Is it R.I.P. for 9-9-9?
Herman Cain is weighing abandonment of his hunt for the GOP presidential nomination, according to the National Review.
The Republican candidate is reeling from a fresh allegation of sexual impropriety, the latest wrinkle centering on claims that Cain had a 13-year affair with a Georgia business woman.
On a conference call with senior staff, Cain denied having an affair with the woman, Ginger White, but he said that the allegations may have created too much of "a cloud" for him to push forward, the National Review reports.
Cain told staff he would continue with his usual schedule and will make a decision in the next few days.
"Any time you put another cloud of doubt, unfortunately, in the court of public opinion, for some people, you’re guilty until proven innocent," Cain said on the call. "And so, the public will have to decide whether they believe her or whether they believe me. That’s why we’re going to give it time, to see what type of response we get from our supporters.”
A spokesperson for Cain did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Cain briefly rose to the top of the Republican field on the strength of his colorful debate performance and his 9-9-9 tax plan, but he has seen his standing slip as allegations of sexual harassment stemming from his time as the head of the National Restaurant Association.
Until November, Cain routinely polled ahead of the competition in the 20-30 percent range, but his support has cratered in recent weeks. He know polls behind Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in the mid-teens.