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Cain denies harassment allegations

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's campaign denied allegations Sunday that he was twice accused of sexual harassment while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

In a statement, his campaign rejected a Politico report that said Cain had been accused of sexually suggestive behavior toward at least two female employees. The report said the women signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them five-figure financial payouts to leave the association and barred them from discussing their departures. Neither woman was identified.

The report was based on anonymous sources and, in one case, what the publication said was a review of documentation that described the allegations and the resolution.

"Inside-the-Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain," spokesman J.D. Gordon said. " Political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts."

Asked if Cain's campaign was denying the report, Gordon said, "Yes."

Earlier Sunday, Cain says his "connection to the people" is why he's pulled ahead in some polls.

A new Iowa poll shows Cain leading with 23 percent support, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney right behind him at 22 percent.