Texas Gov. Rick Perry said on Thursday he will fire any campaign staffer found to have leaked the story about sexual-harassment charges against his Republican presidential rival Herman Cain, though he continued to deny any involvement by his campaign.
“Out the door,” Perry said in an interview with CNN’s John King. “I would say, listen, if you're passing on rumors that are that heinous, that bad you don't need to be working with me. Gone.”
The story that two female employees of the National Restaurant Association received financial settlements after formally lodging complaints against Cain while he headed the organization in the 1990s, first reported on Sunday in Politico, has set off a wave of finger-pointing among GOP presidential hopefuls.
Cain has accused Perry aide Curt Anderson, an adviser to Cain’s failed 2004 Senate bid, of being the source of the story.
Asked if he’s owed an apology from Cain, Perry demurred. “I tell people, this isn't my first rodeo,” he said, adding: “I'm going to stay focused on how does America get back to work and we have laid out good plans on the energy and tax side, how to cut spending. That's what Americans are interested in.”