By now most of the country has heard Herman Cain’s campaign accuse rival Rick Perry of leaking the story of Cain’s alleged sexual harassment of two former employees to Politico reporter Jonathan Martin.
Now, however, a Washington Times report has surfaced pointing the finger of blame at, of all people: Obama’s former chief of staff. The Times reports that a source close to the Cain campaign went one step further and suggested it wasn’t only Perry, but Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was the culprit behind the leak.
According to a source who is friends with the Cain campaign, not only is the Rick Perry campaign involved but also the Mayor of Chicago and former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is likely involved with the sexual harassment accuser attacks. A friend of the Cain campaign believes a National Restaurant Association (NRA) employee out of the Chicago office leaked the story to the Perry campaign via information and influence from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office.
But according to Martin, Curt Anderson, the Perry advisor who the Cain campaign is accusing of leaking the information, is denying the charges:
“I’ve known Herman Cain for about 7 years. I was one of several consultants on his Senate race in 2004 and was proud to help him. I’d never heard any of these allegations until I read them in Politico, nor does anything I read in the press change my opinion that Herman is an upstanding man and a gentleman. I have great respect for Herman and his character and I would never speak ill of him, on the record or off the record. That’s true today and it’s not going to change.”
In the campaign world, it is not inconceivable to think that an operative from one party might leak damaging information to a member of the other party in an effort to undermine a common “enemy,” but given the unnamed source cited in the Times report, the jury is still out until more information becomes available.
Until then, will the “he said she said” where Cain’s accused “leakers” are concerned help the front-runner’s campaign, or hurt it?