U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has again denied allegations that he sexually harassed women when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association. Cain says he will not let the accusations that date back to the late 1990s derail his bid for the White House.
Herman Cain faced the media in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona Tuesday, a day after a fourth woman alleged she was the victim of his unwanted sexual advances when he headed the restaurant association that is headquartered in Washington.
"With respect to the most recent accusation, I have never acted inappropriately with anyone. Period," said Cain.
Monday, the latest accuser went public, alleging that Cain sexually harassed her after she sought his help on an employment issue. The conservative African-American businessman, who has been at or near the top in national presidential polls among Republicans hoping to unseat Democrat Barack Obama, vigorously denied the accusations and said the controversy will not force an end to his campaign.
"As far as these accusations causing me to back off and maybe withdraw from this presidential primary race - ain't gonna happen," he said.
Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Connecticut, says it is too early to tell what impact Cain's media appearance will have on his candidacy.
"Obviously Mr. Cain's motive in calling the news conference was to dispose of the story and to try to make it go away so he can get back to running for president," said Brown. "During these kinds of feeding frenzies, candidates aren't able to talk to voters about the things that they want to talk to them about, which is obviously their message."
Cain said he and his supporters are not going to allow Washington or politics to deny him the opportunity to represent the country, and he will not be deterred by what he called false, anonymous and incorrect accusations.
He hopes to instead continue the momentum of his campaign, as he and the other Republican presidential hopefuls look ahead to the January 3rd Iowa caucuses, the vote that officially begins the Republican nominating process for a candidate to face President Obama in the November 2012 election.