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. Mike

    The GOP/TP'ers only care about ADULTERY when it's a Democrat who's doing the diddling. Did you know that the definition of a Puritan is someone who can't stand the fact that somewhere, somehow, somebody is having a good time? Kinda sounds like the GOP/TP, only they can't stand the fact that it's their own kind having the fun.

    December 1, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. SecedingfromTexas

    Herb, take your obnoxious, arrogant butt back home stat! You should have gone the day this became known. You are
    cowardly, pathetic, and so full of yourself. You should quit on your own. Don't lay this on your wife, for goodness
    sake. Show some shred of decency. Whether you had an "affair" or not, you admit to talking to her ad nauseum,
    giving her money to "help her out", without telling your wife. Weren't you "helping out" those other women? Finding
    them jobs, giving them money too? Did Mrs. Cain not know about them either. Nobody wants you near the
    "red phone" for obvious reasons.

    December 1, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Rajiv Shaw

    If she was just a friend, then why does he need to talk to his wife before deciding on continuing his campaign?

    December 1, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. mdc

    Witholding the truth is the same as lying. Mr. Cain, YOU LIE!

    December 1, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Zil Zerimar

    Friendship? Do you mean affair Cain? Since when is affair spelled friendship? If in 13 years you have a friend and your doesn't know it you can call it affair. Stop lying to the American people. You are insulting our intelligence.

    December 1, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Wildone

    Don't misunderstand. I'm no saint, but I know that the path to forgiveness for sins is to first acknowledge that you have sinned and then to ask for forgiveness. Herman is still reaching out for "the brass ring" and in his state of denial fails to take responsibility for his sins. Because of this he is unsuitable to lead the country. The same holds true for anyone who seeks or has held the office of the President of the United States, past or present.

    December 1, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Washington State, not the Capitol

    Really? These are our options for a future president??!!

    December 1, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Hey Herman, the story broke as an *exclusive* on a Fox TV affiliate. All of your theories about a liberal conspiracy sound pretty stupid to the rest of us.

    December 1, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. Mark from Canada

    Darn it!! II was hoping for the "Yes we Cain speech!" On no you Cain't!! I think Pee Wee Hermain Cain is going to be talking to his wife through a screen door.

    December 1, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. shaun

    This guy is a psychopath. And we are demeaning ourselves by discussing this issue further. I would be ashamed if I was a contributor to this fast talker.

    December 1, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. bookgirl

    Such a pathological liar...he really does belong in politics. I hope his wife cuts IT off.

    December 1, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  12. Amazing

    It is a liberal conspiracy that caused him to hide this friendship from his wife!

    December 1, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. Pat in il

    No wonder his wife has been hiding from the public. She knew it wasn't important for us to get to know her because there was no chance that she would ever be first lady. The other reason is that she knew she would probably have to face humiliation some day.

    December 1, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Mark from Canada

    The tale of Cain and White – it's an old one.

    December 1, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. rearden215

    The longer Cain stays in the race, the longer our empty suit president continues to look acceptable.

    December 1, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. dorothy

    It sounds to me like Mrs. Cain may be the one reassessing her husbands campaign, not to mention his sex life.

    December 1, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. Hang In There

    Cain, hang in there. Two more affairs and you'll be tied with Newt Gingrich! Stay in the race!

    December 1, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. bruce

    so everyone is so upset with the Hermanator,, 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!

    December 1, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. Texas Annie

    This guy is such a liar– and he thinks he can continue to pull the wool over our eyes again & again because the public basically let it slide with the first accusations.
    This is sort of how Texas ended up with Rick Perry as Gov. again– the stupid voters just kept believing his lies.
    Wake up people!!!!!
    BTW, if I were Herman, I might look into acquiring a hockey goalie's helmet before meeting up with the wife again.

    December 1, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. GOP expert

    Stick a fork in him........

    December 1, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  21. paul

    I am taking a wild guess here that Cain has a lot more "friends" that his wife doesn't know about. (wink, wink)

    December 1, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  22. Raising Cain

    I said Cain was a liar right after he lied to Ron Paul during the debates. He lied when he said he never called Paul supporters stupid – even though he did it publicly and wrote it down in his book! What is it going to take for people to see this guy for what he is? Do you need to vote him into office and watch him pilfer your bank accounts and tread all over your rights just like Obama did? You people who still support this guy get what you deserve – just don't pull the rest of us thinking people down with you.

    December 1, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  23. DCE

    Herman, GO HOME!

    December 1, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. Kris

    Look at it this way, he's no worse than scum-bucket Newt Gingrich, who asked for a divorce on his wife's death-bad.

    December 1, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  25. Matt

    I don't think I'm in a position to judge this one. I've only been around half as long as Mr. Cain has, and haven't been a CEO nearly as long. Maybe when I get to that point in my life, I will have friends my wife won't know about, because the interaction is too little to bother. So far, my wife has met all my female friends.

    December 1, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
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