*Presidential hopeful Herman Cain is supposed to “meet” face to face with his wife today to discuss the future of his campaign and allegations that he had a 13-year affair with another woman.
In what has been the most definitive statement yet that he could end his campaign amid falling poll numbers and financial contributions, Cain told the editorial board of the New Hampshire Union Leader on Thursday that he was considering dropping out of the race, but for now was continuing to meet all campaign commitments.
He later told Sean Hannity of Fox News that he will make a decision before Monday, reports CNN.
Cain told the newspaper that he repeatedly gave Ginger White money to help her with “month-to-month bills and expenses.” However, he denied a sexual affair, as White alleges. He said the two were just friends.
In the interview, Cain said his wife, Gloria Cain, did not know about White or his financial support for her until the Atlanta woman came forward last week.
“My wife now knows,” Cain told the newspaper. “My wife and I have talked about it, and I have explained it to her. My wife understands that I’m a soft-hearted, giving person.”
Cain told the Union Leader that he gave White money, but refused to divulge how much.
Saying that no questions would have been raised if the story involved giving money to a needy male friend, Cain added that his wife “is comfortable with the explanation that I told her.”
Asked by the newspaper about reports of text messages he had exchanged with White, Cain confirmed that the woman had sent him about 70 such messages between October 22 and November 18 including some “asking for financial assistance.”
“She was out of work and had trouble paying her bills and I had known her as a friend,” Cain said. “She wasn’t the only friend who I had helped in these tough economic times, and so her messages to me were relating to ‘need money for rent’ or whatever the case may be. I don’t remember all the specifics.”
The allegation of an extramarital affair, following accusations of sexual harassment from other women, has seriously damaged Cain’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Once a surprise front-runner in the race, he has plunged in the polls since initial allegations of sexual harassment emerged in October.
Cain told staffers this week he was reassessing his campaign in the wake of White’s allegation of an affair, and he acknowledged to reporters Wednesday that her account had led to a drop in campaign contributions.
Cain told the newspaper he would drop out of the race if his wife asked him to, but quickly added that she wouldn’t.
In a fund-raising letter Tuesday night after White spoke to the media about the alleged relationship, Cain wrote that “a troubled Atlanta businesswoman used national media outlets to promulgate a fabricated, unsubstantiated story about a 13-year affair with me. I am writing you today to assure you that this woman’s story is completely false.”
Meanwhile, White gave an apology Thursday to Cain’s wife and their children for her actions.
“I am not a cold-hearted person. I am a mother of two kids. And of course my heart bleeds for this woman because I am a woman and being in a situation like this cannot be fun,” White said on MSNBC.
“And I am deeply, deeply sorry if I have caused any hurt to her and to his kids, to his family. That was not my intention. I never wanted to hurt anyone and I’m deeply sorry. I am very sorry,” she told host Lawrence O’Donnell.