Less than 24 hours after his campaign manager denied that Herman Cain would quit his presidential run, Cain himself said on Wednesday that he's still mulling whether to drop his effort to win the GOP presidential nomination.
In an interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto, Cain said he will make up his mind within several days. "One week, I will have made a final decision," he said.
Speculation that the Georgia businessman would pull the plug on his campaign began in earnest this week after an Atlanta woman named Ginger White said she and Cain had a 13-year affair, an allegation he denies. Previously, he had been accused by four separate women of sexual harassment, allegations that helped sink his position in the polls.
The toll on his family is the primary reason he's re-evaluating whether to continue, he said.
"The first priority is for me to sit with my family, in person, not on the road," said Cain. "Go through there and find out exactly how they feel about it, the impact it is having on them."
Cain said he will also base his decision on how much support--financial and otherwise--he can attract. He acknowledged that the latest allegation caused a drop in campaign contributions from $1 million a week to $100,000 now. But he denied donors and supporters were abandoning his effort.
“There are a lot of big-money people who do not see me as a risk,” he said. “I have not had people willing to hold fundraisers call and say, ‘I'm not with you.’ "
Cain's explanation of his thinking came after 36 hours of mixed signals from the candidate and his advisers. On a conference call on Tuesday morning, Cain told members of the campaign he was “reassessing” whether to stay in, but campaign manager Mark Block told reporters hours later that his candidate wouldn’t quit.
On Fox, however, Cain made it clear he has not shut the door on the possibility of walking away from the presidential race. "This is a decision I have to make based on the feedback I get from my family and from the people that I'm talking to," he said. At a campaign stop in Ohio, he told reporters he is "reassessing and reevaluating" his candidacy.
In a brief interview, campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon appeared to confirm the campaign's position had changed.
“Yep, uh huh, that’s where we are right now," he said.
The latest accusation has led some Republicans, including presidential rival Jon Huntsman and Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., to suggest that Cain bow out. But Cain, who painted himself as the victim of a smear campaign by liberals and the media, said supporters have told him to stick with his effort.