This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 1, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Right to the lead story: Herman Cain fighting back. As you know, Mr. Cain has been under fire on two fronts: personal allegations against him and how he's running his presidential campaign. To his credit, Mr. Cain is not ducking either issue, and he joins us now from Washington. First of all, Mr. Cain, did you expect accusations against you once you became competitive in the race? Did you expect them?
HERMAN CAIN, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, we did. We did expect them. We just didn't know what type or what source they were going to come from. But it was expected and, as you noticed, and pointed out, once I got near the top in the polls and in many of them was no. 1, then they let all of the dogs out.
O'REILLY: OK. It makes sense. But you chose yesterday to engage in the conversation, which I'm not sure was the smart thing to do in the sense that you know anything you say can and will be held against you by your opponents. You're never going to convince them of anything because they just don't like your politics. So why engage at all?
CAIN: I did it for the public and I did it for my supporters. And even though I hadn't had 24 hours to process exactly what I was going to say or I hadn't had 24 hours to try and recollect some of the details, I wanted to go out front with it even though, by the end of the day, I had recalled more of the details -- Bill, this was 12 years ago. I did it for my supporters and they have responded in a positive way because I got out in front and was direct in addressing this issue.
O'REILLY: OK. So by that answer, I can assume that you weren't prepared for this kind of a situation to surface because if you had been prepared you would have had your people research exactly what happened so that you could put it forth. You weren't prepared for this? You were blindsided by this.
CAIN: Not totally blindsided, Bill. My campaign was made aware that this story might break 10 days ago. But we made a conscious decision not to go chasing two anonymous sources and not knowing what the rest of the story is going to be.
O'REILLY: No but shouldn't you then have if you were made aware 10 days ago that this could have -- could be in play, shouldn't you then have gone over with your attorneys, formulated a response, you know, they call it a rapid response team, all campaigns have them.
O'REILLY: So when it did get public that you calmly went over and said these are the facts. You seemed to be caught somewhat off-guard and you just said you didn't recollect. Shouldn't you have had all of that in your file ready to go?
CAIN: We didn't have all of that, Bill, but we did -- we do have a rapid response consultant but you are right. What happened was when questions got asked, some of them I didn't anticipate and I was trying to recollect -- I was trying to remember some of those facts in the middle of a very busy day. So you are right. Could we have started earlier such that I would have been better prepared to be more crisps with the response, yes. But I still didn't want to wait because I wanted my supporters to know that was I not about to duck this issue.
O'REILLY: OK. Do you think it's hurt your campaign, sets you back any?
CAIN: I don't think so. Bill, in the last 24 hours, our fundraising has been the highest it has been since I have been in this campaign. The phone calls into our campaign office have just locked up the phone system practically and I have many former employees who have called and stepped forward and say that they would be glad to do a testimonial on my character and my integrity. So no, I don't believe that it's hurt my campaign at all, just based upon not only the volunteers and the phone calls but the fundraising has just really gone up dramatically.
O'REILLY: How many years were you in the private sector earning a living? How many years?
CAIN: About 42 years. And I went from the Department of the Navy as a mathematician to the Coca-Cola Company as a business analyst, the Pillsbury Company as a business analyst and an information technology executive. And then from there I became a vice president with the Burger King Corporation and then president of Godfather's Pizza, then president of the National Restaurant Association. And in all of those experiences, only at the Restaurant Association did these two anonymous accusations come up.
O'REILLY: All right, so there's nothing else on your sheet. Forty-two years is a long time in the marketplace.
CAIN: Yes. Yes.
O'REILLY: And those of us who have been in the marketplace know that it's a treacherous place when you're successful. There is no doubt about it.
O'REILLY: I mean, people are jealous and whatever. So there is nothing else in the 42-year experience that you can anticipate you're going to have to deal with down the road?
CAIN: Absolutely. And as I have said, Bill, if something else comes up and it will, they are going to make it up.
CAIN: There are no other instances.
O'REILLY: And as long -- as long as you're not concerned about anything, we will see what happens.
CAIN: Nope. Thanks.
O'REILLY: Now Clarence Thomas, do you see any parallels to that situation?
CAIN: I see some parallels. But there is one big difference. I'm running for president of the United States. And, Bill, I believe that I have people on both sides of the aisle who really do not want me to get the nomination to become president. Why? Because I am an unconventional candidate and the American people are connecting with my message, and they are connecting with me.
O'REILLY: Well there's no doubt. I mean, sure.
CAIN: So it's a little different in that regard.
O'REILLY: All right, but, you know, it's the same kind -- well, anyway. There are some similarities. Now, you say you are running for president, unconventional campaign. We reported last week you got three paid workers in Iowa and three in New Hampshire. Have you upped that any? Because that certainly is unconventional.
CAIN: Well, Bill, when you reported three workers, that number was wrong. See, we don't send out a press release every day saying how many people we have on staff. We've had about nine or 10 people working full time in Iowa now for quite some time.
O'REILLY: And in New Hampshire?
CAIN: And yes, we have -- and in New Hampshire -- and we have increased that number as a result of what has happened in the past few weeks. So the reports that we have a very skimpy team in New Hampshire and Iowa and South Carolina and Florida is absolutely not true. We are ramping up very quickly.
O'REILLY: OK but nine -- nine employees in Iowa, that's not a lot. I mean, it's lean and mean. You might be able to get by with it. But compared to the others, that's not a lot. But anyway, be that as it may.
CAIN: Well it's not, Bill. But Bill, Bill, but let me add this. But we have a lot of volunteers that are dedicated and devoted. OK, you're right.