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Barbour: Cain should drop confidentiality agreement

Cain still leads the GOP field, but will it last? Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour offers his advice on how Cain handles this campaign crisis.

Herman Cain should come clean immediately, and release the details of a settlement with a former National Restaurant Association employee who accused Cain of sexual harassment, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) said Wednesday.

Barbour, speaking on MSNBC's Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, urged Cain to release his accuser from a confidentiality agreement associated with the settlement in order to help get the story behind his campaign.

"Everybody watching knows, if a week from now we've had one week of the confidentiality agreement is keeping the facts from coming out, that's not in Herman Cain's interests," Barbour said. "Herman Cain's interest is getting this behind him where he can get back and focused on the things that made him very popular among Republican voters."

Barbour, who considered running for president himself, is regarded as one of the sharpest political minds in the GOP. He hasn't endorsed any of the Republican presidential hopefuls currently in the race.

Cain has been dogged since Sunday night, when Politico reported that the NRA had settled with two women who accused Cain of harassment. In the days since, Cain has acknowledged that there were settlements (after initially denying recollection of them), but he has steadfastly denied any harassment.

An attorney for one of the women now says she wishes to be released from the confidentiality terms of the agreement, but Cain declined to say Tuesday evening whether he'd agree to the request.

"I think the best interest of Herman Cain's campaign -- of everybody -- is let's get all the facts out," Barbour said. "I can tell you this: If you have a confidentiality agreement that keeps the public from finding out something that the public is interested in knowing the facts, you ought to go on and get the facts out."