Cain willing to take lie detector test

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain suggested he would be willing to take a lie detector test to address the sexual harassment accusations against him.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain denies ever having known Sharon Bialek, his most recent accuser. (Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain suggested Tuesday he would be willing to take a lie detector test to address the sexual harassment accusations against him.

"Yes, I absolutely would," Cain said in responding to a reporter's question during a news conference he held to address the accusations. "But I'm not going to do that unless I have a good reason to do that. That was one of the first comments that I made when watching this to my staff. I also shared that with my attorney. Of course I would be willing to do a lie detector's test."

He also vowed that the allegations would not stall his campaign bid or make him withdrawal from the race.

"Ain't gonna happen," he said.

He rejected the latest accusation against him by Sharon Bialek, saying he can't remember ever meeting her, and denied he ever acted inappropriately to her or anyone else.

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Cain said when he watched the Monday press conference with Bialek and her attorney Gloria Allred, he tried to recall who the woman was. "I don't remember knowing her," he said.

Earlier, in an interview with ABC News, when asked whether the woman was lying, Cain said: "Yes, I’m saying that as nice a way as I can."

"I have absolutely not acted inappropriate with this lady or anyone else in my entire career" he added, calling the accusations a "vicious, baseless" attack on his character and integrity.

Bialek came forward Monday alleging Cain attempted to grope her in July 1997.

Bialek is the first woman to go public with accusations of harassment but the fourth to claim misconduct on the part of the presidential hopeful. The allegations have threatened to derail Cain's bid for the White House.

After Bialek's news conference, Cain said, he called his wife right away and asked her what she thought.

Cain said his wife said: "I've known you for over 40 years. That stuff doesn't even sound like you."

Cain blamed "the Democratic machine in America" which has "brought forth a troubled woman to make false accusations."

Cain's campaign was quick to deny the account and on Tuesday issued a release seeking to discredit his accuser. The document — entitled "Who is Sharon Bialek?" — outlines what it calls her "long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances."

It lists civil lawsuits that allegedly relate to her in the Cook County Court system in Illinois. It also quotes news reports mentioning her involvement in a paternity case and a bankruptcy filing.

The document contrasts that record with what it says is Cain's "four decades spent climbing the corporate ladder rising to the level of CEO at multiple successful business enterprises."

Cain has repeatedly denied claims

Bialek stood by her accusation Tuesday, saying she has "nothing to gain" by coming forward and adding that she is not "running for president."

She has said she went public with the information to put "a face and a voice" to support other accusers who have so far remained anonymous.

Cain has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and has called the accusations a "smear campaign" since the disclosure that two women reportedly received financial settlements from the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s after accusing Cain, who led the group at the time, of sexually inappropriate behaviour while they were employed there.

A third woman told The Associated Press last week that she considered filing a workplace complaint against Cain over what she deemed sexually suggestive remarks and gestures that included a private invitation to his corporate apartment.

A former pollster for the restaurant association has also said he witnessed yet another episode involving a fourth woman. It was unclear whether that woman is Allred's client.

The allegations have rocked Cain's unorthodox presidential campaign just as he was riding high in public opinion polls two months before the lead-off Iowa presidential caucuses.

With files from The Associated Press