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. dogs rule

    Not all "accusers" lie. This guy is a pig, a womanizer, a phony "bible beating baptist". He should never have made an attempt tp become President! Comparing him with Barack Obama is like trying to compare a fetid garbage heap to an intelligent and classy human. Good riddance!

    December 4, 2011 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  2. mike

    Good riddance. Mr Cain is just another whipping boy of the Koch brothers who I hope to see pay 50% of their income in taxes soon

    December 4, 2011 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  3. A real American

    The media made him do it? Oh, I see, it's just a rewording of the "devil made him do it" game. No, I'm sorry, but ole Herman fouled his own nest. Frankly, the media should spend more efforts on showing the duplicity of the self righteous conservative big mouths fouling our political system today. The media has much to answer for but nothing to apologize for.

    December 4, 2011 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  4. Biased Press!

    I agree that the media had a hand in this gross injustice against Herman Cain and actually against the American people who refuse to bow to the politcal tyrants of the DNC. However, the real culprits here are in the White House and, most likely, Chicago. If there are any journalists with a shred of integrity left in this country they will immediately launch investigations of the true source of all this. Since the one thing all these women had in common is a desperate need of money, why not "follow the money?" Otherwise, this crime will likely continue against other GOP candidates until George Soros's money runs out.

    December 4, 2011 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  5. abby1

    The media did not take Cain down. It was Cain that took himself down. Cain has only himself to blame for his bad behavior.

    December 4, 2011 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  6. korkea aika

    Cain lost the evangelical vote when he went from singing "Amazing Grace" to "Grace was Amazing!"

    December 4, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  7. tt

    He's a fool.

    December 4, 2011 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  8. Right Wing Nut Case

    In denial much??? The media didn't bring Herman down, he brought himself down. Get a grip.

    December 4, 2011 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  9. BigJim

    oh puleeeze, the media didnt take a good man down, they just exposed an unfaithful, skirt-chasing old geezer. The mystery to me is ehy would a woman who had enjoyed 13 years of financal aid and comfort rat the man out? Book, movie payday deal hopes perhaps?

    December 4, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  10. atroy

    His own actions took him's about personal responsibility.

    December 4, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  11. Herb

    There is an old saying: Where there is smoke there is fire. HC & the Mrs would have fought this if there weren't some very hot coals even if the fire was out regardless of what HC says. Obviously those who continue to argue the points are into 'blind obedience' and have a lot of used cars on their front lawns. How the media is blamed for anything other than reporting news, no matter how sensationalized it was, is beyond me. In fact, HC made the announcement himself on CNN. He could have kept his mouth shut, but nooooooooooooooooo. Why did he involve the media if he and his followers are so sure that he was slandered? If anything, he was trying to use the media to control the situation.

    December 4, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  12. roy

    This country is too far gone to matter which crook enters the White House especially after 8 years of blundering Bush policies along with sidekick Chaney's brain farts.

    December 4, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  13. Really?

    Cain took himself down. He had enough skeletons in his closet and was not skillful enough to hide them better. That shows political stupidity. Getting all religious and singing Hymns at rallies only goes so far to fool the People. He;s really a Pimp.

    December 4, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  14. EddyL

    Yes it was the media, not the stupid blowhard himself.

    December 4, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  15. Brian

    What exactly did the media do wrong? With the exception of internet bloggers, the media outlets reported the stories. The accusers, for the most part, went public. The media reported that directly to their audience. And most of them with details I might add. Herman Cain hasn't really presented any facts and sorry to say, looks guilty as hell. Maybe it's time for Herman to take responsibility for his own actions/inactions. Then again the easy way out it to blame someone else other than themself. It's the GOP thing to do.

    December 4, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  16. George

    Once again, the party of "personal responsibility" refuses to take any of the blame for such a terrible candidate, so what do they do? They blame the MEDIA, just like always.

    December 4, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  17. Jason

    Well, the media also helped to expose his woeful ignorance! You want Media sabotage of a good man, think of Howard Dean and the "Dean Scream!"

    December 4, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  18. Wastrel

    Aw nuts. He didn't do anything, it's the media's fault. Never mind that he doesn't know that China has nukes and he seems to have quite a few moral challenges - he's the best the Republicans can do. And that's probably true.

    December 4, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
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