Herman Cain’s candidacy has reached “a tipping point,” one Iowa conservative leader said today, as some Republicans here reacted with distaste to fresh allegations about inappropriate behavior – from a fourth accuser who isn’t anonymous.
The Des Moines Register re-interviewed a dozen conservative Iowans who participated in the Iowa Poll two weeks ago, and 10 of them said Sharon Bialek’s detailed allegations about Cain groping her in 1997 are troubling enough to at least make them question the retired restaurant executive’s fitness for the White House.
Cain was 31-year-old Sioux City resident Joe Sandvick’s top choice in the Iowa Poll, but today, Sandvick said the new claims draw the candidate’s character into question “dramatically.”
“If there’s one allegation, that’s one thing. When there’s two, there’s smoke. And when there’s three or four then you’ve got a full-blown fire,” said Sandvick, a tea party supporter. “Usually if you’ve got that many people coming forward, it’s got to be somewhat true somewhere along the line. They can’t all be in cahoots and say it’s a conspiracy.”
However, Cain today blamed reporters for a “hatchet job.”
“If the media want to continue talking about nonsense, that’s fine. I’m not going to join them. It doesn’t look like the citizenry plans to join them either,” he said in a written statement.
Some of Cain’s Iowa backers, including Pottawattamie County GOP Chairman Jeff Jorgensen, immediately came to Cain’s defense.
But other Iowa conservatives said the fact that Bialek identified herself and gave an on-the-record account of an alleged groping incident is a game-changer.