Cain's wife not aware of friendship with Ginger White
December 1st, 2011
09:04 PM ET
10 years ago

Cain's wife not aware of friendship with Ginger White

(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.

Also see:

Cain admits losing 'warm-weather' supporters amid scandal

Cain campaign goes up with new ad in Iowa

Christie: Cain fumbled response to scandals

Cain struggles with Republican women in polls

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. YouCantHandleTheTruth

    Yet another woman to blame. Now he can claim that it wasn't his decision, it was actually his wife who asked him to leave the campaign.

    December 1, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Jeffrey G

    It amazes me that the right is so eager to prove that they aren't racist that they continue to support this Mandingo cartoon. Political and moral bankrutpcy is the hallmark of today's GOP.

    December 1, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. bylaw

    what a JERK. Cain bro u gotta let it gooooooo. Your a JERK

    December 1, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Free Speech

    Of course cain's democrat wife didn't know about his affair with Ms. White.

    December 1, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. Bill Clinton

    Well usually don't inform your wife about your mistress.

    December 1, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Johan S

    Even if it wasn't an affair that just doesn't sound right if you're all about family values. Shouldn't your spouse be aware of what's happening to the money? That's the whole point of joint accounts. And why all the secret texts and phone calls? How could you have a friend who you're giving money to and phoning while your wife is completely unaware. If you need to keep secrets from someone .. don't marry that person. What if his wife was doing that, I'm sure he'd ship her out rather than risk that she was up to no good?

    December 1, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. NC

    Cain needs to stop talking, go home and ask his wife to forgive him. He also needs to find better friends. Looks as if he was supporting this woman for years, decided to stop and she is out for revenge (a scorned woman). Maybe this woman will finally go to work and support herself after her 15 minutes of fame is up.

    December 1, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    Here's the question Herman: why didn't you mention or offer to introduce your wife (of over 40 years) to Ms. White? Most of us have dated or married individuals who had "friends" of a much shorter time period and we are/were aware of them. Mr. Cain you are clearly NOT Able of telling us the truth. I hope Mrs. Cain is a forgiving person and will not let this destroy her inner beauty and strength or her family.

    December 1, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Jack Be Humble

    I am very sure that my wife would not approve of my having a relationship with another woman that involved trips to Las Vegas, midnight calls, etc. So I can understand why Mr. Cain, under the squeaky-cleanest scenario, did not teller about Ms. White. If the relationship was more than friendship, I don't think he would have told his wife. In any case, he would have kept this secret from his wife... what does this say about the man and his wife? Not the strongest relationship.

    December 1, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Cain said his wife, Gloria "did not know that we were friends until she (White) came out with this story,"


    December 1, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. lysander

    What's weird is wasn't Cain the guy saying that people without a job/poor it's your fault.

    Unless you're an attractive woman, then it's perfectly cool to help them out and text them daily, at 4am, and meet up at hotels, without telling your wife.

    December 1, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. Tell It

    Yeah, that's what you do with a 'friend' of 13 years. This same woman he met at a conference over drinks, he takes her to events in Vegas, pays her rent and talks to her 7 times a day on his cell phone. You keep it all from your wife. No, that doesn't sound like at all like an affair. This is just the lamestream media making things up again.

    GOP, please nominate this guy. He's GOLD for us democrats.

    December 1, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Rinos for Winos

    Better borrow Gingrich's Tiffany's card. You will need it to make amends with wife 🙂

    December 1, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. us1776

    Cain: I have to talk to my wife. As soon as she'll start speaking to me again.


    December 1, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. stevenfbrackett

    Yeah, I know I feel the need to hide 'innocent friendships' from my spouse.

    Either way, as the wife I would be extremely put out. Either my husband is a lying cheat, or, he has no trust or faith in me or our relationship.

    Nice one, pal.

    December 1, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. ChuckB

    His wife didn't know about his "friend" of 13 years. He gave the woman money over the course of their friendship. Sounds innocent enough?

    December 1, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. twiddly

    He never said anyting to his wife about this female "friend" for 13 years?

    December 1, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. MaxNatoma

    If they were "just friends" for such a long time, why didn't his wife know?

    December 1, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. Nick S

    Haha. Yeah, ok.

    December 1, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. Bob

    Ha ha!!!! He had a female "friend" for 13 years his wife didn't know about?

    BS! My wife knows ALL my female friends.

    What a liar.

    December 1, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. AhhPures

    The end of Herman's campaign. Not only does he not get to live in the White House, but most likely when he goes back home he will not be living in that house for long either.

    December 1, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. wayfarer

    It is only matter of time before HC is out of the race.

    December 1, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. CA David

    Did he or did he not take her to Palm Springs, Las Vegas for the Tyson-Holyfield fight and to Atlanta hotels? Yes or no is a simple answer.

    December 1, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. Bolsheviks

    Cain's wife should tell him stay in the campaign just to make his life a living hell.

    December 1, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  25. RollingEyes

    Anytime you have to keep a "friendship" as a secret from your significant other, then there probably is something not right with it. I hope his wife lays the smackdown on him.

    December 1, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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