Amid fresh reports of alleged sexual dalliances, former pizza mogul Herman Cain is quickly learning that politics makes fickle friends.
Conservatives who once showered love on Cain are rapidly jumping ship, as the candidate’s latest sex scandal threatens to permanently derail his upstart presidential campaign. The California-based Draft Herman Cain PAC has even changed its name to the the Beat Obama PAC, according to Politico.
“Herman — who I still like — seems like a goofball now,” talk show host Dennis Miller, an early Cain endorser, said on his talk show today. “I still like the guy, but he’s unelectable.” Miller went on to admit that his gut instincts about Cain had been wrong.
Politico’s Alexander Burns notes that even influential conservatives who gave Cain the benefit of the doubt during the first wave of sexual harassment allegations — including Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Mike Huckabee — are starting to question his viability as a candidate.
“The allegation is one that could upend his presidential campaign,” Huckabee said in a Fox News interview. “Unlike the harassment charges, which he denied, he said this was a private answer. In essence, he may have given an answer that will be very difficult for him to work himself out of.”
Cain’s collapse has also opened the floodgates for Republican activists who never thought much of The Hermanator in the first place.
“The statement from his lawyer is the likely kill-shot to his campaign,” Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace, a longtime Cain critic, told Politico. “For an ordained Baptist minister to assert through his attorney that what happens in his private sex life doesn’t matter is preposterous.”
And in a blog post titled “When Book Tours Go Bad,” conservative adman Ladd Ehlinger went on a vitriolic rant about the Cain Train, complaining that the campaign had strung him along for months.
Via Ehlinger’s blog (h/t Slate):
All you are doing is playing your friends, your supporters, and some of my very good friends for your own fame and glory. And drinking parties. Yes – you drink like a fish, you flirt all over the place, and everyone who’s attended CPAC knows it. Nothing wrong with partying. Unless you lie about it. And try to deceive the public about it. If you want to be the American-Tea-Party Berlusconi, then be up front about it, don’t be a damned coward. You should be ashamed of yourself. (Emphasis added)
Still, a few Cainiacs appear to be sticking with their guy until the bitter end — and they don’t have very nice things to say about Cain’s newest accuser, Ginger White.
Arizona State Sen. Lori Klein, for example, thinks Cain is being unfairly attacked. Klein, who is Cain’s Arizona campaign chair, told CBS she thinks the candidate should sue White for libel.
In politics, Klein said, “we want a virgin to do a hooker’s job.”
She added that she has known Cain for 12 years and he has “never been anything but a gentleman – and I am not an unattractive woman.”
And Robert Upton, the Pentecostal pastor in charge of Cain’s faith-based outreach, posted this on his Facebook page last night:
“It must be Monday! Funny how the NRA bimbo attacks against Mr. Cain come out every Monday, these are not random; don’t drink the political cool aid.”
Cain’s staffers say the candidate is “reassessing” his campaign, but has no plans to drop out of the race. But it is getting a whole lot lonelier on the Cain Train.
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