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."
Sorry, Herman Cain took Herman Cain down.
I don't believe his overtures of innocence. Too many women went after him, folks, and none of them have a thing to gain. I have known the Herman Cain's of the world, and just listening to him he is a pompous, narcissistic, aging man.
His biggest mistake was that his wife did not know about the 13 yr relationship, she didn't even know the woman! And Cain was spending family money on this woman for a very long time. What a HUGE betrayal to his wife! Decent married men don't do this sort of thing.
Really? . . .WOW
he should sit in reverend wrights church for the next several years and listen to hate rhetoric, then deny he ever heard it. then hook up with the terrorist bill ayers and deny knowing him.
then the liberal press will get behind him and help him get elected
Blame the media, and, of course, don't forget, it's Obama's fault! Typical conservative response as we've all come to know over the last decade.
Mr. Cain took himself down. I'm betting he'll be calling Ginger White very soon..
The man was taken down by what he has in his pants and what he does not have in his head. End of story
haha they think he is the target because he is christina. Some people are so dumb it's funny. actually it's scary.
hermann cain is deceitful unlawful a cheat and full of himself.anything that is done in darkness shall come forth to light. he has embarassed the white race. Yes i said the white race because i think is mommy painted him black when he was born.. Happy riddance go make some $9 99 pizza
The media took this man down?? You've got to be kidding me. What a grave failure to put blame where it belongs, on Cain himself.
This is the problem with the GOP, hypocrisy. While they preach family values they cheat on their wives. While they preach fiscal austerity they charge $500,000 on a credit card for jewelry, not a heart transplant but jewelry. While they preach about the cancer of lobbyists that infect our political system, they xhore themselves to the highest bidder as lobbyists. I am sick of the GOP and their lies and their holier than though hypocrisy.
Isn't it ironic that Cain was brought down by accusations of an affair while Newt Gingrich, who has had multiple affairs and actually asked his first wife for a divorce while she was in the hospital with cancer has replaced him as the leading candidate for the GOP. Talk about hypocrites.
His religion has nothing to do with it. He's simply unqualified to be POTUS. If he can't manage his own campaign, he cannot manage a country of 312 million people.
The media reported facts and lies that Cain did not want disclosed but shows how morally bankrupt "Pastor" Cain really is.
The only one to "take down" Cain was "if you are unemployed it is your fault" Cain.
Make that Mr. "I boned someone other than my wife, so that makes me an adulterer and I am the only one responsible" Cain.
Yea keep ( praying to God how funny ) that's all have to say .
David Koresh's followers said the same things about him.
Nope, don't think so. He took his self down for being a low down dirty dog. I feel sorry for his wife!!!
Lisa Lockwood say "I'm not judge or jury. It doesn't matter to me whether it's true or not." What if the accusation had been murder or rape? Anybody who says it doesn't matter whether it's true or not lacks a certain level of integrity. No wonder the world periodically sees the rise of murderous tyrants. To some people it doesn't matter what the person is or might be, if you like him he must be okay. Absolutely amoral and revolting.
Nope don't think so. He took his self down for being a womanizer. I feel sorry for his wife!
Some one should tell the cain supporters that the devil brought cain down, not the media.
At the end of the day, if political expediency was the culprit in false accusations of Herman Cain, I hope CNN and other Liberal Media outlets will expose the particular slime ball(s) responsible! My guess is that Axelrod's name may well come up!
amazing, god bless you Cain, not all of us are kissing obamas azz
Really?! Media didn't bring Cain down. The media exposed his dishonesty. He was dishonest with himself. Dishonest with his wife. Dishonest with his church. Dishonest to God. Dishonest with the US. So guess what? He IS dishonest.
The media is lying. The women are lying. And so are ll those phone records! I think the biggest problem with America is that people, when presented with glaring evidence, still hold on to their misplaced trust.
All his Iowa supports are simply delusional. This man was taken down by his own failings and the deceptions finally caught up with him. It's his own fault and he has no one but himself to blame. He's just a typical CEO that never has had to take responsibility for anything. Maybe he needs to spend some time in the minor leagues before trying to obtain the highest office in the land. Hopefully we'll never hear from his again.
Well Democrats, who are the real racist now? Black America needs to wake up and stop supporting Democrats.