Herman Cain's chief of staff on Thursday walked back accusations that rival Rick Perry's campaign was responsible for the leak of accusations of sexual harassment against him, saying that he would "accept" the claim by a former staffer now affiliated with the Perry campaign that he was not behind them.
"Until we get all the facts, I'm just going to say that we accept what Mr. Anderson has said, and we want to move on with the campaign," Cain's chief of staff, Mark Block, said on Fox News.
Curt Anderson, the former Cain staffer, has flatly denied the accusations, saying earlier on Fox News that any reporters he had ever spoken to about the Cain allegations were free to openly attribute those comments to him. In doing so, he opened up the door for Politico, who originally reported the allegations, to confirm him as the source. Politico has not done so, effectively eliminating Anderson as the source of the story.
Block seemed to struggle with this development, just hours after the campaign launched a full-frontal assault on Perry for being the source of the leak. On Wednesday night, Block had called the leak "despicable" and said Perry owed "Herman Cain, his family, and America an apology."
"All the evidence that we had on what transpired over the past two weeks led up to Mr. Anderson as being the source," Block said.
Pressed by host Megyn Kelly as to whether the campaign stood by those accusations, Block equivocated.
"I'm going to do the same thing that Mr. Anderson has done and move on, talk about the issues and get on with the campaign," Block said. "I will stand behind what we said yesterday, and was thrilled that Mr. Anderson said what he said."
Perry's campaign has adamantly denied being the source of the leak since the harassment charges first emerged earlier this week.
"Well, we found out about these allegations at the same time I suppose everyone else did — read about them online and our campaign had absolutely nothing to do with it," Perry said Wednesday night in an interview with the conservative blog Red State. "I'm disappointed that there's finger pointing going on, and the sooner that we back to talking about the issues that are important to the people of the country, the better."