Audio has been released from a story we brought you yesterday of a call between Herman Cain and his senior staff over a new allegation against him and next steps. He says the claim of a 13-year affair from a woman he had thought was a friend, along with the other allegations, has taken an "emotional toll" and is cause for "reassessment:"
But just what does Cain mean about reassessment? After delivering a speech at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., last night, Cain gave an interview to the college newspaper -- The Collegian -- and confirms, as his spokesman said yesterday, that he is staying in the race. By reassessment, Cain did not mean he was evaluating whether to run or not.
Here's what he said to The Collegian:
"There's another option," he said. "Modify the strategy, modify the campaign. Stay in, but with a modified strategy given everything that's going on."
In this context, he said that might mean considering a change in campaign emphasis.
"We have had an early state strategy and a national strategy going on simultaneously," he said. "But because of all the controversy, we are reconsidering. Do we do both?"
"That's the reassessment that we are doing — reassessing the strategy."
The Collegian reports that Cain did not speak of the allegations during his Tuesday night address, but focused on national security and foreign relations:
[...] Cain said there was a simple reason for the omission.
"I'm done with the allegations," Cain said. "The allegations have been made, I denied them — three times."
Cain is married and has two adult children. He said that continuing to respond to the allegations distracted from his larger purpose.
"I'm not going to get into that because that gets me off message," he said. "I'm going to let my crisis management person answer those questions. And my attorney."
Yesterday, fellow Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman also said he finds the allegations against Cain as distracting from "issues pertinent to this campaign" as a whole. Huntsman took Cain's call for reassessment of his campaign as a sign that he was reassessing candidacy.