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Cain blasts critics for "character assassination"

(Xinhua)

10:29, December 01, 2011

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Troubled by newly-emerged allegations of sexual impropriety, U.S. Republican presidential contender Herman Cain said on Wednesday that he is a victim of " character assassination."

Addressing an audience in a Ohio hotel, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza said "they're attacking my character, my reputation and my name in order to try and bring me down, but you see I don't believe that America is going to let that happen."

"They've been trying to do character assassination on me," he said. "Some of them even predicted that this room would be empty today. I don't think I see any empty seats in here."

The candidate told his campaign staff on Tuesday that he is " reassessing" his bid for the White House following the new allegations that he had a 13-year extramarital affair with an Atlanta businesswoman. Many interpreted the remarks as he is considering dropping out of the race.

However, Cain denied he is about to quit. "We are reassessing as we speak," he said during an interview with ABC News Wednesday. "Reassessment means reevaluation."

Cain's campaign has been suffering from multiple allegations of sexual harassment since late October, which downed his poll numbers and squeezed him out of the top tier of the Republican field. The new allegations would further erode support among social conservatives and female voters.

A new Gallup poll released Wednesday showed wide gender gap in terms of support for Cain. Fifty-eight percent of Republican men have a favorable view of Cain and 26 percent an unfavorable view. Among Republican women, 42 percent view him favorably and 34 percent unfavorably.

Political observers have started to embrace for a new Republican primary landscape if Cain quits. Many believe former House Speaker Newt Gingrich would benefit most from Cain's dropping out, as both candidates are seen as alternatives to Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is not so popular among conservatives.

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