December 3, 2011
ATLANTA - An unapologetic and defiant Herman Cain suspended his presidential campaign on Saturday, pledging that he "would not go away," even as he abandoned hope of winning the Republican nomination. Instead, Mr. Cain announced what he called a "Plan B," continued advocacy of his tax and foreign policy plans.
"As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign," Mr. Cain said. "Because of the continued distractions, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, not because we are not fighters. Not because I'm not a fighter."
Mr. Cain, with his wife at his side, adamantly professed Saturday that the accusations of sexual harassment and of a long-term affair that have swamped his campaign were not true. The circus-like atmosphere surrounding Saturday's announcement - complete with numerous postponements, barbecue, a blues band and supporters in colonial-era dress - was in keeping with the campaign's irreverence and disarray since its Inception: Mr. Cain, a self-styled rebel, announced his intention to run earlier this year at a rally, also in Atlanta, with the nonsensical phrase, "Aw, shucky ducky!"
For days now, the campaign has fueled a "will he or won't he?" storm of speculation, at once thriving on the media's attention while denouncing it as the source of Mr. Cain's plummeting popularity. Mr. Cain's critics have long posited that he was more interested in creating celebrity for himself - as a means to sell books and increase speaking fees - than in any serious candidacy.