Herman Cain announced Saturday that he is suspending his campaign for president, telling a crowd of supporters in his home state that the allegations of sexual harassment and infidelity had become too big a burden on his family.
His wife Gloria standing by his side in a rare public appearance, Cain decried the sustained accusations as false and declared he is "at peace" with his wife and with himself. But he said the claims have "sidetracked and distracted" from his ability to present a new vision for the country, as well as impacted his ability to raise money.
"I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family," Cain said, adding that he reached the decision "with a lot of prayer and soul-searching."
Cain's exit leaves a slightly less-crowded race for the Republican nomination, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney currently battling for top position in the polls, and several others trying to break through in the final weeks before the Iowa caucuses.
Cain made the announcement in Atlanta, at an event that was supposed to mark the opening of his Georgia campaign headquarters. While acknowledging that the crowd must be "disappointed," the businessman-turned-candidate tried to put a positive spin on the decision.
Cain, calling his bid for president "Plan A," said he's moving on to "Plan B" -- a new website called "cainsolutions.com" through which he said he'd be a "voice for the people."