Herman Cain, the former Godfather Pizza CEO and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, told his Facebook followers in a video on Friday night that he wasn’t sure if he’d pass the FBI background check required of all nominees to the Federal Reserve.
“They have to collect an inordinate amount of information on you, your background, your family, your friends, your animals, your pets, for the last 50 years,” Cain said, adding that he expects a “more cumbersome” probe because he has held a large number of roles throughout his career, including as a restaurant executive and lobbyist.
Cain, in the video, referred to the sexual-harassment accusations that caused him to drop his presidential campaign in late 2011, saying he will “be able to explain it this time, where they wouldn’t let me explain it the last time. They were too busy believing the accusers.”
The video, which had been taken down from his Facebook page by Sunday, is not a sign of confidence for Cain, whom President Donald Trump on Thursday called “the man” for a seat on the Fed’s board of governors.
But there’s a kernel of insight in Cain’s comment. “They were too busy believing the accusers” is an incomplete but not-wrong characterization of what happened to Cain in 2011, when a New York Times report on sexual harassment allegations against him effectively scuttled his campaign. But he properly puts it in the past tense. By the fall of 2016, the Republican party had made peace with itself as the party of the accused—Trump was accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women and responded by mocking the appearance of his accusers at campaign rallies. On Saturday, two days after making his intent to nominate Cain, an alleged sexual harasser, official, Trump met in Las Vegas with casino magnate Steve Wynn, whose company settled just one of the many allegations of sexual misconduct against him for $7.5 million.
This time around, Cain’s defense of his misconduct might be an easier sell—because it’s a narrative of victimhood Trump’s allies in Washington have already bought.