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. gung hoe

    I honestly hope that if them woman are lying that herm sues them for all they are worth!!!

    December 3, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  2. Lee

    Sounds like somebody didn't just drink some of the kool-aid but all of it. She shouldn't blame the media for Cain's problems, but Cain's libido instead.

    December 3, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. Lisa Floyd

    He took his own self down, now the media.

    December 3, 2011 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  4. Jon

    The media does that sometimes. Thing is, if they were able to do it now, what chance would he have had as President?

    December 3, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  5. logic

    He was president obamas biggest challenge! alot of people who voted for obama for a *certan reson* wouldve voted for cain for that same reson thats why the media had to make sure he quits

    December 3, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. Krepuskulo

    Media took a good man down???
    I think his high levels of testosterone took him down!

    December 3, 2011 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  7. Adrien

    Please. If Cain can't even handle the pressure of the media during a campaign, what makes anyone think that he would be able to handle the duties, stress, and pressure of being the President of the United States?

    December 3, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. Magiusm

    Cain took, Cain down.

    When did it become someone else's fault for poor performance?

    He handled everything poorly, even if everything was false. If everything is true, then he handled his life poorly.

    December 3, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  9. dubya

    If you cant be sucessful running a campaign....BLAME YOURSELF! CAIN IS A MISERABLE ADULTEROUS CREEPY GUY....SORTA LIKE NEWT!!

    December 3, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  10. McCain-in-Four

    Adversity is A Good Thing during stressful times like these. It has a way of focusing everyone on what is important; something Herman Cain forgot, or dismissed too cavalierly. There was a right way through this morass of debauchery that would have made Herman Cain look more Presidential. That Cain chose to speak without knowing all the facts, without meeting any of these women, and then play the wounded virgin were the three worst choices he could possibly make. This gentleman may have sounded like he could have saved this nation from all it's woes, but in the crucible of this adversity, Herman couldn't save himself.

    December 3, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  11. Jeff

    Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Herman Cain, I respect him for trying to demonstrate leadership and implement change with 9-9-9 for what he thought was good. But the media took him down. Just like Joe Paterno another icon taken down by the media and without a trial. It makes me sick that America has become a circus of media courts where good people are not given a chance. It is time the media go on trail....what goes around comes around.

    December 3, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  12. fred

    SO I guess two settlements don't count as proof?

    December 3, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  13. dubya

    Anybody really think cain was "generous"?? ill bet his employees got 3.50 hr

    December 3, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  14. Trolleyfish

    Only one person is responsible for Herman Cain's downfall, and that is Herman Cain.

    December 3, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  15. WhoKnewIt

    No, Mr. Cain took Mr. Cain down......we've had enough lies we want someone that will do what's best for the people in this country....not what's best for them.

    December 3, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  16. Sean

    Some people continue to live in illusion that there's a mainstream media and there isn't one....

    December 3, 2011 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  17. Melody Quesenberry

    "The very good are often the target of the very evil, and I think that's all this is." Well, now you know how Supporters of President Bill Clinton felt. Most of the people did not care about his mistake because he was and is a good man, a brilliant leader and a great President. But, the republicans spent six or seven years doing nothing but going after him and/or his wife. Mr Cain is not a victim, and as far as I am aware, he is not a bad person. He is just a man who made some stupid choices.

    December 3, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  18. Lisa

    Live in your own little world Spencer-Burdette.

    December 3, 2011 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |

    The media didn't take cain down......he took himself down by his actions!!!

    December 3, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  20. shawn

    Sorry, media could care less about taking him or anyone down. The guy is off the reservation and guys like him will always sink themselves. He may be smart but his ego gets in the way...he's a typical politician with his superman view of himself. He's obviously has a history of women issues...this is not an isolated concern.

    December 3, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  21. dinak

    The media ran about 7 stories on the women who accused Clinton of accosting them, compared to the 50 stories in three days that they ran on Cain. The media mocked and ridiculed Clinton's accusers, but hang on every word and almost revere Cain's accusers. Both men are guilty, but only one was treated as such by the media.

    December 3, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  22. Dan5404

    Cain was brought down by his morals, not the media. Right-wingers call people that report the news as they see it happen "mainstream" media. That is not actually a derogatory statement as they is the media that represents mainstream America and true fairness., as opposed to FOX and the Murdoch empire, whose sole purpose is to promote right-wing agenda. The last accuser had 81 cell phone messages in 2 months at all hours involving Cain's personal cell phone, and she reportedly had more proof ready if needed. She may no bother now, un;ess it's to prove he is the liar, not her.

    December 3, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. Roger

    If Mr. Cain cannot even deal with the media asking questions the he is not fit to be President. If having people attack him is too much for him to take then he needs to stay in the private sector. This guy is a major doofus.

    December 3, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  24. MWA

    I can think of few words to describe Cain supporters. Smart is surely not one of them.

    December 3, 2011 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  25. PR

    Instead of being saddend they should be irate. They were lied to and bamboozled by 'Cain the playa.' Herman Cain is a playa. He wants to run the women and harrass them and not have to answer for it. Just another black man wo thinks that women are his plaything. He's trash! Good riddance to the lowlife POS.

    December 3, 2011 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
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