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. yneemee

    "Investigative journalism" is DEAD – long live SENSATIONAL journalism.
    Have Gloria Allred drag out another "housekeeper" to bring down any Republican like she (and the media) did against Meg Whitman – No proof required – just accusations please – it takes too much trouble to find out any FACTS befroe running the news these days... now what about Kim Kardashian... now there is some real news

    December 4, 2011 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  2. James

    Uh, no. The media didn't take Cain down. He did it to himself with his dalliances and subsequent lies. As many Republican candidates are wont, he committed suicide and proceeded to twist the knife in his wound, all the while blaming the media.

    December 4, 2011 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  3. Sodapophead

    This article just shows how dumb some people are.

    December 4, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  4. opus

    This creep should jump off a btidge

    December 4, 2011 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  5. opus

    Dont blame the media "BLAME YOURSELF"

    December 4, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  6. Zack

    So does CNN have an answer? Because they are out front "reporting" accusations and not facts. CNN is not the network (nor the company) it once was. Sad to see.

    December 4, 2011 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  7. Starstuff

    Yeah it was the media that chased those women.

    December 4, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  8. Emi

    I think he took himself out. Even if America were to ignore the evidence that Herman Cain has no respect for his wife or any other woman, I can't imagine electing anyone, to the highest office in the US, who is completely ignorant of international affairs. In this day and time, electing Herman Cain and his ignorance would've been the greatest threat to our national security. I mean, even I had an opinion of how President Obama dealt with Libya. That story was literally weeks old. How can Cain not be able to recall Libya? So, sorry Cain supporters. You can't blame the "liberal media" for this.

    December 4, 2011 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  9. clintonian

    Funny how bill Clinton is reviled, but with Cain it's the medias fault. Hypocrisy at it's best

    December 4, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  10. Michael

    What a bunch of gullible saps these Cain supporters are. Its the liebrul media wah wah.

    December 4, 2011 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  11. SNAPPA

    Not to mention I thought the tea baggers and the republican party were all about personal responsibility? I guess in that party this is what your suppose to do if you're male. It's just guys being guys to them I guess and there is nothing wrong with it.

    December 4, 2011 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  12. Gary

    He took himself down, how many women did he harass? How long did he have an affair on his wife and you still defend him to be President!
    What ever happened to honesty, loyalty and the love of God!

    December 4, 2011 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  13. SNAPPA

    Blame the media all you want but sooner or later you have to look to the person you were supporting and gage his integrity to which he has none, and gage his personal responsibilities.

    December 4, 2011 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  14. J Webber

    Not a Cain supporter, but I am sick at heart and sick to death of the political machine the media has become and let's be honest, the media is by and large a liberal political machine. The real point is, people don't really care about this crap anymore, the country is falling apart and to keep this horrible ineffective democratic president in office, the media once more set out to unearth skeletons. Do we really think just because someone had an affair, they're incapable of being president?? Many many of our great politicians wouldn't get elected today because of you guys!! I fully believe no one worth voting for can come out unscathed from the trash you guys manage to dig up. Shame on you for digging through the dirt, while the country falls apart.

    December 4, 2011 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  15. Donkey Party

    "It doesn't matter if the allegations against Cain were true or not"??? Statements like that are why right-wingers should be stripped of their right to vote, instead of the right-wing trying to strip the votes of minorities, students, and the elderly. Pathetic.

    December 4, 2011 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  16. Jimbo

    I am sure Herman Cain is a good and religious person. I do not care about his past affairs or misconducts because we are electing someone who can do a good job as the President of the most powerful nation on earth, not a saint. However, all his ideas and comments seem to be like Michele Bachman, shallow, unanalytical, simplistic and clueless.

    December 4, 2011 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  17. The Unsub

    Don't blame the media, blame yoself!

    December 4, 2011 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  18. Donkey Party

    So incredibly typical of Cain and all of the right-wingers, they never accept any blame. Blame Cain and his handlers for his downfall, not the media. Or better yet, follow your own Fox News marching orders, they report, you decide. You like apples? How you like them apples?

    December 4, 2011 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  19. Thatguy371

    The media didn't 'take a good man down'. Cain himself took a bad man down... CAIN!

    December 4, 2011 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  20. Bimmerman

    He paid for his past transgressions!

    December 4, 2011 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  21. chrisno(t)

    The media has not brought anybody down, here. The reported indiscretions concerning Mr. Cain are serious. After quite a period of time, no one, yet, has discredited any of the several allegations other than Mr. Cain. The media? Well, the media is a convenient 3rd party to blame. After all, there isn't anyone else to blame, is there?

    December 4, 2011 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  22. Elphaba

    The media took a good man down? No... a man took his zipper down and his mistress took it to the media.

    December 4, 2011 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  23. MikeG

    Herman Cain, take your own advice!
    Don't blame the media for your mistakes and lack of knowledge!
    BLAME YOURSELF !!!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2011 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  24. BC

    It is sad when people want to blame the investigators and not the person responsible for his own behavior. The media didn't destroy Cain, he did it to himself!

    December 4, 2011 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  25. hotmail .com

    Sorry to see you lea ve and if them freak woman cant back up their story i would sue for defimation

    December 4, 2011 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
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