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. Buster Brown

    Buncha fools. The man didn't know China has had a nuclear program for years, his "policies" were literally quotes from the Pokemon 2000 movie theme song, he didn't know the difference between Libya, Afghanistan, Egypt and Israel, and even he couldn't explain his supposed 9-9-9 plan, and didn't understand how it dramatically increased taxes on the middle class and the poor, and gave record-breaking breaks to the rich.

    And these idiots are whining about losing him?

    Oh, and while they're howling about lobbyists, they're upset that this one is out of the race, and are instead of rallying around yet another one?

    These people would be hilarious if they were somewhere else. But this kind of stupidity and hypocrisy so prevalent and accepted as the norm in the US is tragic.

    December 3, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. roscoe

    All I hear is the "progressive machine", or the liberal media, or Obama, or some other variation of a moderate boogie man did "this" to Herman Cain. But, you know who did this to Herman Cain? Herman Cain.

    Too bad the USA doesn't dish out caining as a punishment like some of the asian countries. Wouldn't it be nice to read the head line "Herman to be Cained"

    December 3, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. Benny

    The news media took down a very promising candidate by over reporting on various allegations without proper investigation

    December 3, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. Marty

    I blame all those racists in the liberal media!

    December 3, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. Sam

    He was a >>good<< man that cheated on his wife. Be with God? I am sure God has plenty to say to him for breaking 1 and if not more of his commandments? What a good man indeed. If we only had more, oh wait... we do... Hi Newt.

    December 3, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. luvcomments

    The media didn't take him down. They simply reported many accusations made against him. Would you prefer they'd turned a blind eye? If he'd kept his hands in his pockets and his you know what in his pants, there's no way he would have suspended his campaign – he would have had absolutely nothing to hide.

    December 3, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. Rodney Wedig

    Subtle racism, Newt is still running.

    December 3, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    Talk about being brainwashed.

    December 3, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  9. Rob

    I beg to differ, horniness took a "good" man down.

    December 3, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  10. TheMendicantBias

    Oh, please. Herman took himself down, not the media.

    Herman Cain: "Marriage is between 1 man, 1 woman, and 5 employees."

    December 3, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. SFC Mike

    Amazing how delusional these people are – I don't care what party, what positions on the issues, what personal qualities (or lack thereof) a candidate has. Zero foreign policy or foreign relations experience combined with zero political or governmental experience is a recipe for disaster for POTUS. The demands of the Presidency are daunting enough for anyone – there's no room for 100% on the job training. Cain would have been over his head from day one.

    It's also a joke to say "the media" took Cain down. Regardless of the ultimate facts, Cain himself and his senior staff mishandled the allegations from the start. Cain and his campaign leaders have no one but themselves to blame.

    December 3, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. Jerry/Florida

    Besides the un-objective media, don't forget the "Gold Diggers" and their slimy lawyers.

    Also, we must not forget that except for Fox News, most of the rest of the media are in bed with the president and his flunkies.

    December 3, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. Tom

    He brought himself down,oh Cain supporters. Stop blaming the media for all of Hermann's personal misadventures.
    He has only himself to blame. He's a big boy who is supposed to be responsible for his own actions. Glad to see him suspend his campaign.

    December 3, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    One question for you Cain supporters. If someone accused you of something you didn't do, would you not fight it to the end? I'm sorry but the truth sometimes sucks.

    December 3, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  15. James in Dallas

    Whatever. Blame the media for your shortcomings. Cain is a hound dog, Perry is a mental amoeba, Gingrich has more skeletons in his closet than a Bones episode, Romney flip flops more than a fish out of water, and the rest are so boring that a speech by them is better than tylenol PM. Its the medias fault. Keep saying that. My vote, as it did last time, will go to Obama, who has kept this country afloat despite the full might of the Right. My economic outlook is great because I, and I alone, took care of it over this past three years, not waiting for SOMEONE ELSE to do it.

    December 3, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. Chainyanker

    Oh please, Cain took himself down plain and simple. Stop blaming the media or anyone else.

    December 3, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  17. dontlie

    Cain is a lier and a cheat. His own actions brought down and he has no one to blame but himself. Take his arragant self home and lets move on.

    December 3, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. Buster Brown

    I guess God's really gonna be angry. There goes Oklahoma in an earthquake. Thanks, Herman.

    December 3, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. ranch111

    The guy is a hypocrite and a liar. Good riddance.

    December 3, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  20. Herman Cain

    If you don't have a job, it's your own fault. If I don't have a job it's everyone's fault but mine.

    December 3, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  21. steven harnack

    Thanks for the insight into the people that support him as I have always wondered about the who and why. Pretty sad actually, they seem like easy pickings for some cult leader.

    December 3, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. jp

    Typical, he still blames others for his mistakes. He still don't realize had he not fooled around the media wouldn't have had anything on him. If you eat salt you have to drink water.

    December 3, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  23. Human

    Ok, if Cain were not guilty, why did he suspend his campaign all of a sudden ? If he was innocent and did not do any wrong, why did he not inform his wife about Mrs White ? Why suddenly call his campaign quits after Mrs White came out ? Could it be he did not want further disclosure of his relationship with Mrs White ? Why did Mrs White come out even though she was getting monetary support from Cain ? Did Cain have relationship with other women ? Who or which candidate is behind these disclosures and who benefitted from it ? Is America now a laughing stock in front of the world because of hypocrisy of Republicans ? Why did Cain enter Presidential race in first place - is it to write a book like Romney ? What will Cain do now that his campaign is over ?

    December 3, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. r s kahn

    you people just don't get've been "snookered" - this man was no more qualified to be president than I am!!!! what goes around -- comes around...........and he's had his "gotcha"

    December 3, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. Yeah Right

    The media did nothing but expose Cain for who he really is. If these accusations were as false as he claims they are he would never be bowing out "after consulting with his wife". If anything, the media saved America

    December 3, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
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