Meeting with the editorial board of New Hampshire's Union Leader is traditionally a campaign essential for presidential candidates looking to secure the endorsement--or just some positive ink--from the largest newspaper in the first primary election state in the country. But after businessman Herman Cain abruptly canceled his meeting Thursday, it doesn't look like he's going to get either any time soon.
Speaking through his own paper Friday, Union Leader publisher Joseph McQuaid ripped Cain for blowing off the board interview.
"It's kind of funny, I think, that with candidates complaining that the media doesn't give them enough time for depth, that Cain's camp blows off an in-depth interview," McQuaid told the paper's senior political reporter John Distaso. "It's politics and campaigns. I don't think he's going anywhere from here at this point, anyway."
Cain's troubles with the paper came after a disastrous taped interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial staff earlier this week in which Cain struggled to answer a question about Libya and appeared to voice support for collective bargaining rights. Like the Sentinel interview, The Leader planned to film their meeting with Cain. The campaign initially declined that request, and then later canceled Cain's appearance completely.
In response to increased media attention in recent weeks after it became known that several women had accused Cain of sexual harassment while he was president of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, Cain has gradually restricted press access. On Thursday, the campaign confirmed that it had requested, and received, Secret Service protection.