Will the newest recent allegations Herman Cain seal his fate?
Herman Cain told senior campaign staff members Tuesday that he's "reassessing" his campaign in the wake of a fresh allegation that he engaged in a 13-year-long extramarital affair.
Steve Grubbs, the candidate's Iowa campaign chairman, confirms to NBC News that Cain said he's taking a step back, much as he did after his finish in the Ames Straw Poll in August, to evaluate the direction of his campaign. The call included Cain's 50 state directors, and the reassessment will occur over the next two days.
This reassessment coincides with a new allegation from Ginger White, an Atlanta woman who says that she and Cain engaged in an affair for well over a decade, one that ended only recently. Cain has denied the affair.
Cain reiterated his claim, made yesterday in reaction to the new allegation, that White was simply a friend who he had sought to help financially, and that nothing inappropriate had happened between the two of them.
The former Godfather's Pizza CEO, who has faced a string of different allegations of sexual harassment, also said that he had no immediate plans to cancel his campaign events; he still intends to deliver a major foreign policy speech tonight in Michigan.
But Cain acknowledged the emotional toll that the claims against him had taken on his family. He said yesterday on CNN that he would stay in the campaign as long as his wife continued to believe he should stay in the race.
In the same interview, though, Cain opened the door to a possible exit from the race.
"It's just the way it is, but I'm not going to allow this sort of thing to cause me to drop out simply because it's tough on me. I don't want it to be tough on my family. And there comes a point that if it's tough on my family, I have to consider that at that particular point in time," he said.
Asked whether he would drop out if the race became too tough, Cain said: "I'll make that decision depending upon the circumstances and how it is impacting my wife and my family. That's my number one concern by all of these accusations."
***UPDATE*** Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon tells NBC News: "It's a reassessment of where we stand and the road ahead, similar to other times in the campaign's history. We're looking forward to getting back on message tonight with the Foreign Policy and National Security speech at Hillsdale College in Michigan."