Herman Cain said today he is suspending his presidential campaign, acknowledging the toll he’s endured from allegations of an extramarital affair.
The businessman vowed to endorse one of his GOP rivals and announced he would try to change Washington from the outside.
“The pundits would like for me to shut up, drop out and go away,” Cain said at a rally in Atlanta. “Well, as my grandmother who lived to be 104 years old used to say when somebody was dead wrong, ‘Bless their little hearts.’
The effective end of Cain’s campaign is the latest twist in a volatile race for the GOP nomination. Six different people — including Cain, a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza — have been atop the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.
The current front-runner is former House speaker Newt Gingrich, whose own candidacy was on life support this spring. Gingrich and Cain are also close friends, and Cain once said at a GOP debate that he’d pick Gingrich as his running mate.
The lead-off Iowa caucuses are Jan. 3 — one month away.
Cain met with his wife, Gloria, and family on Friday to discuss the allegations by Ginger White, an Atlanta woman who says she and Cain have had an off-and-on “sexual affair” for years. He said he gave White money to pay her rent and other bills without his wife’s knowledge. But Cain denies an affair and says he and White were only friends.
For Cain – the only major Republican candidate who has never held elected office — the ride at times has been improbable. The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and one-time radio talk show host is making only his second run for political office.
Cain billed himself as the unconventional candidate with the unconventional campaign, and rose from obscurity to upset the GOP field in September with a victory at the Florida straw poll.
From there, Cain started to receive national attention – and increased scrutiny – for his signature proposal that calls for a 9% income tax, 9% corporate tax and new national sales tax.
Source: USA Today | Catalina Camia and Jackie Kucinich