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. VetForObama

    Yes, Blame the media for all of your sins.

    December 3, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

    Are you serious? Cain took himself down. Good man? In what aspect? As a businessman? Certainly not as anyone any honest American would want their children to emulate.

    December 3, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  3. James PDX

    "I'm not judge or jury. It doesn't matter to me whether it's true or not."

    And yet you are allowed the power to vote. Democracy; what a terrible system. There should be an agency that records when soemone says something so absolutely stupid and revokes their right to vote.

    December 3, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  4. Eric of Reseda

    Thank GOD the media exposed this adulterer and liar!

    December 3, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  5. Cindy

    It wasn't the media. The devil made him do it. Not his fault at all.

    December 3, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. Sharman

    Don't blame the media...blame yourself! I know all about those baptist preachers who travel all the time.

    December 3, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. Spike

    The media did not take Cain down.....Cain took Cain down.

    December 3, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. Johan S

    I thought Republicans say that giving financial help especially over an extended period of time just encourages people to be lazy.

    December 3, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  9. Sam Rupani

    Good Evening.

    It is all over now.





    December 3, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  10. yu

    Who cares

    December 3, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. David in Vancouver WA

    This whole story is pointless, as Mr. Cain did this to himself by behaving badly. This is just a bunch of excuses and attempts to place the blame for Mr. Cain's failure on anything except Mr. Cain himself. Not only is Herman a philandering womanizer, he's apparently incapable of accepting responsibility for his actions. Mr. Cain is his own worst enemy, and if there was ever any question about his ability to serve as President, well, we have our answer now. A resounding NO!!!!!

    December 3, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. WatchDawg

    what the world heard...blah blah blah...I am a philandering millionaire with no regard for anyone but myself...what the Tea Party,,,The Liberal Media did this to the end...lets hope Herman rides off more quietly than Palin...

    December 3, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  13. Brad

    These supporters must be steeped in deep illusion. HELLO!!! YOUR CANDIDATE IS A WOMANIZER!

    December 3, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  14. Angy

    no they didn't. they took a h@#$ down. come on rethug/teabaggers. he is a liar and a loser. he would NOT

    December 3, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. TimeToGetOut

    No. Boosh was the last man of no morals this country will tolerate. Too late, Cain.

    December 3, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. Angy

    (continues). have won anyway.but then again, dream on.

    December 3, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  17. Blackbeered

    Exactly what the media did to Gary Hart in 1987 and we ended up with Dukakis ... and the rest is history.

    December 3, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  18. Debeucci

    Hey Black Walnut, if you're not president, the only person he has to blame is himself.

    December 3, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  19. Mark

    What? Sorry, no, Herman Cain brought down Herman Cain; whatever happened to "Blame yourself!" ...of course I forgot about goose and gander. I have nothing against the man but between all this sordid nonsense, how he responded to it, and his multiple failure to articulate any knowledge on foreign policy, I just don't think he was suitable to be POTUS. The media can be dogs – this is just silly.

    December 3, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. mark scott ducharme

    I don't get it. Ginrigh or what ever his name is not only cheated on his wife but then kicked her to the curb and he's still in the race. Maybe my fellow consers are a bunch of fn bigots afterall

    December 3, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  21. Brian

    How come there was never a single shred of evidence found in any of the accusations against him?

    December 3, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  22. frontgate

    The people interviewed for this article are terribly delusional.

    December 3, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  23. Rich

    Even IF he didn't commit adultery, the man came across as ignorant of current issues and lacking public speaking abilities. At the very least, a Presidential candidate should be able to demonstrate those abilities.

    December 3, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  24. ED FL

    This big mouth philanderer wasn't going anywhere in the chase for the presidency. He was on his own EGO trip and anybody with any common sense knew he could NEVER become a presidential candidate. Gingrich will be next America doesn't like philanderes and these 2 were the epitomy of cheating.

    December 3, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. Dan in Tucson

    The media didnt do anything to bring cain (I got no respect for the man so I wont capitalize his name)down. He is where he is at because of himself.

    December 3, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
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