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GOP candidates reticent to comment on Cain

As sexual harassment allegations continue to swirl around him, GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain keeps denying them. NBC's Lisa Myers has more.

Republican candidates, for the most part, have not waded into the controversy surrounding Herman Cain.

Perhaps the harshest voice was Rick Santorum, who said he has been more vetted than Cain and this is the risk with an untested candidate.

"I don't know all the facts,” Santorum said on FOX, per GOP 12, before adding, “What I can say is that there's something to be said for having a candidate in the race who's been in front of the national public eye, who's gotten scrutiny. I've run five races, three state-wide races in Pennsylvania, and been under the national spotlight and had to answer all the questions on all the issues, have had my background looked at."

Newt Gingrich dismissed it.

"I don't pay attention to the junk that you find fascinating,” he said. “I work on policy."

Others tried some version of “no comment.”

Rick Perry: “As a good rule of thumb, until things go past allegations to fact, I just try to leave them alone.”

Jon Huntsman: "Well, there are always distractions in politics. You gotta work to get your message through. You gotta work hard to make sure people understand what it is you stand for. And often times you’re going to have [the] drama of politics play out in an unpredictable fashion, and it’s hard to know where that then goes. It consumes days, maybe a whole week and that does take some of the bandwidth out of the atmosphere; there's no doubt about that."

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad following a forum hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers, lining up with most in the talk-radio circuit, defended Cain.

"Iowans are pretty fair-minded people and just because someone makes an accusation, anybody that's in a high-profile position is potential to have people make these accusations,” he said. “And I think Iowans will carefully look at the real situation before jumping to conclusions. I want to just reserve judgment."

As GOP 12 points out: “Branstad was considerably more critical of Mitt Romney and Herman Cain for missing today's jobs forum in the state.”

By the way, Cain’s wife Gloria is in talks to be on FOX Friday night, the New York Times reports.

NBC's Alex Moe, Jamie Novogrod and Jo Ling Kent contributed to this report.