TPM News

Ed Rollins, Michele Bachmann's former top campaign aide, continued his escalating criticisms of his former client on FOX News Monday, calling the campaign a "mess."

"It was a mess. It wasn't going to work," he told Shepard Smith. "I didn't think it would work and I didn't want to spend six months at my age in Iowa. She understood. She was fine. We have had a nice relationship"

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Herman Cain told the crowd at the National Press Club Monday something he's said many times before: His rise in the polls is evidence once and for all that the tea party and conservative Republicanism is, officially, Not Racist.

Cain put a slightly different spin on the story at the Press Club, condemning those on the left who he said say people like him because he's black -- a kind of reverse diversity in which racist whites get behind Cain to show that they're not racist.

White people, Cain said, just aren't that conniving.

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It didn't take much to get Herman Cain to sing for the crowd gathered at the National Press Club in Washington Monday. The frontrunner for the Republican nomination, faced with the full-fledged frontrunner's scandal, stood before the crowd here and again denied the allegations he sexually harassed two female employees while the head of the National Restaurant Association.

He also sang a hymn where he asked for forgiveness for his faults. It was an interesting public appearance for a presidential candidate.

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UPDATE: 5:30pm Eastern - Herman Cain's claim that he did not know whether any money was paid out in at least one of the sexual harassment cases is starting to show some cracks. And he's actually making some of them himself. Details are leaking out over what will be in tonight's interview with Fox News' Greta van Susteren. It doesn't quite gibe with his earlier story. Click here for details.

Herman Cain confirmed on Monday that he was, in fact, accused of sexual harassment while CEO of the National Restaurant Association. But somehow, word never reached him that the cases were resolved with a cash settlement. Nor is he too interested in finding out what happened after the fact.

"If the restaurant association did a settlement I am not -- I wasn't even aware of it and I hope it wasn't for much, because nothing happened," he said on FOX News. "So if there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other officers that worked for me at the association."

He elaborated on his explanation in an appearance at the National Press Club later that day, saying that he was out of the loop regarding any final compensation deal after handing the matter over to others at the company.

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Occupy Wall Street protesters are looking to trademark the name before somebody else does, and might use it for “improper purposes,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Herman Cain doesn't have much to laugh about today. But his response to a British journalist at this morning's AEI discussion did provide a moment of levity.

ITN's Washington correspondent, the former BBC reporter Matt Frei, questioned Cain about his 999 plan, and noted he loved his accent.

"I like yours also, sir," Cain replied in a posh drawl. "Nine Nine Nine? It's mutual."

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Herman Cain may have helmed the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, but the trade group is leaving him to sort out reports of alleged sexual harassment on his own. In a statement, a spokeswoman for the organization said they would offer up no information on the accusations in question.

"The incidents in question relate to personnel matters that allegedly took place nearly fifteen years ago," Sue Hensley, Senior VP of Public Affairs at the NRA said in an e-mail. "Consistent with our longstanding policy, we don't comment on personnel issues relating to current or former employees."

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