Published: Dec 04, 2011 6:40 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican Party chairman says Herman Cain provided an important voice in the presidential race, but candidates "come and go" during every primary and the field inevitably narrows.

Reince Priebus says Cain's polling numbers were falling and he was having trouble raising money, so the GOP chairman thinks it's "only natural" that the candidate pulled out about a month before the first vote.

But Priebus says the decision was up to Cain, who was battling allegations of sexual harassment and a claim that he had an extramarital affair. The Georgia businessman has denied the accusations.

Priebus says Cain might have a big role to play yet. But Priebus tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that depends on a politician having money and being to get out into the public.

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