He has dismissed a prior accusation of sexual impropriety as the false claim of a “troubled” woman, but GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain may have a bigger problem on his hands with his latest potential scandal, instigated by one Ginger White, whom Cain’s camp tried to preempt Monday with the candidate’s own statement that he didn’t have a 13-year affair with her.

Cain said his motivation in talking first about the impending report of long-term infidelity was to protect his family and head White off at the pass, and judging by his lawyer’s response, it was also an attempt to shut down any more chatter about the alleged affair. According to attorney Lin Wood, his client “has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media.”

But is Wood right? What place, if any, do detailed investigations into possible sexual peccadillos of presidential candidates have in the broader picture of their suitability for the country’s top office? Yes, we’re really asking — feel free to sound off with your comments below. –KA

“Political Hotsheet” on CBS News:

According to an Atlanta affiliate of Fox News, the woman, who has been identified as Ginger White, is claiming she and Cain were romantically involved for 13 years.

“It was pretty simple,” White told the Fox affiliate, which will air its report at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. “It wasn’t complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.”

Cain described the woman as an “acquaintance who I thought was a friend” and said his campaign was going to handle the charges “detail by detail, accusation by accusation.”

When asked explicitly if he had either sex or an affair with the woman, Cain said “no.”

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