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. roger

    Looks more like his girl friends took him down sort of speak.

    December 3, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. Arick

    To the Cain supporters: Welcome to presidential politics, it isn't Candyland where everyone is always nice. If you are going to play in that arena, you shouldn't expect sunshine and rainbows.

    December 3, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. Publius 13

    The media did not take Cain down. The media reported several unsavory allegations against Cain. That was news and it is the media's job to report news. Cain's past associations, bad judgment, and poor preparation took Cain down, regardless of whether he is a good man.

    December 3, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. Michael

    Ok – help me understand how "a good man" was taken down given five women independendant of each other accused him of the same behaviors that are unbefitting of the representative for America. Help me understand how Cain's actions – at best hipprocrtical – victimization of a "good man."

    You see, what you represent is no better than the delusional individual that Cain is. Now, take this as a moment to reflect on the evils of blindly pandering loyalty to an unknown simply because of party affiliation or color.

    Enough said.

    December 3, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. james

    I have personal experience of seeing the Press Vilify a personal friend of mine. All of it was untrue but what could they do. Sue them. Ha–I think the Press did a first class job of Axing Mr Cain–All the major News Bureaus had a hand in this. You should be real proud of yourselves guys and girls–What goes around comes around though–

    December 3, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  6. FedUpWithLife

    Some people in Iowa are delusional.

    December 3, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  7. unretired05

    It's not the medias fault. It's hard to take anyone down that is already that low.

    December 3, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. Erick

    Well, well, well, Herman Cain should not lie. I can see his eyes that can tell he is not telling truth. he better to tell the truth what he did wrong then everything will fade. Believe me.

    December 3, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  9. Jim

    So can we stop pretending that Cain is super smart now? " He's soooo smart!" No, he's not. And he's not a very good liar either.

    December 3, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  10. harleydavidson

    the cain attackers are racists.

    December 3, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  11. Alan

    It's no problem with me....after Dubya was inoffice for a year I thought our country was badly in need of a presidential bj.

    December 3, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  12. Sheryl Mexic

    I am not a Cain supporter or a Republican but I have to say this has merit.

    December 3, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. roro

    I'm sorry. Am I reading this correctly? When a Democrat gets caught doing inappropriate things (Clinton, Weiner, etc...) they're reviled. When a Republican, like Cain, gets caught harassing women and having long term affairs he's a "good man", and it's all the fault of the media. The accusers are all liars. What a bunch of hypocrites!!

    December 3, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. surporter

    These people are in denile, and its sad! 🙁

    December 3, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    You should ad d another term to there tơ: because he is a African American to o. We all know that we do not want a second one, so the media must shot first. It should be very interesting we know who pay for those ladies to move forward and make the claims? Media, Piers Morgan, someday we catch your mistress and we laught at you again, the same way we did to Mr Clinton "cigar donation to White House interns" and Ginrich too.

    December 3, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. roro

    To Anne Coulter: I'm happy to inform you that Cain is one of "your blacks", so what's your excuse for him this time?

    December 3, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Bob S. Hale

    Medias took him down??? Good grief..have his supporters notr been listening to him? Have they not paid attention? Blaming the media is so immature, so unprofessional. Maybe his supporters need to look at themselves...maybe, just maybe they could have helped him shape his campaign better! But, to blame the media tsk, tsk...the media had not one iota to do with his past life. HE DID!!!!

    December 3, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  18. Openyeyesnow

    Cain only has himself to blame, so don't put it on the media. That is like a guy complaining about child support. Keep it in the pants if you don't want problems!

    December 3, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. CJ

    No , the media had nothing to do with it , Herman managed it all by himself.. If the media is to blame guess any public figure caught wth his pants down should claim the same thing, Have not heard that from Weiner or Edwatds . Some just know when they get what they deserve.So why is it when the GOP gets caught they blame it all on the media!!!

    December 3, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  20. Chris

    More of the old American "Christian as Victim" BS. He's dragging his God and wife into his philandering. Awesome right wing "Family Values. Seriously anyone who believes him is deaf and blind. He was meeting, giving money to, and contacting by phone and text for 13 years and his wife was never told? Look over at your own wives and husbands and think of what they would say when they found out. Then think about how they would feel after you had them go on national TV to support you and deny the claims only to find out the where true. Family values indeed. Maybe he'll be Newt VP, then they can hit the bars and cruise for chicks.

    December 3, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. GTA

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

    And, apparently, a couple of other thing

    December 3, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. GTA

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

    And, apparently, a couple of other things, too.

    December 3, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  23. common sense

    Come on, he took himself down by his own actions. And yes, the women found a chance to do to him, what they felt he did to them. You cry foul all you want, but most people will try to get even when they have a chance.. Not to mention his wife indicated she knew nothing about his actions since he was probably using a corporate account to cover his actions. I have seen this all to often by Execs.

    December 3, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. Joshua Ludd

    Yeah, that might be right.. if you are stupid enough to believe his line about "helping her financially" for over a decade.. without ever mentioning this "friend" to his wife.

    December 3, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. bill o'really

    Hmmm the media is to blame for him not keeping his pants zipped up?

    December 3, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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