(CNN) – Businessman Herman Cain said Thursday his wife was not aware of his friendship with Ginger White until she publicly claimed a 13-year affair with the GOP presidential candidate Monday.
During a meeting with the editorial board of the New Hampshire Union Leader Cain revealed that his wife, Gloria, had no knowledge that he’d provided financial assistance to White, or that the two were friends at all.
“That was the revelation and the surprise that my wife found about when (White) went public with this,” he admitted. “My wife now knows. My wife and I have talked about it. And I have explained it to her.”
Sharing that his wife understands he is “a soft-hearted, giving person, like a lot of men,” Cain continued, "She did not know that we were friends until she (White) came out with this story." But he said his wife is “comfortable with the explanation that I told her regarding having to help (White)."
Insisting he and White were only friends, Cain stated he gave her money because she told him "I was the only person who was a friend at the time – and I underscore 'friend' – that was in a position to help her."
When White emerged with claims of Cain's infidelity on Monday she also provided records of text messages and phone calls to a local television station in Cain's hometown of Atlanta.
But the former conservative radio talk show host told the New Hampshire Union Leader that 47 of those were messages from White asking for his help and the rest were his responses to her.
"She was out of work and had trouble paying her bills and I had known her as a friend," Cain said.
Although he said he questioned what she was doing to get a job, Cain insisted, "I'm a soft-hearted person when it comes to that stuff. I have helped members of my church. I have helped members of my family."
Adamant that none of the messages received from White were threats or “any indication that there might be some blackmail or anything like that” Cain said, “Look. I thought she was a friend. End of story.”
Cain will meet his wife for the first time face-to-face Friday, and admitted in the newspaper’s editorial meeting he would end his campaign for the 2012 GOP nomination for president if it is what his wife wants.
“But my wife wouldn’t ask me to get out,” he said. “I would make a decision based upon how all of this stuff is affecting her. Because I will put her first, but she’s not the type to say 'you oughta get out.'”
His national poll numbers have fallen following allegations of sexual harassment. Two days ago Cain said he would "reassess" his campaign.
Citing family and finances Thursday, specifically, backers who may not want to contribute because “they see this cloud not going away,” the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza said “running for president has become a very dirty game.”
“Part of the assessment is what the solution is moving forward,” he continued.
But Cain’s communications director in Iowa said Thursday, "The campaign is full steam ahead. Herman Cain is in it to win it."
Lisa Lockwood affirmed, "He always has been and that has not changed."
Cain's campaign is scheduled to release ads in Iowa Friday and there are signs the campaign is moving forward with efforts in another early voting state.
Cain's national political director Bo Harmon will work in New Hampshire through next week and plans to spend a majority of his time in the first primary state before voters head to the polls Jan. 10, he told CNN.
Harmon said he was focused on helping run grassroots and voter outreach efforts for Cain in the state.
- CNN's Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.
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mmmm, just doesnt sound right....
If it was just a 14 yr. "friendship" (Not!) then wouldn't it be even odder that his wife knew nothing about it? Except of course, when she's not the kind of "friend" you introduce to your wife. I feel sorry for her. "Oh what a tangled web we weave.......
Well at least this will pump up his book sales and speaker fees when he finally leaves the stage. Highly entertaining in a deranged way, though.
"Financial assistance" = Payment for services rendered.
The GOP has an entire catalog of buzz phrases with alternate meanings.
I know people don't hide 14 year "friendships" from their spouses unless there's something to hide, not saying he's guilty, but seems awful fishy to me
Don't try this at home husbands (i.e. telling your wife about that "woman friend" you had for 13 years but forgot to mention and oh by the way you gave her money too). This man is a professional.
This guy could be me! I mean during my 4 marriages I had alot of female friends I forgot to tell my wife/wives about.
Oh brother."Here we go again". (Rolling eyes)
Man up to your boinking on the side.
Accepting responsibility is all you have left because you certainly will NOT have a marriage when all is said and done. And your paramour wsn't too happy about being called unstable, so she's preparing to take flight as well.
Herman Cain sings "The Most Loneliest Guy in the World".
All the king's horses and all the king's men....
Get out of the race before any more women come out of the shadows. He is a joke now
Crazy man He is done! How could anyone vote for a man who has secrets at all? How could he keep anything secret from his wife? n then publicly say that his wife was not aware? How could his wife NOT KNOW?
Doesn't sound good Mr. Cain. I was hoping you were different sir.
I should have learned by now that if is wearing an expensive suit and has an american flag lapel pin it is more dangerous and criminal than a street thug trying to rob me.
I would like to see the conversation between Cain and his wife on Friday
This guy has NO shame!!! He is a bold-faced liar, an arrogant womanizer, ignorant of any number of things he should be aware of as a presidential candidate, a complete insult to the electoral process. And THIS is the type of candidate the Tea Party wants in the White House! Disgusting. The Tea Party is a joke, as is every single one of there candidates.
Two things are now over: Herman Cain's ridiculous run for president, and his marriage.
A female friend that you flew around the country and gave money to, but who your wife didn't know – that really does sound like the definition of "marital infidelity."
If 70% of my "friend's" texts were asking for money, I don't think I would still be "friends" with them for 13+ years.
I think he means firendship with benefits
I I would be handing him divorce papers when he came through the door Friday. It is ok to help out friends but no without discussing it with your wife. Even though one makes the money, it realty it belongs to both parties.
This "family values" man kept a significant relationship with another woman secret from his wife for many years. But in his mind everything is cool. Sure.
Stand up and be proud, Hermy. You were laying more pipe than Gus the Plumber, getting more as s than a toilet seat, making her scream like a schollgirl. Friend? Ya, and Monica came 'round for pizza.
Cain needs to go.
For a while it was a lot of fun watching the GOP version of Looney Tunes. Now, it has gotten down right pitiful. I wish there was some way to put these clowns out of their misery but the system has to run itself out.
Time for Cain to sue these venmous b itches for slander and defimantion of character.
Of course his wife wasn't aware. Sounds like Ginger White was practically a 'kept woman'.
Nice goin', Pizza Man.