Herman Cain’s candidacy has reached “a tipping point,” one Iowa conservative leader said Monday, as some Republicans here reacted with distaste to fresh allegations about inappropriate behavior — from a fourth accuser who isn’t anonymous.
The Des Moines Register re-interviewed 15 conservative Iowans who participated in the Iowa Poll two weeks ago, and 11 of them said Sharon Bialek’s detailed allegations about Cain groping her in 1997 are troubling enough to at least make them question the retired restaurant executive’s fitness for the White House.
Cain was 31-year-old Sioux City resident Joe Sandvick’s top choice in the Iowa Poll, but on Monday, Sandvick said the new claims draw the candidate’s character into question “dramatically.”
A former employee of the United States Agency for International Development says Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain asked her to help arrange a dinner date for him with a female audience member following a speech he delivered nine years ago.
Donna Donella, 40, of Arlington, said the USAID paid Cain to deliver a speech to businessmen and women in Egypt in 2002, during which an Egyptian businesswoman in her 30s asked Cain a question.
"And after the seminar was over," Donella told The Washington Examiner, "Cain came over to me and a colleague and said, 'Could you put me in touch with that lovely young lady who asked the question, so I can give her a more thorough answer over dinner?'"
Donella, who no longer works for USAID, said they were suspicious of Cain's motives and declined to set up the date. Cain responded, "Then you and I can have dinner." That's when two female colleagues intervened and suggested they all go to dinner together, Donella said.
Cain exhibited no inappropriate sexual behavior during the dinner, though he did order two $400 bottles of wine and stuck the women with the bill, she said.