Herman Cain calls it quits

Republican candidate Herman Cain says he’s suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination to avoid news coverage that is hurtful to his family.

Cain’s announcement came five days after an Atlanta-area woman claimed she and Cain had an affair for more than a decade, a claim that followed several allegations of sexual harassment against the Georgia businessman. Cain, whose wife stood behind him on the stage, made the announcement before several hundred supporters gathered at what was to have been the opening of his national campaign headquarters.

Cain had surged in polls until news surfaced in late October that he had been accused of sexual harassment by two women during his time as president of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

The Republican Party chairman says Herman Cain provided an important voice in the presidential race, but candidates “come and go” during every primary and the field inevitably narrows.

Reince Priebus  says Cain’s polling numbers were falling and he was having trouble raising money, so the GOP chairman thinks it’s “only natural” that the candidate pulled out about a month before the first vote.

But Priebus says the decision was up to Cain, who was battling allegations of sexual harassment and a claim that he had an extramarital affair. The Georgia businessman has denied the accusations.

Priebus says Cain might have a big role to play yet. But Priebus tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that depends on a politician having money and being to get out into the public.