"Blame It on Cain"

Karen Kraushaar, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and Sharon Bialek
Getty Images
Karen Kraushaar, Herman Cain and Sharon Bialek
Karen Kraushaar, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and Sharon Bialek
Getty Images

That's the title of an old Elvis Costello song. But in the current scandal, it's part of Herman Cain's ever changing answer to the allegations of sexual harassment - blame it on everyone else.

As my colleague John Dickerson points out, Cain began his defense against the allegations by first saying they were "baseless" and untrue. Soon thereafter, Cain's campaign, personified by his chief-of-staff Mark Block, began blaming everyone else for the allegations against him.

"The actions of the Perry campaign are despicable. Rick Perry and his campaign owe Herman Cain and his family an apology. It's an outrage, and as I said before, Rick Perry needs to apologize to Herman Cain, and quite frankly to America," Block said in an interview last week.

Cain himself said the then anonymous accusers were part of a bigger effort to ruin him. "There are factions that are trying to destroy me personally, as well as this campaign," he said.

But after backing off the Perry claims, the Cain campaign went back attacking the media. After Sharon Bialek made her allegations public, Cain attacked her. And yesterday, Cain's campaign went on the attack. This time linking their attack on the media with their attack against the first accuser to come forward, Karen Kraushaar, who only came forward with her name yesterday.

This was Mark Block last night on FOX News: "I mean, it's become quite apparent that Mr. Cain's candidacy and his rise in the poll is the -- both the left and the right's worst nightmare. You have all of these allegations coming out, you know, eight nine days ago from Politico. You start connecting the dots and trying to figure out whether it's coming from our opponents on the left or opponents from the right. I mean, just at the press conference it was brought up that Karen Kraushaar had come out as one of the women. So, we've come to find out that her son works at Politico. The organization... "

Host Sean Hannity interjected: "Have you confirmed that? I've been hearing that all day. Rumors about that. You've confirmed that now, right?

"We confirmed it that he does indeed work at Politico and that's his mother, yes," Block responded.

Let's assume for a minute that what Block said was true. Would it matter that an accuser's son worked at the news organization that broke the story? Would it suggest that the story is any less valid? Would it mean that the settlement that the accuser got from the National Restaurant Association was any less real? Does accusing a reporter of having a relationship with a woman who accused the candidate of harassment change the original story?

No. And it doesn't matter because both claims are false.

"If anyone was wondering, I am NOT related to Karen Kraushaar, the woman who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment. Strange coincidence," wrote Josh Kraushaar in a tweet. By the way, his twitter handle is "HotlineJosh" - not PoliticoJosh. And a simple Google search for "Josh Kraushaar" comes up with National Journal as the first entry.

Cain and his staff continue to lose credibility as they go on the attack against the media and traditional bogeymen like "liberals" and "the left."

What the American people are looking for is someone with the decency, honesty, and respectability to hold the office of president of the United States. Cain's shifting blame game and lack of a clear explanation for the numerous accusations against him leave his campaign lacking the very attributes that the American people desire.

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    Robert Hendin is senior producer for "Face the Nation" and a CBS News senior political producer.