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

    More like his womenizing took him down!

    December 3, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  2. Nash

    Baloney. Cain is a hypocrite. How do you help someone for 13 years to find a job? He should look on the upside. He has earned his stripes to join Fox news where there is room for hypocrites like him (example Gov. Sanford) who was reward recently as a contributor there. So much for family values with these conservative men. Morality or God doesn't even come close to what these hypocrites pretend to be.

    December 3, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  3. humberto

    There was no doubt about the willfull maliciouse and wrongfull allegations to cause him harm by the media.
    But his testamony concrrning another Political criminal venture could be intresting concerning the media and the senate ethics committee.

    December 3, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  4. Midwestmatt

    Sorry but Cain brought this on himself and the "media" has absolutely nothing to do with it. His Iowa volunteers are kidding themselves when they try to push blame off on anyone but Cain. He would have NEVER "suspended" his campaign unless he knew his goose was cooked.

    He's a serial philanderer and he got busted. What husband pays another woman's bills, doesn't tell his wife that he's doing that and also fails to tell his wife that he's friends with this woman...for 13 years? A cheating husband does that and Cain's a cheater.

    December 3, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  5. Welcome to Reality

    If all it took were baseless accusations to take a candidate down, we would have no politicians – republicans or democrats. Unfortunately, a very good man had to leave his bid to enter politics due to these likely lies. This is why better citizens in America do not enter politics. And before you go and smear Cain with your response, remember, not an ounce or shred of evidence was ever produced implicating Cain in these allegations. We should all feel ashamed at what has happened here. The story of baseless allegations causing a good person to not enter politics is not something you should be proud of.

    December 3, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  6. Roberto

    Iowa!!!!! You are NOT QUINTESSENTIAL AMERICA!!!!! GET IT THROUGH YOUR GRAIN-FED HEADS!!!! There are 49 other states out there that MAY NOT SEE THINGS THE WAY YOU SEE THEM!!!!! Cain took himself down!!! Did this happen with McCain? Palin? Obama? Has this happened with Romney? Huntsman? Paul? Bachman? Perry? Nope!!!! For some indescribable reason, this has happened ONLY to Cain. Gather your grain-fed brains together and try to figure it out. If you can't, then I presume you collective pasture people cannot see past your collective state lines!!!!

    December 3, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  7. John Brown

    The man has another dark side. I thought Republican always want their candidate clean like an angel right? What make him different that the other sinner who has an affair out of his marriage?

    The Republican with that kind of Moral character has no place in the race!! It's so simple.

    December 3, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  8. roy d powers

    suspending his capaige CRAP.HE IS LYING TRYING TO GET MORE MONEYpeople are so stupid he would have been president lot of repubs do not the blackmam we have in there nowhis wife is as stupid as he iswe will seehim nex on fox good ridance

    December 3, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  9. Conrack

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

    The level of delusion is too much to even try to respond to. For those who have a malfunctioning moral compass or are experiencing disorienting moral confusion, ask yourseld one question: If this "very good" man was innocent of the accusations, then why is he quitting? This is the same type of mass delusion that is keeping Newt, the serial hypocrite, in the race.

    December 3, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. babyunk

    U know whats funny now that cain has dropped out we will probably never hear another word about these alligations he should have realized the history of the party he represents then maybe he would have seen this coming a black democrat is one thing but a black republican now you have crossed the line and thats a damn shame

    December 3, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    He's a liar and a creep - just hides behind religion like so many others. Shameful. Palin, Jr. The media "hurt me". Waaaaaaaaah.

    December 3, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. Irene Allen

    I think that Cain should still fight for what he's trying to achieve. Whether or not the accusation is true or not, you shouldnt give up. fight! fight! fight!

    December 3, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    One of the indicators that a politician like Cain is a liar: Blame the News Media.

    December 3, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  14. amadeo122

    I didn't know the media made him cheat.... so not only he is liar and cheat with no family values, he is the type that doesn't take responsibility for his actions. Kind of like Bush.

    December 3, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  15. Arrest Bush

    Lot of people followed Hitler too, they were not any more right that the followers of Herman Cain

    December 3, 2011 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  16. OldDude

    His supporters are delusional. Cain can't even make good pizza, let alone be the president of the USA.

    December 3, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  17. Richard

    What burette says about cain, he is a Christian, he is a baptist minister, he is a father. He bears false witness against his neighbor. Typical republican Christian values. I would venture a guess and say she is divorced, since we don't hear about her husband. Maybe he just doesn't tell her where ne is going, or where he is. Such deluded religious fanatics.

    December 3, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  18. Shepherd

    The media didn't take Herman Cain down, Herman Cain took himself down. It's called accountability people. Any married man who says he had a 13 year "friendship" with another woman, without his wife's knowledge is an adulterer trying to justify his misdeeds. If he didn't do it, then why doesn't he take that lie detector test he said he would take?

    December 3, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Cain is a clown. Good riddance. Now we can turn our attention to the real sleazeball, newt gingrich.

    December 3, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  20. ..a laurel and hardy handshake..


    December 3, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  21. corbin

    These ppl are crazy...

    December 3, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  22. April Garlow

    Let's face it the two parties want the same thing-business as usual in Washington-Obama has done nothing different than Bush-they play good cop/bad cop to get what they want–which has nothing to do with what's best for the country .No real Person–from the world outside of Politics-will ever be allowed to win the Whitehouse–the peoples votes just don't matter. DIRTY TRICK–DIRTY DEEDS–DISGUSTING MEDIA LACK OF INTEGRITY

    December 3, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  23. Thanos

    The only sad part is that some people are so gullible. Even their words show that they are in denial. One woman says it doesn't matter if the accusations are true or not while proclaiming how good a man Cain is. The two pieces don't fit. He can't be this great Christian while cheating on his wife and harassing these women and for those who are immediately going to bring up Clinton the two cases are completely different. One involved a man who was doing a very good job as President and whether his actions warranted taking his job away. The other involves a man who has done nothing and whether his actions are minimal enough to give him a job. In the end Cain is simply not Presidential material.

    December 3, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    the media including can killed reman gains campaign... so sad the world is today

    December 3, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  25. Fred Smith

    Sheep, remove your heads from their rectal sheaths. Even if he wasn't diddling random women, he's dumb as a box of rocks.

    December 3, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
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