A new Politico.com report says 2012 GOP candidate Herman Cain was accused of sexual harassment by two women back in the 1990s. Those complaints came during during Cain's tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association. Both women were reportedly paid cash settlements. The Cain campaign calls the allegations "unsubstantiated."
This morning, Carol Costello speaks with Jonathon Martin, who was one of the Politco reporters to break the story, to discuss his team's reporting that could well shake up the 2012 GOP field.
By Brianna Keilar, CNN Congressional Correspondent
Washington (CNN) - As Republicans swept the top three offices in Democratic-leaning Virginia last week, Rep. Eric Cantor was in Richmond, shaking hands with supporters and rallying GOP troops as he proclaimed, "The Republican resurgence begins tonight."
He was also taking notes.
In an election that Republicans claim is an indicator that the American electorate is unnerved with the sweeping changes President Obama and congressional Democrats are making in Washington, the GOP sees an opportunity in the 2010 congressional midterm elections, where one in three Senate seats and every seat in the House of Representatives will be on the ballot.
"We're going to take the model that worked in Virginia, so we can unite our party and begin to appeal to independents with solutions that affect our lives," Cantor told reporters in a Richmond ballroom shortly before Bob McDonnell was projected to be the state's next governor.
Jumping from one interview with a television reporter to the next, Cantor showed why as the No. 2 House Republican he is his party's most visible congressman. Cantor, a lawyer, is nearing his tenth year in Washington, almost 18 years after he left his family's real estate business to enter politics as a Virginia state legislator.
Now the House minority whip, Cantor is tasked with keeping his party together on votes, a job often described - on both sides of the aisle - as herding cats.
By Dana Bash, CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent
Washington (CNN) - He walks through Washington's Reagan National Airport, arriving as he does nearly every Monday from a weekend home in South Dakota. He makes his way unnoticed.
But John Thune's anonymity may not last forever.
He is a Republican on the rise: a freshman senator who is already a member of the GOP leadership.
As head of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, Thune runs the weekly strategy session where all Senate Republicans try to find consensus on the best way to challenge President Obama and the Democratic majority.
"It's probably the most candid assessment that we have in a given week," Thune said, riding the subway to the Tuesday lunch.
With just 40 Republicans in the Senate now, Thune insists that there is still a diversity of GOP views - but one that he argues must be expanded.
"We want to see more people joining our party," Thune said.
"We've got to be able to accept the fact that a senator from the Northeast, for example, from the New England states, isn't going to be the same as a senator from the South."
In a leadership made up mostly of veteran senators from the South, 47-year-old Thune brings youth and what he calls the prairie sensibilities he learned growing up in small town South Dakota.
From Candy Crowley, CNN Senior Political Correspondent
Washington (CNN) – She was a high-voltage candidate, lighting a fire in the grassroots of Republican-land – fresh, folksy and fierce.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/10/palin.sarah.gi.art.jpg caption="Sarah Palin stepped down from her post as governor of Alaska in July."]
She famously belittled her party's presidential opponent, Barack Obama, at her coming-out party at the 2008 Republican National Convention:
"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities."
Sarah Palin remains a force - the most recognizable name in the Republican Party, a headline magnet.
Just over a year after the defeat of the Republican ticket, the Republican No. 2 is Amazon.com's No. 1 in non-fiction pre-sales.
Writer of books, giver of speeches, muser of politics on an unusually active Facebook account. And robo-caller on behalf of a conservative group in this year's Virginia governor's race.
A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found 85 percent of Republicans say Palin agrees with them on their most important issues. But only 49 percent of independents feel that way.
It's a telling measure of her political reach - and its limits - that the Republicans who won governor seats in Virginia and New Jersey this year politely rejected Palin's offers to campaign for them.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/09/romney.mitt.art.jpg caption="Mitt Romney ran for president during the 2008 election season."]
By Kevin Bohn, CNN
Boston, Massachusetts (CNN) - For a moment, you might think Mitt Romney was still running for office if you look at his travel schedule crisscrossing the country.
Since February, he has attended nine events for senatorial candidates, appeared at more than a dozen rallies or fundraisers for those running for governor this year or next, and spoken at almost two dozen meetings of Republican Party groups or conservative organizations. And he has finished a new book.
"This is a pivotal time in the history of our country," Romney said at his political action committee's office.
As the Republican Party searches for ways to rebound from its recent losses and leaders who can be turned to, Romney clearly is trying to position himself to be one of them.
"I am just one force among many. But a time like this, I think the party is looking for voices that lay out a positive ... vision for the future of this country and for our party. If I can be part of that, so much the better, and there are a lot of good voices out there," Romney said. "I appreciate the fact that others disagree with me on some issues, but that kind of debate at a critical time like this is good for the country."
Romney campaigned for both of the recent successful GOP gubernatorial candidates - Virginia's Bob McDonnell and New Jersey's Chris Christie - and said he plans to stay on the stump through next year's midterm elections.