Cain Iowa supporters: Media 'took a good man down’
December 3rd, 2011
05:33 PM ET
3 years ago

Cain Iowa supporters: Media 'took a good man down’

Urbandale, Iowa (CNN) - Staff and supporters at Herman Cain's Iowa headquarters shared tears, hugs and overall fond memories of a candidate they say they'll continue to support in whatever his next venture may be.

"Without a doubt," Iowa communications director Lisa Lockwood said when asked if she'll continue to fight for him if there is a plan B for Cain, who announced Saturday that he is suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Lockwood and a handful of volunteers sat in front of a laptop to watch a live stream of their candidate as he made the announcement that he'd be suspending his campaign.

"I think he's an awesome man and I think he would have been an awesome president. I still hold out hope that one day he will," Lockwood said.

But amidst the sadness and hope for the future were feelings of frustration toward members of the press over the coverage of sexual harassment allegations against Cain.

"I don't recognize my industry anymore," Lockwood said. "I was taught objectivity, accuracy, fairness, balance. I don't see that happening."

"Where's the investigation behind who [these accusers] are?" she said.

Asked whether she believes any of the allegations are true, Lockwood said she "wouldn't speculate" but that she "believes in him."

"I'm not judge or jury. It doesn't matter to me whether it's true or not."

Volunteer Patti Spencer Burdette of Des Moines and her son Thom Moore are staunch supporters who've devoted a significant portion of the past year to Cain's campaign. When they heard him say the word "suspend," their hearts sank.

"I don't mess with things unless I'm really going to invest my whole self," said Spencer Burdette. "And now what I've invested in has broken down in a way that I'd never ever expected. So yeah, I'm upset. I'm disappointed, a little heartbroken."

Her son echoed those feelings.

"I'm not happy," Moore said. "I feel like I've lost my second best friend. When I lost my best friend I lost all control of any capacity that I had, and it's taking everything in me not to fall apart."

Moore said he's never been one to actively participate in politics, but when he met Cain that all changed.

"This is the one time that I've actually cared."

The mother and son pair came to the offices shortly after the speech ended because they said they just had to find out if it's really over.

Spencer Burdette was most upset when discussing why she thinks the campaign ultimately failed.

"I'm not angry at him," she began, before turning to the media gathered around her. "Present company included or excluded, you guys know what you've been doing."

"You're supposed to have facts when you report something, and I just don't think that any media anywhere has taken facts and then fact-checked them before they reported them. That's what I'm angry about. It's just taken a good man and his family down."

"The very good are often the target of the very evil, and I think that's all this is."

This week, Ginger White, an Atlanta woman, told the news media that she and Cain engaged in an on-and-off affair for more than 13 years. She described the affair as "very casual." Cain told the Union Leader newspaper in New Hampshire this week that he repeatedly gave White money to help her with "month-to-month bills and expenses." But he denied the relationship was sexual, as White contends.

Two women - Sharon Bialek and Karen Kraushaar - previously accused Cain of sexually harassing them in the 1990s while he was head of the National Restaurant Association. Two other women also have said Cain sexually harassed them while they worked at the association, but they have declined to be identified.

Spencer Burdette said she believes the accusers are lying and that she feels sorry for what he and his wife have gone through.

Asked if she had an opinion about the fact that Cain did not disclose his relationship with White until after he revealed it to the media, Spencer Burdette said that some people "are just built that way," implying that some people don't like bragging about helping those less fortunate.

"It's because he is a Christian. He is an associate Baptist pastor. He is a father."


Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Iowa
soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. Joseph Romanowski

    Hogwash!!!! This is the problem with people today. Blame the other person for your own deeds. Pastor Cain did himself in by having a 13 year affair with another woman. It's that simple. Without his hypocrisy he would still be in the race. Look in the mirror and place blame where it belongs. It's looking right back at you. Without taking responsibility for his deeds he hasn't learned anything but blaming the other guy.

    December 3, 2011 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  2. Sean

    "Media 'took a good man down’"

    Oh please. Herman Cains' inept campaign, obvious ignorance, questionable behavior, poor crisis management skills, and non-existant political experience took him down.

    Cain once said that anyone who doesn't have a job should blame themselves. Cain's failed run for president is due to one man, Herman Cain.

    December 3, 2011 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  3. Fandango

    The headline reads, "Cain Iowa supporters: Media 'took a good man down’. Here's a newsflash for you folks in Iowa, Whose behavior, whose hands, whose libido was directed towards areas that were off limits. Who told the lies about the incidents and blamed everyone else and took no responsibility whatsoever for what transpired? Was that Herman Cain or the Media? If you chose the media, do the rest of us a favor, DON'T VOTE IN THE PRIMARY OR IN NOVEMBER FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT 10 YEARS. If you love your country, you will never vote again.

    December 3, 2011 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  4. ala

    No matter how you spin it. No one can bring down Herman Cain except Herman Cain. Only his wife and God can make him whole again. The sad thing is he spent his moral capital at the expense of his children. It is so sad.

    December 3, 2011 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  5. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    "You're supposed to have facts when you report something, and I just don't think that any media anywhere has taken facts and then fact-checked them before they reported them. That's what I'm angry about. " So I guess Fox News must make you livid....right??

    December 3, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  6. Toontje

    Cain is a walking contradiction: First he told the Occupy Wallstreet protesters that they are lazy and they should get a job and that they can only blame themselves for not being successful, and on the other hand according to Cain, he is soft hearted and that's why he's helping Ms. White to 'pay the rent' for the last 13 years. And to top that of he says he does that for a lot of other people too. Anyway the term sugar daddy comes to my mind for some reason. Sure gonna miss the color (no pun intended) that Cain brought to the GOP nomination race.

    December 3, 2011 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  7. CR from CA

    His supporters are suffering from ostrich disorder (head in sand). They support him because "he is a Christian. He is an associate Baptist pastor. He is a father." His is also a lying perve who likes sticking his hands up women's skirts. Good riddance.

    December 3, 2011 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  8. BeverlyNC

    Is that supposed to be a joke? A "good man"? Cain has been a serial predator of women and who knows how many affairs he actually had. He has no respect for women. Cain only cares about himself and could never be a real leader where you have to care about something other than yourself. Typical Republcan – the Party of Scrooge.

    December 4, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  9. jonnybgood

    Just wait six months and his Iowa communications director will be claiming he was porkin' her toooo............

    December 4, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  10. SiriusVH

    Well, Mr. Cain, if your reputation has been wrongly tarnished, then sue all these women ...... Defamation is legal ground for legal suit, as I am sure you know ....

    December 4, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  11. jonnybgood

    "It's because he is a Christian. He is an associate Baptist pastor. He is a father."...............yet he secretly met for 13 years with this woman, paid her rent, and other expenses..................."but he jess done it outta the goodness of his heart"...............Im callin BS on this one.

    December 4, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  12. Linda R

    The media didn't bring Cain down. His past actions and hypocritical indiscretions did. The media simply reported the charges and enough people felt that he wasn't being truthful and that isn't a trait to be president of the USA.
    Denial isn't a river in Egypt.

    December 4, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  13. William Lee

    It could be also said:" Truth about his behavior took a this man down " else " Lies took a Good man down" Being that I do not Police other people"s behavior I have no real idea whether Mr Cain Lied to us or whether these Women Lied to us. Just because someone calls themself a Christian holds no Credibility at all; all Christians are Sinners!; Or else there would have been No Need for Jesus to Die upon a Cross!

    December 4, 2011 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  14. Kyle

    Wow, it is amusing watching people defend their beliefs while the evidence slowly stacks against them.

    December 4, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  15. Alex

    "You're supposed to have facts when you report something, and I just don't think that any media anywhere has taken facts and then fact-checked them before they reported them. That's what I'm angry about. It's just taken a good man and his family down."

    Ha ha! These people are hilarious! This for a man who would regularly make misleading statements, and then follow them up with, "well I don't have any facts to back that up, but...."

    December 4, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  16. Chaos

    These Cain supporters are incredibly gullible and stupid.

    December 4, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  17. david

    give me a break cain. you have been giving money to a women for 13 years and your wife didn't know! almost every married man in this country understands why she didn't know pin head!

    December 4, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  18. Alex

    "The very good are often the target of the very evil, and I think that's all this is."

    You must be taking about female employees being the target of Herman Cain?

    December 4, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  19. Alex

    Yes, these are the mindless idiots that supported Cain – enough said on that...

    December 4, 2011 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  20. jeremy mcghee

    Goodbye hermain and let this be a lesson to the republicons if you can't weed out your people that have no integrity then we will do it for you. Shame shame shame republicans shame

    December 4, 2011 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  21. ernie

    Cain may be a "good man" but his platform was always too thin. It wasn't going to last. If Gingrich can overcome his flaws then he will be president. He has substance, conviction, and confidence. If he can't lose a few lbs and stop pandering to the far right with "let's get back to the good ole days of child labor" then Romney will probably lose to Obama next year. Gingrich could be a great 2 term president tho. Incredibly intelligent and charismatic guy.

    December 4, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  22. Pedro

    So the media was supposed to ignore the women he harassed and had affairs with?

    December 4, 2011 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  23. John in AZ

    People are crazy...Cain was not a good candidate, by any stretch of the imagination...the media may have helped to end his candidacy earlier than later. but it would have ended anyway.

    December 4, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  24. Media Objectivity

    They have a point though... seriously, the media did not ask 1 hard question of any of these women... questions like, why speak up now? What of the political ties in your personal lives? Why is it that 3 of these women are strapped for cash? You have transcripts and phone records; what do they say, if anything?

    It seems awfully hypocritical for CNN to play outraged over affairs and such... when CNN wasn't giving Herman Cain a bad ride over RUMORS AND ACCUSATIONS (i.e., not fact), CNN was hiring Elliott Spitzer instead or giving Bill Clinton the royal treatment. Just saying. Glass houses and rocks seldom mix.

    December 4, 2011 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  25. grantcv1

    Before he entered into the Presidential race, he should have considered whether his character was appropriate for the job. He knew what skeletons he had in his closet. He knew the scrutiny he would have to endure. The lack of judgement on these matters alone indicate a man unfit to be President of the United States of America.

    December 4, 2011 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
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