(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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Cain struggles with Republican women in polls
I suspect that Hermie better get some body armor before he meets his wife tomorrow.
The key word here is integrity...and he has none left. To have a female relationship for 14 years and aid her financially without his wife's knowledge proves he is deceitful and a liar to boot. Knowing the qualities up front take away any credibility that he would, could or should have as our leader. He is done and just needs to go away. Period.
Despite all this nonsense with the women and the "totally baseless accusations" against the Godfather...has anyone actually read that book he's been hawking all over the country? Just wondering.
You guys are hilarious. How many of you commenters were shouting from the rooftops that it was no big deal for Bill Clinton to get a BJ in the oval office, and not from his wife, and that everyone should mind their own business? By the way, Bill did not lose his wife . I would put Cain's marital fidelity record up against Clinton's anytime. Be honest...the folks making the biggest deal about this don't like Cain's politics and couldn't really care less about his personal life. Massive, Massive Hypocrisy. Boggles the mind!
I had an old girl friend that I helped out periodically but you be sure my wife knew all about it, and how much.
This clown is simply lying.
At least Herman Cain isn't debating the meaning of the word "is" like your boy Clinton... This sucks.. Cain was the only republican that had a chance of getting elected that favored taking steps towards legalizing marijuana.. thanks libs!
Bruce, you can quit crying. Go ahead and vote for Squirmin' Herman in the primary. No one is stopping you.
Bruce-"that did not stop Bill Clinton from getting elected twice..oh wait, this only matters if you are a Republican...Democrats do this all the time but that is ok. Hypocrytes!"
I see, it's a witch hunt if the Democrats do it but it's perfectly OK when the GOP did it to Clinton....speaking of hypocrites, Bruce.....
As much as he tries to quiet the skeletons popping out of his own closet, Cain does not appear to be..... Able.
Cain, it's over. Face reality now, you cheated on your wife and brought an emotional toll on her and your family, it is time to try to salvage what can be salvaged. Things have changed for her now. She will not be able to walk the aisle of her church the same way any longer. She has been betrayed. Cain, it is time to stop your selfish arrogance to start putting your family first. Drop out now.
"Friendship," eh? So that's what they're calling it these days . . . .
"Cain will meet his wife for the first time face-to-face Friday"
Hmmm...interesting, I thought they had been married previously. Nice job CNN
In less than 30 days under the scrutiny of the public look how much shame he's brought to himself and the people around him... his family, his church, his associates. He keeps playing the victim but it's actually a good thing that we find out about somebody that wants to head our country.
If his wife truly believes this stuff than she's dumber than dirt and intelligence is one of the first requirements of any First Lady.
That said, I'm sure the relationship with his wife has been compromised. I would just advise Mrs. Cain to hang in there until the proceeds from those book sales come pouring in. And of course the speaking engagement fees.
He will never be President, but Herman's future still looks quite bright.
His wife is not aware of his friendship with someone he's been giving money to? Especially a woman? And he doesn't see anything wrong with it? I'm pretty liberal and heck, I've even got poly friends, but seriously, if you're giving money to someone of the opposite sex (and I'm sure we're talking about more than $20 here and there), you really ought to mention that to your spouse.
Cain has evolved into a joke.
I hope his wife beats him white and blue before she even starts to listen to his lies.
Having lived in NH for the majority of my life, I've heard this song and dance over and over. These ego-driven maniacs really think they can cover up infidelity and still become President? It's a tip: John Edwards.
Boy I bet she`ll leave. She knows he`s lying bigtime.
@ wowzers – Liberals had nothing to do with Cain's self-immolation. The guy used power and money to try and get sex, and it obviously worked. That just makes him a creep. People don't like creeps, unless they can get something from them. Second, he had no chance of winning in a general election. All of the Democrats and Independents saw him for waht he was, and they wouldn't ahve voted for him anyway, just the rabid Republicans who hate Obama.
My former (note former) husband had a "friend" - she was married but she couldn't keep her hands off of any man – she went through our church like wildfire until the priest told her she was no longer welcome. "Just Friends" is that "Friends with Benefits"?
If a man cannot keep his promise of his marriage vow's then there is no place in the "white House" for him... You break the most treasured promise in your life.. Then you will break the promises you make to the U.S. people as well..
I am thinking you have lost your wife as well as any votes for president..
I hear Santa is looking for a coal collector and your first on the list to receive …
Wonder how much someone paid her for coming out of the closet. I'm sure she didn't go cheap. Herman, it is time to step aside. Even if these scandle's are not true, you lost a lot of your base that supported you and more are on their way out the door.
Cain might have saved God Fathers Pizza, but I am betting the employees who lost their jobs during the restructure do not love him...
Didn't he say "If you don't have a job – it's your fault". I guess he speaks with forked-tongue.