report says there are indications that tehran continued a secret program to develop a nuclear device and some of that work may be ongoing. a senior obama official calls the report very alarming. this report is a big deal, the
4:12 pm
official says. but iran's president ahminedjad called it a fabrication and charged the agency is taking orders from the united states. nuclear expert david allbright, a former u.n. weapons inspector says iran's program has gone underground, but it hasn't given up ambitions to go nuclear. >> they have to calculate they'll be caught when they make the decision to go nuclear and therefore, they have to do it rapidly before the international community can respond either with draconian sanctions or military strikes. >> and also, wolf, this report makes no judgment about how far advanced iran is in creating nuclear weapon that could fit on the top of a missile. in fact, one senior u.s. official who briefed us a short time ago said there's still a lot of questions about that, but there are no questions about the fact that the united states is going to use this report to put
4:13 pm
more and more pressure on iran. it's going to do it both alone and with its allies. and also, the u.s. is claiming that those sanctions it already has put in place are as this administration official put it, slowing the iranian economy to a halt. wolf is this. >> i guess the key question, china and russia, will they get on board in tightening the screws? >> that's really -- that's an excellent question and i think, wolf, it's going to have to be based very technically on what that report shows. whether it convinces them or not. and this report, you'd have to say is more detailed, goes further than probably any other report we've seen. >> thank you. meanwhile, a grim new picture of poverty here in the united states. jack cafferty is coming up with the "cafferty file." also, we're standing by for herman cain's news conference. what will he say about the new allegations rocking his
4:14 pm
campaign? plus, the attorney general of the united states, eric holder, under mounting pressure over the fast and furious gun tracking program. he's being drilled about the death of a u.s. border patrol officer. >> have you apologized to the family of brian terry? >> i have not apologized, but i certainly regret what happened. >> have you even talked to them is this. >> i have not. to develop its suspension system? or what if we told you that ferrari borrowed technology from cadillac to develop its suspension system? magnetic ride control -- pioneered by cadillac, perfected in the 556-horsepower cts-v. we don't just make luxury cars. we make cadillacs. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 you and your money deserve. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, that means taking a close look at you
4:15 pm
tdd# 1-800-345-2550 as well as your portfolio. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 we ask the right questions, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 then we actually listen to the answers tdd# 1-800-345-2550 before giving you practical ideas you can act on. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck online, on the phone, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 or come in and pull up a chair.
4:16 pm
i want healthy skin for life. [ female announcer ] don't just moisturize, improve the health of your skin with aveeno daily moisturizing lotion. the natural oatmeal formula goes beyond 24-hour moisture.
4:17 pm
it's clinically proven to improve your skin's health in one day, with significant improvement in 2 weeks. for healthy, beautiful skin that lasts. i found a moisturizer for life. [ female announcer ] aveeno daily moisturizing lotion. and for healthy, beautiful hair, try nourish plus haircare. only from aveeno. jack cafferty is here with the "cafferty file." >> poverty in the united states is is worse than we thought it was. there are almost 50 million people living in poverty in the country. 16% of all americans. the census bureau adjusted the official 2010 poverty figures up from 46.2 million or about 15% of americans. the new poverty rate takes into account higher costs of living. hispanic is the highest group. more than 25% of
4:18 pm
african-americans live in poverty. 17% of asians and 11% of whites. the biggest gap is between those who have private health insurance and those who don't. meanwhile, a report by the brookings institution shows more than 20 million americans close to 7% of the population, live in extreme poverty. these are people who live at less than half the federal poverty line. in 2010, that meant an individual income of about $5,500 a year or less. this used to be a place where people came to escape poverty. remember? there's more. according to the "wall street journal," almost 15% of americans are getting food stamps. the number could keep climbing as families struggle under high unemployment still at 9%. the hardest hit states, mississippi, new mexico, oregon, tennessee and louisiana. in all these states, about one in five residents gets food
4:19 pm
stamps. here's the question. where's the united states headed if 16% of americans are living in poverty? go to cnn.com/kafr fifile and post a comment or go to our facebook page. >> thank you. political drama in rome where silvio berlusconi is expected to resign under anonymous pressure. becky anderson is in the italian capital for us. this wasn't a huge surprise, was it? >> silvio berlusconi didn't want it, but everybody else it seems did. even members of his own party. today, he ak nonled he lost his majority in parliament after a vote on the austerity measures that really need to be passed here in italy. he lost out half of the mps didn't work. got 308 votes out of the 309 who
4:20 pm
voted. just when you think that you understand italian politics, it all goes pear-shaped again. we knew he lost his r majority, but he didn't resign immediately. he went to the president's residence and only after an hour or so then, and about an hour ago, here in rome, it was announced by the president that silvio berlusconi will be stepping down. one of the most colorful characters in european politics is on his way out. but wolf, it's not going to happen today. probably not tomorrow. it may not be for a month because what the president has said is that berlusconi is determined he will get the vote on these austerity measures passed in the upper chamber as well as in the lower chamber as he got today. he needs a -- to be here. until that happens. he wants to show europe that he can get these measures passed, so whether the international markets, where the other europe politicses want to or not,
4:21 pm
silvio berlusconi is here to stay for the time being. the betting tonight at least is that this vote in senate will come between the 18th of november and december the 1st, but we've had 61 governments in italy since the second world r war, so you can never tell what's happening in italian politics. the betting is around about the beginning of december, he'll go. and what will happen next is probably a snap election in january. the markets i think want at this stage giving the mess that italian bond yields are in at the moment. what the markets want is a quick exit from berlusconi and a coalition government. >> first, a new government, now italy will see what's next. thank you. the attorney for one of herman cain's accusers is standing by live. we'll discuss what's going on. the latest on the sexual harassment allegations when we come back. ♪
4:22 pm
[ gong ] strawberry banana! [ male announcer ] for a smoothie with real fruit plus veggie nutrition new v8 v-fusion smoothie. could've had a v8. what's vanishing deductible all about ?
4:23 pm
guys, it's demonstration time. let's blow carl's mind. okay, let's say i'm your insurance deductible. every year you don't have an accident, $100 vanishes. the next year, another $100. where am i going, carl ? the next year... that was weird. but awesome ! ♪ nationwide is on your side
4:24 pm
4:25 pm
we're standing by for news conference from herman cain. that's coming up at the top of the hour. he's in phoenix and expected to speak out about the sexual harassment allegations that ramped up yesterday with a fourth woman accusing him, the first to be identified. now, we've learned the identity of the first woman. her name is karen crassour, now the director of a communications agency at the bureau within the department of the treasury. she worked the national restaurant association with cain in the late 1990s. her lawyer is here with us.
4:26 pm
thanks for coming in. her name is now public, on the web, we've seen pictures of her. how has she reacted to the fact that now everyone's going to know who she is? >> she's unhappy her name has come out, but realizes in today's day of instant communications, it's hard to stay private. >> here's some pictures of her. she's been a spokeswoman for various government agencies, so we see her there. what is she going to do now that everyone knows or soon will know who she is, the accusations? is she going to spell out specifically what cain did? >> she hasn't made a decision about giving out further details, but i will let everyone know. >> is she going to be watching his news conference in about an hour? >> i spoke with her today. she didn't indicate one way or the other whether she would be
4:27 pm
watching the conference. after the conference, i'm sure i'll be speaking with her. >> you know, the other, this fourth woman who came out yesterday with gloria allred, i assume she watched that. did that push her one way or the other to go public? >> it has not yet. >> what was her reaction? did you have a chance to speak to her when she was watching that news conference yesterday? >> first of all, i don't know that she was watching it live. i know she's aware of it. as everyone else is. and she hasn't indicated to me that has had any impact on her decision to reveal more publicly. i want you to react at the most sensitive detail that this woman yesterday, sharon bialek, what she accused herman cain of doing in the late 1990s was this. i'll play the clip. >> instead of going into the offices, he suddenly reached over and he put his hand on my
4:28 pm
leg, under my skirt, and reached for my genitals. he also grabbed my head and brought it towards his crotch. >> you're a lawyer. that sounds more like sexual assault as opposed to harassment, but i'll leave that for others to judge. but does that sound similar, and you represented your client back in the late 1990s when she settled. does that sound similar to what she accused herman cain of doing then? >> it is similar, not the same, but similar. >> can you tell us what she allegations? >> she decided last week not to specify the individual incidents and she has kept to that position at this time. >> but was it a groping? without getting into the specifics, a physical move or verbal? >> there was more than one incident over more than one day
4:29 pm
and it constituted sexual harassment. >> you don't want to say if it was a physical motion like sharon bialek. >> my client has not authorized me to give more detail other than they were multiple incidents and they constituted sexual harassment. >> and there was no doubt in your mind at the time you represented her, back in 1999? >> yes. >> when you went to the national restaurant association and made the complaint, did they immediately say, are you going to fight this, then start negotiating sm walk us through what happened because she did get a financial settlement. >> it's difficult to recall all the details 12 years later, but my recollection is that we filed a written complaint with the restaurant association. they let us know they wanted to settle the matter and i dealt mainly with their outside counsel at the time and we worked out a written settlement agreement that included a
4:30 pm
monetary settlement and my client left their employ and went to work for the federal government. >> was that $35,000 or $45,000? >> my client has just decided to use the term monetary settlement and not indicate the amount. >> what do you, joel bennett, want to hear from herman cain at the top of the hour? >> i'd like to hear him say he knew about these allegations made in 1999 and respond to the allegations because he has not. >> he says he doesn't remember any of this. he's flatly denying that he ever sexually harassed anyone. >> well, he has a convenient memory because in 1999, it seems very likely to me that the national restaurant association brought these claims to his attention because they claim they did an internal investigation and that he denied the claims. how can you deny claims without knowing what the claims were? >> and as far as political motivation, your client or you
4:31 pm
or anything like that, let's say you, people are out to smear herman cain. >> my client had nothing to do with making this matter public. someone made the matter public and then my client felt a need to respond to mr. cain's statements that he never sexually harassed anyone and that these claims were fabrications. >> one final question. if we hear herman cain continue to flatly deny any of these four women's allegations, saying they're not true, there's no substance, these women are lying, how do you think your client will react? >> it's very difficult for me to predict. she may continue the same position she's had in terms of what she's willing to disclose. >> we'll stay in close touch with you. thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. >> joel bennett, the attorney for one of the women -- she
4:32 pm
accused herman cain some 11 years ago of sexual harassment. we're standing by for herman cain's news conference at the top of the hour. what will he say about the late latest allegations? we'll have live coverage here in "the situation room." also, an open microphone picks up a rather embarrassing conversation between president obama and nicolas sarkozy. that's coming up. [ indistinct talking on radio ] [ tires screech ]
4:33 pm
[ crying ] [ applause ] [ laughs ] [ tires screech ] [ male announcer ] your life will have to flash by even faster. autodrive brakes on the cadillac srx activate after rain is detected to help improve braking performance. we don't just make luxury cars. we make cadillacs. did you hear sam... ...got promoted to director? so 12 seconds ago. we should get him a present. thanks for the gift basket. you're welcome. you're welcome. did you see hr just sent out new... ...office rules? cause you're currently in violation of 6 of them. oh yeah, baby? ...and 7. did you guys hear that fred is leaving? so 30 seconds ago. [ noisemakers blow ] [ both ] we'll miss you! oh, facecake! there's some leftover cake. [ male announcer ] the new htc vivid. stay a step ahead with at&t 4g lte, with speeds up to 10x faster than 3g. ♪ but when they come home, they don't want a parade; they want a job. the postal service employs more veterans than any other civilian employer.
4:34 pm
but congress is debating a bill that would force the postal service to fire tens of thousands of vets, close post offices, shut mail processing plants, and disrupt mail delivery. drastic cuts won't fix the postal service and aren't needed. tell your representative to vote "no" on house resolution 2309. it's time to deliver for our veterans -- and america. sadly, no. oh. but i did pick up your dry cleaning and had your shoes shined. well, i made you a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case, i better get back to these invoices... which i'll do right after making your favorite pancakes. you know what? i'm going to tidy up your side of the office. i can't hear you because i'm also making you a smoothie. [ male announcer ] marriott hotels & resorts knows it's better for xerox to automate their global invoice process so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business. [ male announcer ] so that makes a chocolateing aso smooth and creamy,l you don't just taste it, you feel it. ♪ do you believe in magic?
4:35 pm
♪ ♪ it's magic ♪ [ male announcer ] it's a comfort that comes from the only caramel worthy of being wrapped in gold. ♪ do you believe in magic? [ male announcer ] werther's original caramel chocolate. what comfort tastes like. a grilling today for eric holder on capitol hill. brian todd has been following the story from the beginning. brian, what happened? >> wolf, eric holder took some serious heat over the death of a border patrol officer and on questions over what he knew about the fast and furious gun tracking program and when he knew it. more than 30 republicans in congress are alling on him to resign. over a program that allowed hundreds of ak 47s and other
4:36 pm
illegally bought guns to stream into mexico. >> i do. >> attorney general eric holder now says this about operation fast and furious. >> this should never have happened. >> that doesn't spare holder from intense grilling by republicans. who are furious over a february letter from holder's aides at justice to gop senator, chuck grassley. it says atf makes every effort to -- weapons purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to mexico. atf agents were allowed the weapons to be taken into mexico as part of an operation to trace them. >> who will be held accountable for a letter that many in the justice department knew was false? >> i have to dispute with respect that people in the justice department knew it was false. >> holder says he thought that was accurate at the time, but now regrets it was sent, but the most pointed exchange came over
4:37 pm
the killing of brian terry. guns were found near the murder scene. >> have you apologized to the family of brian terry? >> i have not apologized, but i certainly regret what happened. >> have you talked to them? >> i have not. >> would you like to apologize today for this program that went so wrong and took the life of a united states law enforcement agent? >> i certainly regret what happened to brian terry. i can only imagine the pain his family has had to deal with, in particular, his mother. i am the father of three children. we are not programmed to bury our kids. >> holder said it would be a mistake to tie terry's death to fast and furious. i caught up with holder as he left the hearing. thank you very much. i also caught up with senator cornyn after the hearing. he told me holder's answers on
4:38 pm
brian terry's family and the program were not acceptable to him. cornyn says he's not at the point of calling on holder to resign x but he's headed in that direction. >> holder may come under even greater pressure from congress in the weeks ahead. is that right? >> that's right. next month, darrell issa, he's been one of the most brutal critics of holder through this whole thing. he's going to be holding a hearing and that may make what holder faced today seem very mild in comparison. he's really going to get a drilling before that republican-led house committee next month. >> thank you. we're standing by for herman cain's news conference. what will he say about the latest allegations threatening to derail his campaign? you're looking at a live picture from scottsdale. also, an open microphone reportedly capturing an embarrassing exchange between president obama and the french
4:39 pm
president, nicolas sarkozy. you'll hear what they had to say about benjamin netanyahu. we're america's natural gas and here's what we did today: supported nearly 3 million steady jobs across our country... ... scientists, technicians, engineers, machinists... ... adding nearly 400 billion dollars to our economy... we're at work providing power to almost a quarter of our homes and businesses... ... and giving us cleaner rides to work and school... and tomorrow, we could do even more. cleaner, domestic, abundant and creating jobs now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power, today. learn more at anga.us.
4:40 pm
4:41 pm
4:42 pm
yak's back with the "cafferty file." where's the united states headed if 16% of the population lives in poverty? jeff rights, it seems everything about the american dream the broken. the political system so polarized nothing gets done. it's a scary thought that almost one in five americans lives in poverty at a time when one poverty wants to eliminate the social safety net, the other party has a backbone similar to a slinky. debbie writes on facebook, we're going to be the new third world. an industrialized nations where almost everyone won't have adequate health care or education. mike in florida writes america's going downhill fast.
4:43 pm
the rich are doing great while the rest of us struggle to get by. i wish our congress had to try to live on ten bucks an hour if he can even find a job and the republicans don't care about us. i don't have much hope for our country unless we elect a better congress. renee writes, that's almost 50 million people who will say they're not better off compared to their situation when obama became president. it's a big force to wrecken with. from a soes owe political point of view, it's a destabilizing factor that would undermine society as a whole and democratic institutions in particular. john in georgia writes the 1930s seemed like the good place. think of how great that would be. food lines, large infrastructure projects, films that actually made you feel good. fedoras and a dollar that could buy a meal for a family of five. fay writes, we are headed in a direction that the 1% on top
4:44 pm
want the other 99% to go. if you want to read more, go to our post or our facebook page. i want to bring in maria cardona. we're about to hear from herman cain, he's going to make a statement at the top of the hour speaking about all of these sexual harassment allegations that have been levelled against him, but i understand you know one of the women who's until now, wanted to remain anonymous, but her name diz surface today. we just spoke with her attorney, joel bennett. tell us your relationship with this woman and what happened? >> hey, wolf, thank you. so, she used to work for me when i worked for the government in the late '90s. she was one of my employees. and i have to tell you, when i found out that she was one of the accusers, my jaw dropped
4:45 pm
because as a former employer, in my opinion, this woman's credibility is beyond reproach. while she worked for me, she exhibited nothing but the yut most professionalism. an incredibly hard worker. i put her on projects that were very difficult to execute and she did them beautifully. i just have to say that i was in disbelief when i found out she was one of the accusers. so, i think that mr. cain really needs to think long and hard about what he need to say at 5:00, but she's not the only one making these accusations and for him to come out and say as i believe he's going to, that they're all lies, i don't think that is going to cut it anymore. >> have you had a chance to speak with her? her name is karen -- is that how she pronounces it?
4:46 pm
>> that is correct. i have spoken to her. >> over the past few days? >> yes, a number of times. >> can you share with us wa she said to you? >> i think as everybody can understand, the nature, she is an incredibly difficult position. she is handling it well because like i said before, she is the utmost professional. she works in media relations so she understands how the game is played. having said that, clearly, this is heart wrenching for her. and what she doesn't want to continue to do is have to relive this. as she has been doing. and as she understands is going to be the case for the next couple of days. she is also concerned clearly for her safety. and i think ta these are all issues that anybody to has even gone through this or understands the way that these things can play out.
4:47 pm
i think they can understand that on a human level. >> i know she works for the department of the treasury, communications specialist. i don't you to violate any confidences, but can you share any of the specifics? what she alleged herman cain did to her back in the late 1990s when she worked for him at the national restaurant association? >> wolf, that is not a conversation that i have had with her on purpose. i didn't want her to have to relive that again with me. what she said was very similar to what joel bennett has said to you on the air, which is that the accusations and allegations and what happened to her, very similar to what we heard last night from sharon bialek. and one of the things that i would like to share with you is that when i hired her at ins, it
4:48 pm
was when she was coming directly from the national rest yaunt association and she was very clear with me now recently, back then, i had no idea what she was come coming from. she has always been incredibly grateful to me for hiring her and recently, she has been able to disclose why. she basically told me that i had saved her in that monster. >> is that what she called herman cain? >> yes. and that's incredibly compelling. >> we'll see what herman cain has to say in about 12 minutes. don't go too far away. we're going to be talking about what's going on in our strategy session. always standing by, james carville and alex castellanos. losing your chex mix too easily?
4:49 pm
time to deploy the chex mix boring potato chip decoy bag. now no one will want to steal the deliciousness. with a variety of tastes and textures, only chex mix is a bag of interesting. okay... uhh. the bad news, it's probably totaled. the good news is, you don't have to pay your deductible. with vanishing deductible from nationwide insurance, you got $100 off for every year of safe driving, so now your deductible is zero. the other good news ?
4:50 pm
i held on to your coffee. wow. ♪ nationwide is on your side ( laughing ) it's actually a pretty good day when you consider. that's great.
4:51 pm
live picture from scottsdale, arizona. herman cain is expected to walk up to those microphones soon, make a statement and answer reporters' questions on the latest allegations being levelled against him. we'll have live coverage in "the situation room." that's coming up in a few minutes.
4:52 pm
meanwhile, an open microphone reportedly capturing an embarrassing exchange between president obama and the french president, nicolas sarkozy, involving benjamin netanyahu. brianne keilar is working the story for us. tell us why this is potentially a big deal. >> it backs up what we already know. what this exchange tells us that president obama and the israeli president, benjamin netanyahu, they don't have a very good relationship, but it's a big deal because it's an embarrassment at a time when the u.s. is facing so many challenges in the middle east and israel is its biggest ally. tough stalled mideast peace process. sweeping regime change in the region and iran becoming a growing nuclear threat. an open mike during last week's summit ought president obama and nicolas sarkozy complaining about israel's prime minister according to a report by reuters. i cannot bear netanyahu, he's a
4:53 pm
liar. said sarkozy. obama according to a french interpreter replied, you're fed up with him, but i have to deal with him even more often than you. the president didn't come to the defense of netanyahu, whom he saw in september. it's not surprising, says martin indig. >> reveals the inner feelings of the president towards prime minister netanyahu. i don't think it's any secret that these two leaders have not gotten on basically from their first meeting on. >> an oval office encounter this past may further revealed the frosty relationship between the leaders. >> while israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to 1967. >> netanyahu is essentially
4:54 pm
lecturing a stern faced obama. today, jay carney would not comment on the open mike gaffe. he instead stressed the president's support of israel, most recently in imposing a vote to give the palestinian authority membership in the u.y.'s cultural agency. a move france supported. >> america's commitment to israel's security is unshakable. >> it's an embarrassing incident as both the u.s. and israel keep a close eye on regime changes in the middle east and on the growing threat of iran. but may have no real effect on u.s., israel relations. >> it's unlikely these personality differences that have been highlighted by this mike that wasn't turned off, are going to infect the coordination on iran. if you like the subject is too serious to be affected by personalities. they agree on the nature of the threat and they also agree on the way to deal with it.
4:55 pm
that is by ratcheting up sanctions. >> of course, this gaffe does give ammunition to some of the president's critics. namely republicans who have said he hasn't backed israel enough, wolf, and already we've heard from the antidefamation league, the pro israel advocacy group saying this was a disappointment and an unpresidential change, wolf. >> brianna keilar at the white house. i write about this on our situation room blog today if you want to check that out. herman cain is preparing the respond to sexual harassment allegations. we're standing by for his live news conference expected to begin in a few minutes. medicare. it doesn't cover everything.
4:56 pm
4:57 pm
and what it doesn't cover can cost you some money. that's why you should consider an aarp... medicare supplement insurance plan... insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. all medicare supplement insurance plans can help pay... some of what medicare doesn't, so you could save... thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. call now for this free information kit and medicare guide. if you're turning 65 or you're already on medicare... you should know about this card -- it's the only one of its kind endorsed by aarp; see if it's right for you. all medicare supplement plans let you keep your own doctor, or hospital that accepts medicare. there are no networks and no referrals needed. help protect yourself from some of what medicare doesn't pay... and save up to thousands of dollars in potential... out-of-pocket expenses with an aarp...
4:58 pm
medicare supplement insurance plan... insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. call this toll-free number on your screen now... for this free information kit, including this... medicare guide and customized rate quote. i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. happening now, the breaking news we're following. herman cain is about to fire back at his latest accuser and it's likely to get ugly.
4:59 pm
we're standing by for his news conference on the sexual harassment allegations dogging his presidential campaign. lots of news happening today. breaking news, political headlines, jeanne moos all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we're waiting for r herman cain to go before the cameras in scottsdale, arizona. any moment now, we expect him to go on the attack. the republican presidential candidate says there's not an ounce of truth to a chicago woman's alleges about sexual s misconduct and his campaign has released a long list of lawsuits. ms bialek became the first to speak out, but some of the other women and the other allegations as we await herman cain. we've got our reporters an analysts standing by, including gloria borger, donna brazile --
5:00 pm
i said that, but gloria, let me start with you. it's taking right now even as we speak, a whole new dimension because another woman who made these allegations against him in 1999, she now work it is department of treasury. she's about to go public if she hasn't yet. >> she is, wolf. she is somebody who tried not to go public. and who went through her attorney, joel bennett, who you just had on the show. but now, her name is known. karen crassour. she is a friend of one of our contributors, maria, c. maria has just said to you and to me, that this woman told her when she hired her, the ins, she
5:01 pm
saved her from this monster. >> she called herman cain is monster. >> so at a certain point, wolf, you've got four women. you have now just knocked out one accuser or two and git gets saern point where herman cain cannot now blanketly deny this. he has to answer specific charges from specific women. we had the woman yesterday. we have another one today. who may go public with her storiment and i'm wondering, i was told that karen is considering getting together all of these women who have been reluctant to come forward and perhaps having a press conference with all of them together to tell their story. >> and she has just given an interview to the "new york times" that has just been posted. let me share some quotes. when you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, she says, you are extremely vulnerable. you do whatever you can to
5:02 pm
quickly get yourself into a job some place safe and that is what i thought i had achieved when i left. one of these women saying she decided now to go public with her allegations against the republican candidate, herman cain. she will be the second of these four women who will go forward. in this interview, she said she was upset her name had been leaked in the news media. she said she has now decided to speak out because her identity is known. this now, gloria, will take on a whole new dimension. we're being told this news conference will start in two minutes. >> i think what's difficult, and one of her friends said to me what's difficult for her is she can't stomach the thought of telling the story publicly. no one wants to come out and relive something from 12 years ago that was very hurtful and painful. and if you're going to be believed sometimes with these story, you have to tell them
5:03 pm
graphically, wolf. and that's difficult. >> alex, quickly, what does he need to do right now? >> what he should have done a week ago. just get out the whole story. you can't put this behind him until he gets all the information out. wolf, this goes right at the core of herman cain's brand. he's the guy who's supposed to be different from washington. where they think the rules don't apply to them. where they say one thing and mean another. he's figing for his candidacy here. >> if he continues to deny, deny, deny, what will happen? >> i don't know, look, he's doubling down. he's putting a stack in a middle of the table and his credibility on the line. i never thought he had a chance to be president. he doesn't now. this thing is reaching some kind of tragedy or entertainment value. what it is, it's a full fledged circus and i suspect if we're led to believe he does, he will say it's going to -- r it kind of, it's kind of weird. i'll say that.
5:04 pm
very help. >> donna? >> his denials don't add up. he had more than two week to prepare for this episode. but he simply cannot come out slamming these women, slamming the media, slamming others. he needs to own up to whatever happened. put it on the table and say, this is what happened. and now, i want to move on. >> he's going -- we're told he's going to open up with a statement and then answer reporter's questions. we'll bring it to all of our viewers live. coming up within a matter of seconds right now. herman cain the republican presidential front-runner confronting these serious allegations from four women. two of whom have now gone public. their identities are known. they're making specific statements. we'll see what else the specific accuser has to say.
5:05 pm
>> my name is len wood and i am one of the lawyers for herman cain. a little over 34 years, and i've had the opportunity in my practice of law to represent female victims of sexual harassment. serious, legitimate claims of sexual harassment are not settled for nuance value. i've also had the opportunity in my law practice to represent victims of sexual assault. when they have come to my law office, i did not take them out and parade them in front of the cameras in a national press conference and then arrange for them to go on a campaign with
5:06 pm
the media to give one interview after another after another. they resolved their claims in a court of law. i have also had the privilege to represent a number of innocent victims accused by the media of serious crimes, false accusations, where those individuals found themselves on trial in the court of public opinion. on trial in the court of public opinion where they are no rules. the rules are made up by the media. there are no procedures designed to safeguard the integrity of the process.
5:07 pm
to ensure that a fair and a just result is achieved. herman cain finds himself over the course of the last several days now on trial in the court of public opinion. falsely accused. first by anonymous sources. and now, yesterday, by sharon bialek, who chose to come forward for whatever reason after 14 years when recollections have faded and witnesses cannot be located to for the first time, for the first time in 14 years, to tell
5:08 pm
her story to a third person for the first time. and now, herman cain in the court of public opinion, has to respond not to admissible evidence, he has to respond to here say. he has to respond to rumors and speculation. he's not afforded the opportunity from me to cross examine his accusers. he's not afforded the safeguards that are part of our system of justice. but he comes before you today to defend his representation.
5:09 pm
a reputation he has built over 40 years of being a good and decent man and a successful business person. i ask that you at least afford him fairness. and that you view his efforts to defend his reputation and good name by maintaining your common sense and remembering your own life's experience to decide whether or not a story that is so inherently improbable on its face should be utilized by others with their own agendas to attack this man's reputation. it's my privilege to represent him and my privilege to step
5:10 pm
aside from this podium and let you hear from him. herman cain. >> thank you, lin. good afternoon. i am herman cain and i'm running for president of the united states of america. i normally don't have notes, but in this case, i wanted to make sure that i didn't miss any points that i needed to cover today. secondly, i chose to address these accusations directly rather than try to do it through a serious of continuous statements. or spokespeople. because that's the person herman cain is. is to take my message directly to the people.
5:11 pm
with respect to the most recent accusation, i have never acted in appropriately with anyone, period. i saw miss allred and her client yesterday in that news conference for the very first time. as i sat in my hotel room with a couple of my staff members as they got to the microphone, my first response in my mind and reaction was, i don't even know who this woman is. secondly, i didn't recognize the name at all. the time that she referenced was
5:12 pm
during the time that i was the ceo and president of the national restaurant association. it's headquartered in washington, d.c. where about 150 workers were. and we have about 150 people in chicago. where she said she worked for educational foundation. i tried to remember if i recognized her and i didn't. i tried to remember if i remembered that name and i didn't. the charges and the accusations i absolutely reject. they simply didn't happen. they simply did not happen. you know, for decades, the american people have wanted a business man in the white house. and not just another politician.
5:13 pm
because for decades, all the politicians have been doing is just kicking the can down the road, trim a little bit here, trim a little bit there, when america's biggest problems simply got worse. well, a business man by the name of herman cain stepped forward. here i am. but i know from the american people that i have talked with and i have spoken with over the past several months, we are not going to allow washington or politics to deny me the opportunity to represent this great nation and as far as these accusations causing me to back off and maybe withdraw from this presidential primary race, ain't going to happen. because i'm doing this for the
5:14 pm
american people. and for the children and the grandchildren. and i will not be deterred by false, anonymous, incorrect accusations. america believes that washington is broken. america believes that our system of getting elected the broken. in part, it is. but in another part, it's not. as long as we have decency and honesty in the electoral process, it will work. but when we allow deceit and false accusations to rule the day and distract us, that part is broken. nine days ago, the media started to beat me up covering anonymous accusers. and then yesterday, another
5:15 pm
accuser came forth, came forth, identified herself. went on tv. and made some other allegations. was it tough last week? yes. is it, has it been tough the last couple of days? yes. but you see, that's one thing about herman cain that i think a lot of the people american know. and that is just because it's tough is no reason for me not to do what i feel like i have to do. and because of what the american people have said to me during these turbulent times, we will get through this. we will get through this. the fact is, these anonymous allegations are false and now, the democrat machine in america has brought forth a troubled woman to make false accusations. statements. many of which exceed common sense. and they certainly exceed the
5:16 pm
standards of decency in america. i have been married for 43 years. to my wife, gloria. 43 years i've been married to my wife. after watching that press conference yesterday, i called her and i said, sweetheart, did you see it? she said, yes. i said, what did you think? and my wife said, and this is a direct quote. i have known you for 46 years because we were engaged for two years. that doesn't even sound like anything that you would ever do to anyone. sexual harassment accusations are serious. and respect for women and all people that i have worked with or people that have worked for me over the years has been a top priority with respect to me.
5:17 pm
now, my family fully supports my candidacy and they know the man that i am. they've been with me all of their lives. my kids. they know who i am. they know the man that i am. however, i ask that the media not drag my family into this. they're not running for president. some members of your profession have even stalked by family members. calling members of my family and extenned family members. i ask you as professionals to direct your questions, your criticisms toward me. not my family. my reputation is something that i've worked over 40 years to build up.
5:18 pm
i have managed many entities, many companies. i have managed organizations with thousands and thousands and thousands of employees. and now that i'm running for the highest office in the land, accusation after accusation, some anonymous, some not so anonymous, but now come tog light. this is not a surprise. it was expected. but i will vigorously defend my reputation because i will not allow false accusations to compromise or in any way say badly on my character or my integrity. and this is why i've decided to address these issues directly and forthrightly.
5:19 pm
i will repeat. i have never acted inappropriately with anyone. period. and these accusations that were revealed yesterday are simply did not happen. we are going to take some questions. j.d. gordon. my communication vice president. we will take a few questions. >> when you asked your question, please state your name and your media agency, please. >> and please use the microphone. >> mr. cain, steve with cbs news. i'd like to ask a two-part question. first of all, do you think it is appropriate for a candidate's character to come under a mike scope in a campaign and secondly, you were basically now in a he said, she said situation. she's saying something, you're saying something. as distasteful as it might be,
5:20 pm
would you be willing to do a lie detector test to prove your honesty in something like this? >> yes, i absolutely would. but i'm not going to do that unless i have a good reason to do that. that was one of the first comments i made this watching this with my staff. of course i would be willing to do a lie detector test. second secondly, i believe that the character and integrity of a candidate running for president should come under the microscope. >> tim gainer, reuters news agency. a poll released this afternoon showed that 40% of republican voters view you less favorably after seeing monday's accusations from sharon bialek. given that reaction, how can you convince nonsupporters to vote for you? >> first of all, you don't need 100% of the voters.
5:21 pm
you need 51%. it is natural that some voters would be turned off by the mere mention of the accusations. that's normal and expected. and all you have to do is to look at campaigns historically and you're able to identify those situations where some member of the public, some of the voting electorate are going to be influenced by the court of public opinion. in formlating their impression. but the good news for me and my campaign is that most of my supporters have not reacted to this in terms of belief. many of them have expressed their outpouring of support for the fact that these incidents simply did not happen. so, rebuilding the trust on the part of some people, yes, that would be a challenge. but i want to continue to represent those that have chosen to support me and those that are
5:22 pm
willing to look at the facts and not here say. >> hi, mr. cain. robin from the "l.a. times." yesterday, you called these charges insignificant stuff. i think everyone who's ever worked in a restaurant environment knows that sexual harassment can be very common place. my question to you is do you believe sexual harassment is real? have you ever seen it? what did you see and how did you deal with it? >> let me reiterate that sexual harassment is a very serious charge. in no way have i tried to minimize sexual harassment in the workplace. have i led many organizations? yes. i have seen instances where it could be interpreted as sexual harassment and if i saw it and if it were an employee or direct r report of mine, i dealt with
5:23 pm
it immediately. before the other person perceived it as an enfringement of their privacy. and i might add. it's not just men who potentially sexually harass women. i've also seen situations where men have attempted to sexually harass men. it's very serious and i have made sure that wasn't something that was tolerated in any organization that i was responsible for. >> jonathan carl with abc news. mr. cain, now another woman, one of the formally anonymous women has come forward who worked with you at the restaurant association. she's now a spokesperson who's come forward. what do you say to her in her allegations, this is someone still working in the u.s.
5:24 pm
government. is she lying about that? >> well, to the best of my recollection since you mentio d mentioneded that particular name, that is the one that i recall that filed a complaint, but it was found to be baseless. let's separate something. the accusations were made of sexual harassment. they were found baseless. there was no legal settlement. there was an agreement between that lady and the national restaurant association and it was treated as a personnel matter because there was no basis to her accusations. those are the facts. when she made her accusation -- when she made her accusations, they were found to be baseless and she could not find anyone to corroborate her story.
5:25 pm
the restaurant association handled it. they went through a process to get to the point where it ended up being an agreement, not a settlement. now, let me clarify that little point. i've been criticized by some member of the media that i have changed by story. when the fire storm started a week ago monday, i was presented with the accusation of some settlement that was made. settlement to me means that that were legal implications. later that same day, i then recall after all those years, that there was an agreement. that's what businesses sign with employees who are departing the company. they call it an agreement. settlement implies legal implications. all of the potential legal implications or ramifications or accusations were found to be baseless. >> "wall street journal."
5:26 pm
still mr. cain, there are now a total of four woman who have accused you of some form of sexual harassment. how do you explain that? are they making it up? is that plausible? can you explain where you think this is coming from? thank you. >> well, i happen to think where it's coming from is that some people don't want to see herman cain get the republican nomination and some people don't want herman cain to become president of the united states of america. as you know, when you run for the highest office in the land, there are going b to be some accusations that are going to come out of the woodwork. they're going to come from anywhere. and i have said this before. there will probably be others, not because i am aware of any, but because the machine to keep a business man out of the white house is going to be relentless. and if they continue to come, i will continue to respond.
5:27 pm
i can't answer why the ones that have already made these one anonymous accusations and one that was you know, you know, put their face on tv, started a media campaign to basically try and slander my integrity and my character. i can't tell you what their motivation is other than it's to stop herman cain. i believe that the american people are saying that they're not going to let that happen. >> fox 10 news here in phoenix. mitt romney has been quoted as saying he finds these accusations to be disturb. can you react to that observation and tell us what you think is behind it? >> sure. sexual harassment is a very serious matter, as i have said. i find the accusations disturbing, but false. i don't believe governor romney was saying that i was guilty of
5:28 pm
think of these accusations, but yes, they are disturbing because they distract me from taking our message to the nern people. talking about solutions. he's right. but i don't think he was saying that i was disturbing because i've been accused. i believe what he was saying because i know mitt romney and his integrity, that he was re r referring to the fact that it was disturbing these accusations that are not factually based are disturbing to this process. >> mr. cain, lee ross with fox news. you made several mengs of machine. the democratic machine. who are these people? who is involved in this? is it a conspiracy? >> i cannot -- i cannot say that it is a conspiracy. we do not have definitive, factual proof. we can only look at some
5:29 pm
coincidences to suggest it that may be someone is deliberately behind this, so we have thot been able to make any determination to point any fingers or place any blame on anybody at this point. when we step back and look at the fact that there's no facts, no factual evidence to back these up, we can only infer that someone is trying to basically wreck my character and like the other gentleman, plant doubt into minds of a lot of the people who are going to go to the polls and vote. >> mr. cain, andrew rafrty, nbc news. i'm just curious, what role do you think sharon bialek's past financial troubles play in her allegations against you? >> she claims that her past financial situation, the number of civil lawsuits she's been involved in, she claims that it
5:30 pm
does not play a role in her coming forward. i can't respond any further than that. that's her claim, but from a common sense standpoint, one would have to ask if in fact that might not have been a motivation for r her being subjected to this. >> hi, mr. cain. >> hello. >> tracy tumor with cnn. who found it to be baseless and if so, why was she paid tens of thousands of dollars? >> well, i'm not sure of the tens of thousands of dollars figure, so i'm not going to get caught in that trap. it was negotiations fween, i'm only referring to the one lady that filed charges. she got an attorney and negotiated and talked with the
5:31 pm
attorney from the restaurant association. i can't remember if we got outside counsel. this was a situation where they worked back and forth and they came to a conclusion, to some personnel spep ration agreement. i do recall that before i left the restaurant association, she was in a process of leaving the association. have regular interaction periodically i would see her, she reported to one of my vice president's, when we would have a planning meeting, she would attend a planning meeting. i would not only bring in my direct r reports, i'd bring in the next level down. she was at the next level down. that was the interaction in terms of me seeing her on a
5:32 pm
regular basis. during that particular period of time, because i was the president of the national restaurant association, today, it has over 14 million people workinging in the industry. you know, thousands and thousands and thousands of restaurants. i spent most of my time traveling and giving speeches around the country to state restaurant associations as well as other speeches i needed to give. i was not in the office a lot. i was in the field more than in the office. >> you've said again today that it's been so many years and you later recalled there was a financial agleemt that you didn't remember. now, you say you don't remember sharon bialek. is there a possibility it's just been too many years and you could recall specific details later. >> that's a possibility, i'm not a expert on how the brain works, but i sat there and went over
5:33 pm
and over in my mind, do i know this lady. the answer kept coming up, no. i watched her again today when she appeared on fox news with her attorney, sitting there trying to remember, do i know her. i didn't recognize the name nor the voice. and so, you're right. is that a possibility? yes, but i happen to think that's a remote possibility and that's why. one of the things that people who have worked with me for years will tell you is that i'm pretty good at remembering people. especially people that have had a positive impact, i'm pretty good at remembering people that i have met. who have made some sort of impression on me. so, at this particular -- in this particular case, i seriously doubt if i'm going to have an aha moment later. i just don't think that's going to happen. >> mark lacy with "the new york
5:34 pm
times." karen crasshour, who just spoke to our newspapers within the last hour, can you tell us what she accused you of specifically and what your interactions with her were. this is your press conference where you're going to level with us and tell us what happened, so tell us what she accused you of and tell us what really happened. this is your chance cht thank you. >> well, i can only recall one thing that i was aware of that was called sexual harassment. the one thing that i remember that i remembered during the day when all of this broke loose is that one day in my office at the national restaurant association, i was standing next to miss crasshour and i gestured standing near her like this. you're the same height as my
5:35 pm
wife because my wife comes up to my chin. that was the one gesture that i remember. the door was open. my secretary was sitting there. it wasn't anything behind closed doors. i gestured because of her height, comparing it to my wife's height. end of story. other things that might have been in the accusations, i'm not even aware of. i don't remember. that one, i remember. because that was the one my general counsel came to me and said the one that appears to be the one she was most upset about was that. so i really can't tell you any more because i don't recall any more. she did not react at the time. absolutely did not. let me say that, folks, no closing. thank you for your patience. thank you for us having an opportunity to share my perspective on this. this nation faces tremendous
5:36 pm
crises. i would hope that we could get back to sharing with the american people solutions to the problems that we face. we're not going to allow ourselves to continuously be distracted by these sort of inciden incidents. i will respond to them, but we cannot slow this campaign down when we need to be dealing with our economic crisis. our spending crisis, our energy crisis. our foggy foreign policy crisis. illegal immigration crisis and a crisis of leadership in the white house in washington, d.c. that's what i'm going to continue to focus on on behalf of the american people. not for me, but for the grand kids. thank you, all, very much for your attendance. >> herman cain is scottsdale, arizona with his new attorney, lin wood, announcing that he's
5:37 pm
going to fight all of these accusations, including a second woman who has now gone public with her charge that he sexually harassed her when she worked at the national restaurant association in the late 1990s. this second woman now given interviews to both "the new york times" and "the washington post" saying she's ready to go into specific details on what her allegations against herman cain were and what she says happened back in the late 1990s. he's flatly denying he did anything wrong, inappropriate and you heard from his new attorney, lin wood, maybing that same point. we've got a lot to digest. we have all of our reporters and analysts standing by. let's get some reaction, first of all, gloria borger's been working this. let me read what the second woman, yesterday, we heard sharon bialek in a live news conference we cared here on cnn and today, the second woman
5:38 pm
telling "the washington post" i am interested in a joint news conference for all the women where we would be together with our attorneys. she told "the washington post," i think this takes this to a whole new level because this woman works at the u.s. treasury department. she's a communications specialist and has a lot of expertise in this area. >> before we went on the air, who said the same thing to me. i think she's reluctant. i was told, because she's concerned about her personal safety. she feels she would feel better standing there with other women afraid to come forward before this and that there would be some kind of safety in numbers, if you will. in terms of what you just heard from cain, the interesting thing is i don't think it shed any new light on his response to the allegations, but he did keep saying that quote, some people don't want herman cain to get
5:39 pm
the republican nomination or become president of the united states. he also then went on to say that he wouldn't be surprised if there will be others who would be accusing him of sexual harassment. he said the machine to keep a business man out of the white house is what's behind this. so, it seems as we heard about the right wing conspiracy, remember, hillary clinton, we seem to be hearing about a left wing conspiracy here. but again, he did not shine any light on the specific allegations other than saying he did not even remember who this woman was. >> let's get reaction from all of our analysts. eric, he specifically said, herman cain at one point, the democratic machine brought forward a troubled woman to make these accusations. he's referring to sharon bialek, who came forward yesterday. what was your reaction to this defense outlined today by herman
5:40 pm
cain? >> i could hear the frustration in his voice and i know herman. i you a lot o herman. passed his show off to me. i like the guy. i understand he's frustrated. his supporters are really frustrated. he's being asked and proven negative. this woman says he harassed her 12, 15 years ago. how does he prove something didn't happen 12, 15 years ago. at the same time, talking about himself in the third person repeatedly, bringing up his family, when you see these press conferences, typically, you're surrounded by the family and they weren't there. i don't think that herman was able to put this story to bed today. i think it's going to continue now with a trickling out. regardless of whatever i think he did or didn't do it, the poll numbers suggest a lot of women think he did and this isn't going to help him. >> donna brazile, what do you think? how did he do, herman cain, as
5:41 pm
specifically when he was asked why are these women coming forward now? he says someone, some people don't want herman cain to be president of the united states. >> first of all, let me just respond on one of the things he said. he said the democratic machine. first of all, if the democratic machine had anything to say, we would love to have herman cain as the nominee of the republican party, but that's not going to happen. look, i think the republicans are going to have to face the music and that is women will not tolerate the kind of nondenial that herman cain consistently have given us over the last two weeks. he should have put all the issues on the table. up front. but these women are now coming forward. they are no longer anonymous. at least two of thep. i thought today was a sad episode. herman cain still doesn't get it. he should have been better prepared to answer them. >> alex, you're a republican
5:42 pm
strategist. does he survive this current uproar? >> not the way it's going now. from what i saw today, it looked like herman's troubles are just beginning. i know herman, too. wonderful guy. honest, decent, straightforward. but today, to gloria's point, when someone has a press conference and says by the way, you're going to hear more of these charges and they're going to be lies. that tells you something. and also, republicans were pretty hard on bill clinton. when he had his let's say difficulties in the white house and we held him to some high standards. he had to tell the truth. he had to come clean and we criticized him fairly harshly for attacking the women who made charges. we have to hold our candidates at least to the same high level. a rule is that when you're going to have a press conference to explain, you ought to have an
5:43 pm
explanation in it an i don't know that herman did today, so i'd have to concur with eric that i don't think herman has moved the ball forward here. i know he wants to get back to his campaign, but i don't think that happened today. >> james carville, you remember the 1992 campaign when bill clinton was running for president of the united states and jennifer flowers came forward and make direction accusations. he responded going on 60 minutes with hillary clinton. he not only survived that charge, he won the democratic nominati nomination. what went through your mind? >> no democrat what doesn't want herman cain to be the republican nominee. also takes no sense to figure out he's not going to be the nominee. the second thing is while there was tho left wing conspiracy at
5:44 pm
all, be stupid to have one, there was a right wing conspiracy to undermine bill clinton. he became to be the most popular politician probably on the planet earth today. but the idea that somehow this is analogous is barely, barely holds up, but yes, he did survive the allegations because people thought he had an underlying skill and there was always a good chance he would be the nominee and cain has none. we want him to win. we're not trying to undermine him. >> stand by. we'll take a quick break. herman cain says under the right circumstances, he would be ready to take a lie detector test to show that he has nothing to hide. that he is telling tr truth. much more coming up right after this. ] america is facing some tough challenges right now. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world.
5:45 pm
a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. but when they come home, they don't want a parade; they want a job. the postal service employs more veterans than any other civilian employer. but congress is debating a bill that would force the postal service
5:46 pm
to fire tens of thousands of vets, close post offices, shut mail processing plants, and disrupt mail delivery. drastic cuts won't fix the postal service and aren't needed. tell your representative to vote "no" on house resolution 2309. it's time to deliver for our veterans -- and america.
5:47 pm
5:48 pm
we will get through this. the fact is, these anonymous allegations are false and now, the democrat machine in america has brought forth a troubled woman to make false accusations. statements. many of which exceed common sense cht and they certainly exceed the standards of decency in america. >> he speak of a so-called troubled woman, he's referring to the woman who came out yesterday making allegation to sexual assault back in 1997, but another woman today has gone public, an employee at the u.s. department of the treasury.
5:49 pm
that's taking on a whole new motion. a new momentum right now. gloria, i don't know, the two others who have suggested that there was sexual harassment are going to come forward, but i suspect we're going to be hearing a lot more. >> i suspect there's a possibility, at least according to the woman who works at treasury, there's a way she could get them all together. >> she wants all four to have a joint news conference. >> because i think what has angered them and i know this, is the same kind of thing cain said today, talking about for example, sharon's troubled history. she's a troubled woman. disparaging her and her credibility. >> we did speak earlier, alex, with our own cnn contributor, maria cardona, who actually
5:50 pm
hired this second woman after she left the national restaurant association and maria told us that karen was grateful to her for hiring her, giving her a new job at the immigration and naturalization service. this monster. monster being a direct quote, she says about herman cain. that's a pretty powerful and damning statement, if you put it bluntly. >> it is, it is certainly nowhere near the herman cain that i've known over the years who is one of the decent people i know about that headline's going be to in a lot of newspapers tomorrow. to correct something that a reporter said this is not a he said/she said this is a he said, she said, she said, she said, and another she said. we have four people two faces, so indications from mr. cain
5:51 pm
there may be more. this is a real problem, i think, for herman. the lawyer, i thought, did a fantastic job, lin wood was terrific in drawing bright linesing making the case for cain, 14 years ago, why now? herman should have stopped then, at that point and said, hey, i didn't do this, and that's why. i think herman managed to take bright, straight lines and turn it into a bowl of spaghetti, it's the democrats who did it a couple days ago rick perry threw out the charges, now it's a troubled woman. i think he complicated things today. >> donna brazile, if you look where this is going over the next few days, if herman cain thinks he's ended it with this news conference today, i'm sure he's going to be sorely disapointed. >> as you know, wolf, we've heard from the concerned women of america but we haven't heard from republican women. we've heard from democratic women but we should hear from women because women are the majority of the electorate, they
5:52 pm
will help determine the next president of the united states. they value candidates who are honest, have values and especially family values. i think this is a concern tomorrow in the republican debate perhaps one of his candidates like mitt romney today, raises this issue and says, mr. cain you need to be more honest and forthright and discussing this matter. >> eric erickson, you're in georgia, you probably know or at least heard of lin wood, a high-profile lawyer, like gloria all red is a high-profile lawyer, lin wood has represented famous people, including rich jewel. richard condit, john and the late patsy ramsey. you're familiar with him. he's got a high profile lawyer right now. what does that say to you? >> yeah, you know, it says to me, looking at the representation that lin wood has had in the past, people who have been wrongly accused of doing
5:53 pm
things, gary condit in the chandra levy mat, richard jewell in the olympic park bombing and now herman cain. i wonder, though, wolf, i mean, i understand how emotions have got to be raw in the campaign, but he said repeatedly he had never met sharon bialek before, there's a picture, i think it came out yesterday, the two of them earlier or last year together with arms around each other. i think you know, they had ten days before this story came out originally to get their ducks in a row and it seems like they're rushing trying to get ahead of the story. they see the poll trends going down but they might should have sat down a little bit longer and thought about this and not have been dismiss inof sharon bialek, regardless of what happened. and he's being asked to prove a negative but we know now there's a picture of them together in the past year. he needed to have more. he wanted to try to turn the story in his favor today and i think he raises more questions than answers.
5:54 pm
>> james carville, can he save his run for the white house? >> no. i'll be glad to expand. my view, he never had a chance to begin with. eric and alex are clear, i agree with them, that today this press conference was not even neutral, it was a step backwards and i wish i could say something differently, but it's evident that this thing is going to continue and there will be more things tomorrow him saying, other women will come out. he didn't put this story behind him, he put more story in front of him today, that's pretty clear the story, as we have been pointing out, not going away. dramatic, new developments today.
5:55 pm
5:56 pm
an accident doesn't have to slow you down. with better car replacement, available only from liberty mutual insurance, if your car's totaled, we give you the money to buy a car that's one model-year newer... with 15,000 fewer miles on it. there's no other auto insurance product like it. better car replacement, available only from liberty mutual. it's a better policy that gets you a better car. call... or visit one of our local offices today,
5:57 pm
and we'll provide the coverage you need at the right price. liberty mutual auto insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. jeanne moos has been listening to all allegations flying between herman cain and his accusers and these thinks it's a classic case. >> reporter: you know what they say -- >> he said/she said. >> reporter: herman cain's accuser said her boyfriend said it -- >> he said, it's going to be one of those he said/she said things. >> reporter: applies in reverse to anonymous accusers who got settlement money promising not
5:58 pm
to talk. >> he said, she's legally prohibited from saying. >> reporter: the way the daily show put it. >> the problem for cain -- >> reporter: he said, she said, she said, she said, she said four the four accusers. what is it they each said? here we go, she said -- >> he sud lynn reached over and put his hand on my leg -- >> reporter: he said -- >> i don't even remember, i reject all of those charges. >> reporter: she even said -- >> he also grabbed my head and brought it towards his crotch. >> reporter: he even said -- >> i would, first, have to recognize who she is. >> you don't remember having drinks with her back in '97, don't -- >> absolutely not. >> -- remember giving her a ride in your car? >> i reject all accusations. i don't remember that. >> reporter: she said what? >> i said what are you doing? you know i have a boyfriend. this isn't what i came here for. >> these accusations that were revealed yesterday are simply
5:59 pm
did not happen. >> mr. cain said, you want a job, right? i asked him to stop and he did. >> there's not an ounce of truth in all of these accusations. >> reporter: when she said what she said she used his first name. >> unfortunately for herman, he's still in denial. >> reporter: while he said he didn't remember her name. >> i don't even know who this woman is. >> reporter: amid all of the he said/she said, might as well get fed. buzzfeed concocted a parody ben and jerry's ice cream flavor, harass mint chocolate chip. this is fake, so don't ask for it at the store. mint ice cream with fondled fudge chunks and assaulted peanuts. back to the he said/she said, what is has his wife said -- >> my wife said, i sadie you see it, yes? i said what do you think? she said i've known you for over

180 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on