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. Howard

    The media??? Oh, Pulleeeeze? The media didn't search out Cain's victims. They outed themselves. It appears they decided to subject themselves to the public embarrassment because they felt the country deserved to know what a hypocrite this man who would be President really was. I'm betting Mrs. Cain told her hubby that if he continued his campaign, then any other skeletons in his closet were sure to come out as well, and she wouldn't be having any of it.

    December 3, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Herman Cain And HIS Actions & Decisions Took Down Herman Cain, NOT the media......

    December 3, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. laura

    His poll numbers started to go down before the allegations. What did him in is not having a grasp of what is going on in the world. Not knowing China has nuclear weapons, not knowing what happened in Libya – which was all over the news the last several months, and poor debate performances. Almost every question was answered with "when I have more information...".

    December 3, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. dan

    Cain needs to be forthcoming about the truth, and he appears to have no intention of doing so. In the end, he was not able, never was, and never would have been. Even if he was attractive to some people, his ability to navigate the presidency always was in doubt. The GOP is better off without him as the candidate. The rest of the candidates aren't very attractive either. So, the winner may be Obama by default.

    December 3, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. mark

    His next adventure is pizza delivery in Iowa state wide from one store . He is asking for the people from iowa to support him

    December 3, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. AMERICA 1st

    After all, it is called the WHITE house!

    December 3, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Cain Peanus

    It wasn't the media that brought down this great man – it was me, Mr. Cain Peanus....I am often accused of 'having a mind of my own" and now am responsible for bringing this great man down & for that I am sorry 🙁

    December 3, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. encore

    Mr. Cain may have been a christan one time in his life but now he is a lair and a cheater with no respect for women or god. hey Lisa you say that he is a christan so u god nobody knows a person heart but god so he fooled u and his wife u must be sleeping with him too.

    December 3, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. informed voter

    What happened to: if you're out of a job (or out of the race) it's your own fault. This joke of a candidate (I never believed he was serious to begin with, just trying to sell books and maybe get a job on Faux News) has no one to blame but himself and his inflated ego (and member) for his downfall.

    December 3, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. pikerover

    Good man??? Nein Nein Nein

    December 3, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. paul

    Cain campaign in denial. One woman coming out–maybe. Two coming out-probably. Three or more coming out–he did it. Don't blame the media for reporting what your candidate did. If you don't want the entire truth then stick to FOX NEWS.

    December 3, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. bittergaymark

    Wow. So his supporters sound even dumber and more clueless than he does. Well, that explains that, I guess.

    December 3, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. SwilliamP

    The media did not force this man to have a 'casual' affair (my wife and I agree there is no such thing!) and if there is more than one harassment complainer, odds are it is not just some gold-digger. If you have shaky knowledge of world affairs and economics you should at least have a very clean personal life. Mr Cain fails here. I don't know if the 'Devil made him do it' but one thing's sure- the media didn't...

    December 3, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. itzme52

    "It's because he is a Christian. He is an associate Baptist pastor. He is a father." So this means the man doesn't lie and is infallible? She "wouldn't speculate" but that she "believes in him." Seriously? It is unbelievable to me that so many women came forward and their are still people who are blindly lead by this man. If it looks like a rat, smells like a rat, and sounds like a rat...

    December 3, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. willie floyd

    If I am wrong, God forgive me, but I don't believe a word spoken in his speech today. Suspending only allows him to continue collecting donations, which I believe is only to pay off the debt he now has.

    December 3, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. reacharound

    “It’s because he is a Christian. He is an associate Baptist pastor. He is a father.”
    He's also a husband not telling his wife about these "charitable" contributions.Good Bye Herman, next time start smaller, say, mayor or city council.Your are not ready for the national stage.

    December 3, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  17. Klaark

    You all really thought the Republican conservatives would support a black man? What a hoot! The party of death, the party of the KKK, yeah right!

    December 3, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. Jasper

    The Media didn't bring Cain down, Cain brought Cain down. The Media simply provided an entertaining play by play.
    Thank you Media. 🙂

    December 3, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  19. John

    Yeah, its always the fault of the "left-wing" media.

    Its really horrible when a man who said that "God told me to run" can't keep his pants on.

    Thankfully the Republicans have another moral hero waiting in the wings – Newt Gingrich!!!

    December 3, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  20. Billy

    So he just gives up? What a bum! How do his supporters get their money back? People who were already hard hit just shelled out money to this guy who promised at least to TRY to make some sort of difference. Feels like a lot of cash should be returned. It's very self centered for a guy who claims to want to serve the public. If this is all it took to get a guy to resign what would he have done during his presidency? Motto: Just give up. Stinks of failure.

    December 3, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. Peace Out, Pizza Man

    Talk about delusion. You don't secretly give money to someone for over a decade without getting something in return. If it were merely charity, he would have no reason to keep it from his wife.

    December 3, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  22. Willow

    I would never vote for him but the news media did in deed destroyed him; anything to get the readers attention is the news medias motto.

    December 3, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  23. CBR

    Once again the media has taken to creating an atmosphere where a person cannot defend him/herself. The question is not whether Cain is innocent or guilty. Instead the coverage swirled around him waiting to find a way to take him down. No one really knows the truth here. The court cases cannot be opened and it is now a she said/he said story with Ms. White. The losers will be Mr. Cain's wife and the Cain family, Who will apologize to them for this circus.

    Just read comments about people on the web pages if you do not understand just how cruel we can be.

    We the people should decide whether a person is worthy of our support and vote. The media has an obligation to report the news without hyping it. Too many families have suffered because of the zealots who feel they must report a story quickly before really knowing the truth. Often it is a man or woman who is accused and is not given the chance to defend himself in a court of law. The media and others do not understand, "Innocent until proven guilty." For those who are ultimately proven innocent the nightmare is just beginning. The news is out there and it is very hard to change public perception. Of course, the person's innocence is sometimes declared on the back pages of print media and as a postscript in the electronic media.

    December 3, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  24. sammy zoso

    The press took Herman down and it sounds like Herman likes to get down. Which came first? Also is this guy so egotistical to think he will be missed or that he had a chance to get nominated let alone elected? Is the GOP Nazi party in usch bad shape they can't even find a mediocre candidate to run? Long live Obama!

    December 3, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  25. Aunt Rachel

    They can't ALL be lying.

    December 3, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
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