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. bayou2

    It's because he is a christian, what a joke. oh, he is a Baptist associate pastor, please.
    The new taliban, the american christian.

    December 3, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. TomPaine32

    Herman Cain may be a nice man, as his supporters say, but he has such a shallow or nonexistent understanding of issues that he would have been a terrible President. I thought he was originally in the campaign to get publicity and sell his books and raise his speaking feeds. Unfortunately for him he rose to the top in the polls and then came under fire and scrutiny that he could not stand up to. I don't buy his claim of "false allegations", and I definitely believe Ginger White. However, I don't think an extramarital affair should disqualify a person for any office.

    December 3, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. Rex Horst

    The Media didn't take Mr.Cain down. Mr.Cain took himself down. The Republicans when over very person President Obama ever met and try to said that because he knew them they had control over him. The one thing Mr.Cain was excellent at, and that made him a great republican. He took no blame. It was always someone else's that caused the problem. If you look at all the people running for the Republican Party. They all say that the Republican Party has no blame for the problems in this country.

    December 3, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Yeah the media is completely responsible for the 13 year affair Herm was having. Conservatives become even more stomach turning when they play the victim card.

    December 3, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Tomi

    Good luck Herman Cain... Obama 2012

    December 3, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. Ben Dover

    What a load of BS....Just like Palin its the media...Its never their fault!

    December 3, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Kitty2

    Herman Cain took himself down. Only he is responsible for his infidelity and womanizing. No one else. It is time he owns up to his behavior.

    December 3, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  8. Connie

    The only reason he is "suspending" his campaign is that if you suspend your campaign instead of dissolving it, until January you get matching funds. Instead of admitting that he lied about the women who he harrassed and had an affair with, he continues the lie. And his wife believes it. We are supposed to believe that the same Herman Cain who said, "If you don't have a job, if you're not rich, that's YOUR fault!!!" is now Mr. Softy, who gives money away to everyone. Look – no man in this world gives money to a woman month after month if he is not sleeping with her, and no man calls a woman at 4:26 – a.m. – unless she's a booty call.

    December 3, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. logic in LA

    To his Followers- Mr Cain took Mr Cain down – just as John Edwards took John Edwards down. If you want to be President, then own up to your short coming and stop lying- we've had enough of that and we are not taking anymore of it.

    December 3, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. Katy

    How stupid to blame the media. I find that the most hollow and idiotic charge – as if the media were responsible for Herman's philandering and lack of political knowledge or sophistication. And anyone who buys into Cain excuse IS stupid. Furthermore, there wasn't a chance in hell that Cain would ever be the nominee much less the President. He was a foolish and prideful man and he got into an area (politics) without knowing a thing, wasn't even embarrassed at his own ignorance and actually thought he had a shot at the White House. And that his affairs would not be uncovered. Good bye Cain.

    December 3, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. Bob

    If he was really doing nothing wrong, his wife would have known he was sending a "female friend" money to help with "month-to-month" bills. You don't secretly send money to a strange woman because if you are found out, your wife would (justifiably) think there was an affair going on. Cain isn't that stupid so he only hid the money because he was doing something wrong. Expect a divorce after Cain's book sales level off. His wife will stick it out in order to maximize her half of the marital property (she's smart too). She won't hurt his fund raising (he's allowed to if his campaign is "suspended" instead of cancelled), book sales, and speaking fees.

    December 3, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. MIT

    Somewhere, Hillary Clinton is laughing

    December 3, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  13. paulm5545

    Whether he did it or not, I really don't care. What I do care about is the fact that politics have reached such a low that now we have these "victimized" women suddenly coming forward. And Ms. White...what a piece of work she is. Apologizing "if" she hurt Mrs. Cain and the family. Hell yeah, you hurt Mrs. Cain – going public for the whole world (and I do mean the whole world) to know about your affair with a married man is bound to hurt. I'm not condoning what he did, but when folks in politics start digging for dirt in order to discredit an opponent, then that's pretty disgusting. No wonder there is so much voter apathy.

    December 3, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Avi Shlomo

    Cain took himself down and he brought it about to himself and shamed his poor wife. He should not blame no one but himself. We have seen this before: Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, Senators and Congressmen and they would drag the poor little wife along for more humiliation. He is as dirty as they allege

    December 3, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  15. ja

    some Americans buy garbage, they were more than accusations, stay in corporate cain

    December 3, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. ron arizona

    Every time someone get's caught in an afair it's alway's someones fault. when FIVE women all say the same thing they cant ALL be lying. This guy reminds me of O J Simpson. Everyone is lying EXCEPT him. Cain is a PHONY and you idiots fell for it . You still have NEWT the FRUIT for you're next flavor of the month. What a bunch of LOOOOSERS. GO O BAMA.

    December 3, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. jim1963

    How is it the media's fault that Cain harassed a few woman and had an affair with another? Everyone know that when you run for office your entire life is exposed. He had to know it would come out and if he didn't then it is truly his fault. The real shame is he get all the attention for doing the same thing Newt did but he gets a pass. I believe the entire republican party is at fault for trying to portray themselves as the moral and righteous party when in fact all they are doing is trying to hide who they really are. Normal fallible people.

    December 3, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. J_in_Maine

    The media didn't bring him down. his actions brought him down. The Restaurant Association made a settlement with one accuser. He acknowledges a secret relationship/friendship/whatever with another woman. His own lawyer tries to hide him behind the cloak of "privacy," not denying an affair. Those are the facts of his actions. The media reported it. What would you have the media do? We report, you decide. It worked the way it is supposed to.

    December 3, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. blev

    The media and his bad behaviour took a "good" man down. Always blame the media when your position is threatened by your past actions.

    December 3, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  20. RDW

    Why is it when others get caught doing something wrong, the Republicans ALWAYS talk about "personal responsibility" but when it's them getting caught, it's ALWAYS the "liberal media" or false accusers? Really?

    December 3, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. BinMesa

    Cain took Cain down. WTH is with these religious nut jobs in Iowa.

    December 3, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  22. Hs

    "It's because he is a Christian. He is an associate Baptist pastor. He is a father."

    As a Christian myself I find it completely inappropriate to exchange text messages and phone calls with another woman some of them in the middle of the night and on top of it you keep it a secret from your wife. We are talking about hundreds of calls/ text messages. I would consider this deceiving behavior and not the one I expect from a fellow Christian and certainly not from an associate pastor. I do not know what happened between those women and him; this is between him, his wife, and his God. If, however, he had an inappropriate relationship with this women and claims this to be charitable giving, the judgment he brings on himself is even greater.

    December 3, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. Martha in CF

    I'm sorry. Cain took himself down!!!!!!!! The media is only doing their job.

    December 3, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. MaryM

    To Cain supporters: You know Cain did it to himself. And if you gave Cain money......then LOL on you.

    December 3, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. Rachel

    How do Teapublicans spell Devil? M-e-d-i-a.

    December 3, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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