Herman Cain Suspends Presidential Campaign

11:20 AM PST 12/03/2011 by Philiana Ng
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Herman Cain

The Republican hopeful said Saturday afternoon that the decision was made because of the "continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family."

After allegations of an extramarital affair and sexual harassment charges, Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain announced Saturday that he was suspending his bid for the White House.

"Becoming president was Plan A. Before you get discouraged, today I want to describe Plan B," Cain said. "As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, not because I'm not a fighter."

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Cain said later that other factors played roles in the decision to stop the campaign, including the pressures of finding funding to remain competitive with his fellow Republican hopefuls.

In a passionate speech to supporters that introduced a "Plan B," Cain also addressed the various allegations that have clouded his presidential campaign, calling them "unproven" and partially blaming the media for their role.

"That spin hurts. It hurts my wife, it hurts my family, it hurts me and it hurts the American people because you are being denied solutions to our problems," Cain said during the event, which prompted "Herman" chants from the crowd.

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He continued: "My wife, my family and I, we know that those false and unproven allegations are untrue so one of the first declarations that I want to make to you today is that I am at peace with my god. I am at peace with my wife and she is at peace with me."

Cain didn't hold back when addressing the media. "The pundits would like for me to shut up, drop out and go away but as my grandmother who lived to be 104 years old used to say, 'When somebody was dead wrong, bless their little hearts,' " he said. I am not going to be silenced and I am not going away."

Plan B, as he called it, is a new website: TheCainSolution.com.

"The people will choose, not the media, not the politicians," he said, adding that the people will show that they are still in charge.

"I am disappointed that it came to this point, that we had to make this decision [to drop out]," Cain said. His original intent was to "change Washington D.C. from the inside. Plan B is that we're going to have to change it from the outside. It'll take a little longer and we'll have to work a little harder."

Cain revealed near the end of his speech that he would be making an endorsement "in the near future." "I can tell you right now, it will not be the current occupant of the White House," he said.

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