Cain Florida supporters in ‘wait-and-see’ mode, Plakon saysby Dara Kam | November 29th, 2011
Embattled GOP presidential contender Herman Cain‘s Sunshine State supporters are in a wait-and-see mode while the campaign decides on its next move in the wake of allegations of a decade-long extramarital affair, Cain’s Florida campaign co-chairman Rep. Scott Plakon said Tuesday.
Cain told advisors and supporters including Plakon this morning that he is “reassessing” whether to remain in the race.
But Plakon said that, if what Cain says is true and he did not have a 13-year affair with Ginger White, Cain should stay in. And if that’s the case, he’s got Plakon’s support.
“If it turns out that all he had was 61 text messages, that seems like a pretty lousy reason o drive someone out of the presidential race…To say he should get out because of that I can speak for myself. I just don’t roll that way,” Plakon, R-Longwood, said.
And, Plakon said, Cain’s Florida supporters are on hold but haven’t bailed after the latest round of accusations.
“We haven’t heard anybody calling to say, ‘I’m out of here.’ He’s so well-liked people are willing to see what the reassessment looks like over the next few days,” Plakon said.
Plakon, who said he was on the conference call with Cain’s national advisors Tuesday morning, said the accusations alone should not force Cain to step aside.
“He says he didn’t do these things. And if that is true, to be forced out of this race over allegations that aren’t true would be truly unfortunate and I think would be bad for our country. We have a long tradition in the country. You should be presumed innocent until you’re found guilty,” he said. “If it turns out that all he had was 61 text messages, that seems like a pretty lousy reason o drive someone out of the presidential race…To say he should get out because of that I can speak for myself. I just don’t roll that way.”
If the allegations are true, however, Cain should drop out, Plakon said.
“If he did have a 13-year affair, then he should get out. But I take him at his word. And he said he didn’t do it. So unless proof comes forward, I don’t think these things should chase a presidential candidate in the top tier out of the race,” he said.
The latest set of accusations are sure to hamper Cain, once a favorite among GOP voters but whose star plummeted in the wake of the first round of accusations of sexual harassment earlier this month.
“If they are not true, yes I believe that he can recover. But if not, then he needs to get out. There’s no denying that the thing causes damage. But if they are not true, I don’t believe that this is necessarily fatal. But that’s something that the national campaign, his family and his advisors, they all have to decide that. In the meantime, here in Florida, everybody that I’ve talked to seems to be kind of in a wait-and-see mode on what they think the best steps forward are,” Plakon said.
Plakon questioned White’s credibility, saying the Atlanta woman lost a libel lawsuit earlier this year and has offered no specifics on her alleged affair with Cain other than dozens of text messages and telephone calls.
“That is not anything. She should be able to say, ‘I went with him to Pasadena, Calif., in the month of March in 2006 or whatever it was. The many, many cities she said they traveled to together. That’s easy to find out. I would hope the media would look at this,” Plakon said.