Ed Rollins: Herman Cain Won't Survive Harassment Scandal

“Pretend I’m your priest,” says Ed Rollins, when he starts to work with prospective candidates.  Rollins encourages his clients to tell him everything – even still, he tells Alec, “they always lie.”

In the newest installment of Here's the Thing, Ed Rollins talks about the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal, saying he doesn't think the campaign can survive the allegations that the former Godfather's Pizza CEO made unwanted advances on female employees.

The following is an excerpt of Here's the Thing - you can hear the whole episode here.

ALEC BALDWIN:

You know, with this particular primary season for the Republicans you, you’ve got a guy or a woman, for that matter, who are really — they're at the top and they're lookin' good, and it's a bright shining day for them. And then within a week or two they're gone, like Cain. 

Is this the condition for all people in your profession, the political adviser? You're working with someone. You know everybody's got something in their closet.

ED ROLLINS:

Right.

ALEC BALDWIN:

Do you think Cain's people, they obviously knew about this Restaurant Association thing?

[OVERTALK]

ED ROLLINS:

Well, he doesn't — he doesn't have a real campaign. Cain got into this kind of on a lark. He never expected to be frontrunner.

ALEC BALDWIN:

Right.

ED ROLLINS:

He never expected -

ALEC BALDWIN:

He's wingin' it.

ED ROLLINS:

He's wingin' it, and he's wingin' it on substance. He didn't put the time in, he doesn't have a team. His team is second tier, at best, where, you know, I mean —

[OVERTALK]

ALEC BALDWIN:

Had he had an adviser, a legit operation and an adviser, as you would understand it, they might have done this at first and and said, listen, how -

[OVERTALK]

ED ROLLINS:

Well, the first, the first, the first thing I'd do in every campaign — it started when I was running assembly races in California.

ALEC BALDWIN:

What would you do?

ED ROLLINS:

I would sit down and I'd say, Alex(sic), you want to run for the Assembly, I want a check for 5,000 dollars.

ALEC BALDWIN:
First of all, don't call me Alex.

ED ROLLINS:

Excuse me. And I’m kidding.

ALEC BALDWIN:

[LAUGHS] Mayor Baldwin.

ED ROLLINS:

Mayor Baldwin, Mr. Baldwin.

ALEC BALDWIN:

Yeah.

ED ROLLINS:

The first thing I'd do is ask you for 5,000 dollars and I'd say, well, I'm gonna hire a private detective.

ALEC BALDWIN:

As if I was your enemy, yeah.

ED ROLLINS:

And I'm gonna go find out everything I can about you. And I've had candidates say, well why are you gonna do that. I say, well, I'm gonna do it on him too.

[ALEC LAUGHS]

But at the end of the day all he has to do is write a check for —

[OVERTALK]

ALEC BALDWIN:

Yeah, but I got to have cover for what they find out about you.

[OVERTALK]

ED ROLLINS:

Yeah. I have to come, I have to — The first thing I'd do is I sit down and I say, pretend I'm your priest. You confess all your — confess all your sins.

[OVERTALK]

ALEC BALDWIN:

Yeah, yeah, 'cause it's gonna come out sooner or later.

ED ROLLINS:

I will tell you whether they're mortal or venal. You're not capable of making—

ALEC BALDWIN:

For your own good.

ED ROLLINS:

For your own good. I've heard it all. You know, I don't care. Just it's—

[OVERTALK]

ALEC BALDWIN:

What's her name and what color dress was she wearing?

ED ROLLINS:

And, and, and - they always lie.

ALEC BALDWIN:

Yeah, and then —

ED ROLLINS:

They always lie. And when – and it does come out they go, you know, I never thought that was gonna happen. Now, how could you be a CEO of a trade — this is not the Pentagon, this is not a gigantic organization.

ALEC BALDWIN:

Right.

ED ROLLINS:

And you have two—

ALEC BALDWIN:

Not one, but two.

ED ROLLINS:

But two, a year apart and probably other things that were, you know—

ALEC BALDWIN:

That didn't come to charges.

ED ROLLINS:

And, and - and you wouldn't say — the first thing you would say is, hey, could we check this out or can we go look at it. So it's amateur hour. I mean, obviously, he's not gonna be the nominee of the party, and it wasn't even if this hadn't come about.

It's a sad thing for the party, a sad thing for him, at the end of the day. I mean, having an articulate African-American is a very important thing for the Republican Party, because we don't have many. 

And I think at the end of the day, you know, he may survive the — this trauma, but he's not gonna survive this in the sense of being a viable candidate.