HOLLYWOOD (CBS) — Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is scheduled to appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Monday hoping to bolster the nation’s sense of humor, but likely not to answer questions regarding sexual harassment allegations.
Cain campaign’s chief of staff Mark Block told Fox News Channel on Friday that the campaign will no longer answer questions related to the accusations that Cain sexually harassed at least three female employees when he was chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
Cain has repeatedly denied the allegations, first reported last Sunday by the political news website Politico. His campaign has called them “thinly sourced” and “unsubstantiated personal attacks.”
The appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” stems in part from a pizza-related sketch Kimmel did on Cain about a month ago, said J.D. Gordon, the Cain campaign’s vice president of communications and foreign policy adviser.
“We all laughed,” Gordon said.
A producer from Kimmel’s show contacted the Cain campaign the following day and invited the former Godfather’s Pizza president and chief executive officer to appear on the program, Gordon told City News Service.
“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for us,” Gordon said. “Mr. Cain has said for months now that America needs a sense of humor and to the extent that he appears on shows like with Mr. Kimmel, I think he can help achieve that.”
Cain appeared on the NBC late-night talk show “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Sept. 30.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” airs at midnight. Cain’s appearance will be taped earlier in the day at the show’s set at the El Capitan Entertainment Center in Hollywood.
Cain also has “a couple of private events” planned for his trip to Southern California, Gordon said
Several recent polls have put Cain in a statistical tie with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Most of the polls were conducted before reports sexual harassment allegations first surfaced.
Financially, the scandal has yet to hurt Cain with voters. Immediately following the first allegations, his campaign staff said more than $1 million in donations poured in.
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