Herman Cain told Fox News on Wednesday he is consulting with his family on whether to stay in the presidential race and plans to make a decision within a week, as he continued to defend himself against allegations of a 13-year extramarital affair.

The Republican presidential candidate lashed out at his critics, saying he’s the victim of a “direct character assassination” and that he doesn’t understand where the latest allegations are coming from.

After hosting three rallies Wednesday in the general election battleground state of Ohio, Cain said supporters have been “overwhelming” in encouraging him to stay in the race. But he said the constant media coverage of the allegations, including earlier sexual harassment allegations, has weighed on his family.

“I’ve got to think about my family first,” Cain said. “That is absolutely my No. 1 priority.”

He said the allegations are taking an “emotional toll” on his wife, Gloria. “It has had a very damaging effect on her emotionally,” Cain said, adding that he’s explained everything to his wife.

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