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. Contro

    Get over it Spencer. Seriously, that's no excuse of not telling your wife of helping another woman with financial problems for the last few years. Herman Cain made mistakes, and did not do a good job in handling the accusations during his campaign. If Barack Obama could've weathered the storm of his pastor's comments and guilt by association, surely Cain could've weathered the storm and done a better job when he did nothing with these women....but I guess he didn't.

    December 4, 2011 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  2. Mark

    "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."

    Yeah, he only admitted to there being allegations after saying he knew nothing about was HE who could not keep the facts straight.. Not the other way around...

    Tired of how stupid people are, blind faith is retarded, maybe they should look into those pesky things called facts for themselves instead of always blaming the Liberal Media.

    December 4, 2011 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  3. Anonymous

    I shudder to think that there are actuelly clueless morons who support this ludicrous buffoon.

    December 4, 2011 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  4. GAK

    I shudder to think that there are actually clueless morons who support this vacant buffoon.

    December 4, 2011 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  5. Mary

    I must say, that after hearing Mr. Herman Cain suspend his campaign to become President of the United States recently, it really broke my heart, I am crushed! Why am I crushed? Because I am a registered African American "Republican." After witnessing what I saw and heard today, I blame the GOP Party for Mr. Cain's demise, NOT the Democrats!!! You wanna know why I blame the GOP? This just goes to show that the Conservative Republicians don't want any black president in office. As a registered Republican, I am truly disappointed with how Herman Cain did not receive any moral support from his party at all, none of them came forward to say, "let's not judge Mr. Cain, no, they wouldn't do anything to give Herman Cain any support. To me, I feel like the Republicans are ok with African Americans being followers but not okay with us being leaders. So there you have, I going Democrat, at least the Democrat show some love and support each other in almost everything they do, no matter what. Yet, Newt Gingrich can get away with having had extra marital affairs, worst, divorcing his wife on her death bed and what does the Conservative Evangelicals do? They Praise Newt.... what a bunch of hypocrites!!! OBAMA GOT MY VOTE IN 2012.

    December 4, 2011 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  6. JeffinPDX

    Media did not take this man down. Women did. If you disagree, then you hate women. PERIOD. He's a slime bucket with bad, simplistic ideas.

    December 4, 2011 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  7. Who Are These People?

    "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."

    Hey...toolbag...Herman Cain didn't even KNOW you. OMG, these people are like a little cult. Go ahead and blame the media, blame anyone who isn't Herman Cain and continue to believe that liberals saw Herman Cain as such a threat to Obama (we don't) that we manufactured scandals (we didn't). Go ahead and continue to believe this and just ignore the reality that Herman Cain is a rich man that cheated on his wife and likes to abuse his positions of power by harassing women. Oh and if you want someone to blame...blame God. Herman has already come out and said that this is part of God's plan. Well, God didn't want your candidate to be President. At least we know that God has common sense.

    December 4, 2011 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  8. Leif

    He is an enormous hypocrite. He made his own bed.

    December 4, 2011 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  9. Ron

    """""I think he would have been an awesome president. I still hold out hope that one day he will," Lockwood said.""""" That's a good idea, let him be president for 24 hours, not 4 years.

    December 4, 2011 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  10. brent biles

    This sort of reaction by the Right is yet another example of why the Republican Party is the problem. Any bit of truth they dislike becomes the problem of someone other than the person responsible. Generally the culprit is the so called liberal media. Never mind that the lion's share of media is skewed to the right. Cain may not be a bad guy but he does have a taste for the ladies. It's a simple fact and revelations about his love life were bound to emerge.

    December 4, 2011 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  11. Soporifix

    "The media" didn't "take down" anyone. It just reported on accusations made against a candidate for president. It was Cain's own behavior then and now that brought him down. Interesting to watch the so-called Christian Right forget every moral value they supposedly believe in order to defend people like Cain and Newt Gingrich. It simply proves once again that their "values" are just sticks they use to beat people whom the disagree with or don't like.

    December 4, 2011 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  12. dirk bogardis

    After all this time I am still amazed at the number of really dumb and gullible people out there that ACTUALLY think that serial womanizers like Cain and Gingrich would be great as a choice for President.
    What is wrong with these folks??
    Hey....ONCE might be written off as a "bad choice" of behavior....but twice...three times or more?? Gimme a break America....get a brain.
    And these folks are the one's that don't like Romney because he's a RINO?? And the same about Huntsman??
    There's something wrong with these people....they left their brain under a church pew.....and their common sense there too...

    December 4, 2011 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  13. Diesels

    Damn you liberal media for reporting the news

    December 4, 2011 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  14. ME

    The media took a good man down?????? WRONG...
    Each person controls their reputation.........
    The media reported the truth....the truth often hurts....the truth, when illegal, will bring any man down!!

    December 4, 2011 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  15. austin silver

    LOL at these idiots..

    December 4, 2011 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  16. SCAtheist

    All the media did was report the truth about his hypocrisy

    December 4, 2011 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  17. hlub87

    Did the media took him down????? if he is a associate pastor and a christian as stated by spencer then be like one. heck a lot of us average joe have more moral value then these dipsticks seeking higher offices.

    December 4, 2011 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  18. Jimmer

    "took a good man down"?..........sort of like clinton........hey..... what goes around comes around......

    December 4, 2011 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  19. Bill in Florida

    "I was taught objectivity, accuracy, fairness, balance. I don't see that happening." - Hey Lisa, try watching a channel other than "[un]fait and [un]balanced" Faux News. Try NPR or RealClearPolitics.

    December 4, 2011 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  20. Paul

    Only neg ors would have this mind set. He is a loser nag womanizer. Now lets hope his wife cleans him out.

    December 4, 2011 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  21. Bozobub

    *snort* Cain took himself down. He should damn well have known his peccadilloes would be aired for all to see. His reaction to this is a perfect example of his profound immaturity.

    December 4, 2011 05:20 am at 5:20 am |

    Yeah he was helping a poor woman . Herman was smart to continue his fleecing of these sheep. If they are so mad,they need to find the GOP dirty tricksters who sent the white women after their tapdancer.

    December 4, 2011 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  23. Bernard Webb

    So the media "brought Cain down" and Cain himself and his own past actions had nothing to do with it. Who, besides Cain himself, would believe such malarkey?

    December 4, 2011 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  24. Tony in Maine

    Lack of self discipline took Mr. Cain down. That, and the fact that he is intellectually lazy – not stupid, but lazy. He doesn't seem to care about the world beyond Mr. Cain.

    I'm sure he is an engaging motivational speaker, very one dimensional, and I bet people walk out of his speeches all pumped up and then wonder, "about what?"

    December 4, 2011 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  25. Bob Ramos

    There is just one person to blame for this mess – Cain himself and those who knew of his deeds and did nothing at the start. Cain knew what he did and ignored it. He allowed others to work their hearts out for him knowing that at any moment the truth could come out. He was just too conceited to acknowledge that his past would not come out and haunt him. What he should have done at the beginning was to consult a good Repub consultant like Rove and ask his input. Rove would have told him to stay out and would have told him the potential damage to others. Not that I like Rove but credit be given where it is due – he is a pro.

    December 4, 2011 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
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