Since sexual harassment allegations against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain emerged, Fox News contributor Andrea Tantaros has been one of Cain's most vocal defenders. Tantaros has a background in crisis communications, and as recently as May 2011, she was vice president at Sloane & Co., which specializes in "crisis and litigation support."
Tantaros Has Vociferously Defended Cain And Dismissed And Mocked His Accusers
Tantaros: "Bob Threw A Candy Corn Down My Dress Yesterday, And I Didn't Sue." On Fox News' America's Newsroom, Tantaros laughed off the accusations against Cain, saying that her co-host Bob Beckel on Fox News' The Five "threw a candy corn" down her dress, and she "didn't sue." From Talking Points Memo:
"But if you believe Herman Cain, the story that he told Greta last night, it was such a small deal, it wasn't anything that was sexual harassment at all. So he's right on that. I mean Bob [Beckel] threw a candy corn down my dress yesterday, and I didn't sue." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 11/1/11, via Talking Points Memo]
Tantaros On Cain's Response To Accusations: "Job Well Done. A-Plus" Following Cain's November 8 press conference, at which Cain denied the sexual harassment claims, Tantaros graded Cain's performance "A-plus" during the November 8 broadcast of The Five. From the show:
TANTAROS: Yeah, I would call this an extremely fierce counterpunch. It's something he should have done a while ago but nevertheless, this was the move he needed to make. I think he answered a lot of questions. He stayed with us for a very long time. I think that he hit back really hard.
And, you know, he kept repeating -- these are baseless allegations. He also stayed true to himself, that this is the Herman Cain brand. I'm coming directly to the people. And I thought the ending was one of the best parts, where he says, we have big major issues in this country, let's get back to them.
So, a job well done. A-plus. [Fox News, The Five, 11/8/11, via Media Matters]
Tantaros On Alleged Victim: "Two Words: Scam Artist." After one of Cain's media addresses about the allegations, Tantaros attacked one of his accusers as a "scam artist" with an "illegitimate child":
TANTAROS: I agree with Bob specifically to come out and name the Democratic Party, like naming Rick Perry, without any proof is not a wise move.
However, the way that the mainstream, left-leaning media has gone off with the same kind of - they're doing the same thing -- baseless accusations, that they have nothing to back up. Again, he's been shadowboxing from day one. Now, you have a woman, who if you look at her rap sheet, 14 years later, she all of a sudden cares about the country? Double bankruptcy, legal troubles --
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (co-host): This is Sharon Bialek.
TANTAROS: Yes. And illegitimate child. You know what that says to me? Two words: scam artist. [Fox News, The Five, 11/8/11, via Media Matters]
Tantaros: "At What Point Do Women Need To Take Some Responsibility? ... Why Have Dinner And Drinks With A Married Man In The First Place?" In her November 10 New York Daily News column, Tantaros wrote:
There are three sides to every story: his, hers and the truth. In the case of Herman Cain and the women making accusations against him, it's time we had an honest conversation about what constitutes harassment.
Let me be clear: I'm not saying that Cain isn't guilty of sexual misconduct that took place when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s. But this scandal should have every woman asking: At what point do women need to take some responsibility?
One accuser, Sharon Bialek, said Cain allegedly groped her after she came to him for job advice 14 years ago. At a press conference with famed attorney Gloria Allred, who has made a career out of victimized women, Bialek claims she met Cain for dinner and drinks for career counseling. Then she allegedly rode with him in a car, where he tried to put his hand up her skirt, then moved her head toward his groin.
If it's true, it's horrible. And while the timing of her decision to go public does raise questions about her motivation, the real question is: Why have dinner and drinks with a married man in the first place? Why not meet him in his office if your purpose is strictly professional? [New York Daily News, 11/10/11]
Tantaros Is A Crisis Communications Expert
Tantaros Was Vice President At PR Firm Sloane & Co., Where She Specialized In "Crisis Communications." According to her FoxNews.com profile, Tantaros serves as vice president with Sloane & Co., where she specializes in "crisis communications, healthcare, and public affairs clients." Sloane & Co. describes itself as "an industry-leading strategic communications firm specializing in corporate and financial public relations" and "crisis and litigation support." A Nexis biographical search shows that Tantaros was listed as vice president at Sloane as recently as May 2011. [FoxNews.com, accessed 11/11/11; Sloane & Co., accessed 11/11/11; LexisNexis, accessed 11/11/11]
Tantaros Founded Media Company That "Provided Crisis Management And Media Strategy" To "Fortune 500 Companies And Political Campaigns." According to her bio on FoxNews.com, previous to working at Sloane, Tantaros "started Andrea Tantaros Media which provided crisis management and media strategy consulting Fortune 500 companies and political campaigns." [FoxNews.com, accessed 11/11/11]
Tantaros Previously Failed To Disclose Sloane & Co. Ties When Attacking Health Care Reform. In 2009, Tantaros repeatedly attacked the health care reform bill on Fox News, but failed to disclose her position at Sloane & Co., which listed Pfizer and Take Care Health Systems clinic among its clients at the time. [Media Matters, 2/3/10]