Published December 05, 2011
ATLANTA – A spokesman for Herman Cain on Monday denied a report that an endorsement is imminent even as a source told MyFoxAtlanta that the former Republican presidential candidate will offer his backing to former House speaker and fellow Georgian Newt Gingrich.
The source told the news outlet that last week broke the story of a longtime mistress -- effectively sinking Cain's campaign -- that Cain is preparing to make the announcement Monday, but the details of the formal announcement are still being worked out.
Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon knocked down that report in a statement to Fox News, saying Cain is actually keeping his original campaign schedule -- attending an Oklahoma City fundraiser, and will shoot some videos to accompany an energy policy rollout that Gordon said Cain plans to unveil soon.
"I'd ask them where they are getting their information?" Gordon said of the report. "We'll keep you posted. Nothing to announce at this point."
Cain announced Saturday that he was suspending his campaign for the White House after coming under continuing scrutiny amid allegations of sexual harassment and an extramarital affair.
"These false and unproved allegations continue to be spinned in the media and in the court of public opinion so as to create a cloud of doubt over me and this campaign and my family," he told supporters in Atlanta.
Other Republican candidates have been scrambling to woo his supporters to their cause following the news.
Gingrich told reporters he had held a private conversation with Cain on Saturday and he later released a statement calling him a "powerful voice in the conservative movement" who "elevated the dialogue of the Republican presidential primary."
But Gingrich said he does not "anticipate" a Cain endorsement.
"Herman Cain has got to make up his own mind," Gingrich said. I hope to meet with him sometime next week. I expect he'll meet with all the candidates, and talk through what he intends to do with his new organization."
Gingrich is also holding a press conference Monday afternoon in New York, following a meeting with Donald Trump. Trump told Fox News on Monday that he's "probably" going to endorse somebody before the nominating season begins with the Jan. 3 caucuses in Iowa.
A Cain endorsement would offer Gingrich a big boost after the former House speaker surged in significant polls over the weekend.
An NBC News-Marist College poll released Sunday found Gingrich had moved into second place in the key primary state of New Hampshire, with 23 percent support among likely Republican primary voters -- a significant jump from his 4 percent showing in a similar poll conducted in October.
The Des Moines Register's third Iowa Poll, released Saturday night, shows Gingrich as a clear-cut winner, scoring 25 percent, ahead of Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 18 percent and Mitt Romney with 16 percent.
But Gingrich also has a fair number of detractors in Washington. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn said he is "not inclined" to be a Gingrich backer after having served under Gingrich for four years immediately after the Republican Revolution of 1994.
Coburn is one of many Republican lawmakers and former lawmakers who've said he is not a Gingrich fan. Notably, Gingrich has six congressional endorsements compared to longtime candidate Romney, who has about 50.
The former Massachusetts governor continues to hold a substantial lead, with 39 percent, in New Hampshire, according to the NBC News-Marist poll, though his support has dropped from 45 percent in October.