MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Herman Cain became the latest candidate to get the "Occupy Wall Street" treatment while addressing students at Middle Tennessee State University tonight.
A hand full of members from the mostly student crowd stood up and chanted "We are the 99 percent" in the middle of Cain's speech, which was to be about leadership and not politics. Another member of the crowd yelled "sexual abuse is not acceptable."
But the chants were mostly drawn out by booing from other students who told the protestors to "shut up" and leave. The exchange did not last much longer than a minute, and Cain stood smirking at the podium as the protestors exited the lecture hall.
"I committed to dean that I'm not going to address any political issues today. But do you know how tempting that is?" said Cain.
The presidential candidate was first approached about visiting campus almost a year ago, organizers said. They commended Cain for keeping the commitment in the wake of the new found attention his bid for the presidency has brought him.
"The way attribute it was, they wanted to disrupt my party because they couldn't attract anyone to come listen to them talk," said Cain. "Don't be embarrassed that those young people wanted to stand up and talk about that they're part of the 99, the 99%. We have freedom of speech, some people simply abuse it."
Occupy Wall Street protestors similarly interrupted a Michele Bachmann campaign event in South Carolina last month as well as a President Obama speech in New Hampshire.
But the focus of Cain's remarks was centered on his own leadership style and ascent to CEO of Godfather's Pizza. Though he said he would remain apolitical, the former Georgia businessman generically addressed some of the jabs taken his taken throughout the campaign. At one point Cain said leaders do not have all the answers, but they surround themselves with people who do -- a remark made on the trail when addressing critiques about his lack of foreign policy experience.
The embattled presidential candidate gave no new hints as to the future of his campaign, which he told staff this week he would be reassessing his campaign after a Georgia woman claimed to have carried on a 13-year affair with him.
Earlier today Cain met with the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he said in an interview that he repeatedly gave money to the alleged mistress without his wife's knowledge. Cain has said he'll need to have a face-to-face conversation with his wife before he decides if and how his presidential bid will continue.
That conversation will likely happen Friday evening when Cain returns home to Atlanta.