Mitt Romney, talking with ABC News and Yahoo today about Sharon Bialek's accusations against Herman Cain.
“This woman’s charges are particularly disturbing and they’re serious.”
It's a surprising comment for a couple reasons.
1. Even though Cain ties or leads Romney in most polls, few view him as a serious threat for the nomination. If Romney could face off against Cain, Perry, or Gingrich, he'd almost certainly choose Cain.
2. There's a passionate group of Republicans who believe Cain's getting pushed out of the race unfairly.
That group is usually hostile to Romney, but he needs to at least create a small peace with them for the general election.
Currently, he's the face of the GOP establishment in the presidential race, and it's not clear why he would let the following connection be made: The GOP establishment, headed by Romney, is pushing out his closest competitor in the polls.
That could make for a lot of very unhappy activists.
3. Regardless of whether you believe in Cain's guilt or not, there seems to be more credibility (however enormously vague it is) to the charges from the first two women.
By the hour, Bialek is looking increasingly suspect, and it seems within reason to reject her charge as an attention-getting grab, while accepting the previous charges as legitimate complaints.
But Romney has finally spoken out on the matter and whose charge does he latch onto? Bialek's!
4. Romney tried staying out of Ohio's union issue, Boehner's debt deal, and as many hot button issues as possible.
Why get risky and insert yourself into an affair that you could reasonably "no comment" away on grounds that it's not his business and that there aren't enough facts to draw a conclusion?
UPDATE: Via The Page -- Romney.