There's Nothing Dirty About Rick Perry Leaking Herman Cain's Harrassment Accusations To Reporters

Herman Cain’s camp can’t seem to figure out which way is up. Midday Thursday, Cain’s campaign manager Mark Block stood down from his accusation that Rick Perry engaged in “despicable” conduct by leaking news of the first story about a sexual harassment complaint against Cain. But later in the day, Cain himself suggested again, this time on Sean Hannity’s radio show, that the Perry camp was behind the story. So which is it? Did Perry’s underlings leak the information?

If they did, it would be the first signs of intelligent life from the underachieving Aggie. What—me defend Rick Perry? Ordinarily I’d be right up there leading the charge against him for despicable behaviour. I mean, Perry may have executed an innocent man. He ran an ad against a Latino that many Tejanos considered racist. His conduct in office has been so ethically challenged that even Sarah Palin has accused him of “crony capitalism.” He hugged a preacher who smeared Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. Despicable indeed.

But none of those things sparked the ire of the Herminator. No, Cain and his team accused Perry of the “despicable” act of leaking information about alleged sexual harassment by Cain.

Puh-leez.

Since when is it dirty to encourage reporters to commit journalism?

Has American politics become so wussified (to use Kinky Friedman’s wonderful phrase) that spreading information about someone’s allegedly unprofessional conduct is now considered dirty? Heck, even Perry seems to think so, telling CNN’s John King on Thursday evening that if anyone on his campaign was behind the story, they are “out the door.” Why? He would fire someone for leaking damaging information on his opponent? That’s like benching a linebacker for sacking the opposing quarterback.

Come on. Nixon 1972—now that was dirty. Nixon’s campaign bugged the Democratic National Committee chairman’s office. As Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein reported, the creeps at CREEP (the Committee to Re-Elect the President) put tails on Democratic candidates and their families. They forged letters—including the infamous “Canuck” letter, wherein Democratic frontrunner Ed Muskie was accused of using an ethnic slur. They stole their opponents’ campaign files. They disrupted Democrats’ campaign schedules and more. That’s dirty.

This post originally appeared on The Daily Beast.

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