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Herman Cain's Top Spokesman Once Accused Female Miami Herald Reporter of Sexual Harassment

Colorful characters involved in the Republican primary are about as common as minor scandals over at The Miami Herald, so it only makes sense that somehow those two worlds would collide.

Remember back in 2009 when a Navy spokesman at Guantanamo Bay accused veteran Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg of sexual harassment? Well, now the guy is working for Herman Cain.


While serving as the chief spokesman at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon sent a letter to The Herald accusing Rosenberg of sexual harassment and making homophobic remarks.

He claimed Rosenberg barraged him with charming phrases like, "Have you ever had a red-hot poker shoved up your ass? ...Admit it, you liked it." He also claimed that Rosenberg freely referred to military personal, Government officials and competing journalists as "'bitches,' 'stupid,' 'lazy,' 'incompetent,' 'Nazis,' 'Saddam Hussein-like,'"

After a Herald investigation, Rosenberg was allowed to continue her job. The paper said she was only guilty of a bit of profanity and some minor unprofessionalism.

Well, now Gordon has traded in his duties at Guantanamo for a top spokesman gig with the Herman Cain campaign. The Daily Caller asked Gordon about the 2009 incident.

"I don't recall what it said," Gordon said. "It was a couple years ago, but I just thought that the comments that she had been making had to stop, and so I talked to my office and sent the letter to her executive editor and they handled it in-house.

Gordon says that the matter was ultimately resolved in a "satisfactory manner."

Of course, Rosenberg happened to be one of the toughest and most respected journos covering Guantanamo, and some questioned whether the complaint wasn't a desperate attempt to get Rosenberg removed.

"Surely, the letter has nothing to do with the fact that Rosenberg has been a thorn in Gitmo's side for more than four years," wrote our own Tim Elfrink. "She has broken more news from the tightly controlled base than anyone else, including her scoop two weeks ago about a prisoner protest."

So keep an eye on how the Cain campaign deals with unfriendly journalists. If they start accusing every person who asks tough questions of sexual harassment, don't be too surprised. Then again, it remains entirely possible that Rosenberg is just an inappropriate curmudgeon.

Update: Rosenberg has sent Riptide a statement on Gordon's complaints, calling them part of "a long string of abusive efforts" aimed at curtailing her work in Guantanamo. Here's what she wrote about Cain's spokesman:

"The record is clear. Gordon's claims were unfounded, part of a long string of abusive efforts to block meaningful coverage of Guantanamo.

He was removed from Guantanamo responsibilities, I was not. No further comment is merited."


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