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. StMike

    Koch Cain bye bye!!!!!!

    December 3, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. Lee

    Goodbye Cain, we are going to miss you. I really liked and admired Cain and felt he was pretty solid until he reacted to all of these allegations in the weirdest way. His responses and how he handled the situation turned me off completely. No matter how good of a leader he could have been, handling these types of situations get in the way of the good. I wish the best for him and hopes he can mend his life back together. If the allegations were all true, he certainly has a lot to work through in his life. Let this be a lesson to all who want to achieve the highest office... if you have skeletons in your closet, either come clean and be honest and move forward so we all can accept and deal with solving our national problems or don't run for office! It's a mean world out there and the media can tear you up if they don't like you.

    December 3, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  3. Sandra

    Cain's accusers, including Ginger White, were, in fact, investigated as soon as they were discovered. Anyone who reads any media outlet has read details about those women that I am sure were painful for them to have known. But the issue of character is too important to leave sleaziness quiet. And the media didn't lie, once they were presented with the facts. They didn't have to. Anyone who thinks the media shouldn't look into allegations the truth of which might reflect on the character of a presidential candidate is not living in the real world. What would be the proper thing for the press to do? Not show up?

    A man who lies to his wife will lie to anyone, and that person is not someone I want to represent me to the rest of the world. I would have had more respect for Cain if he had just admitted to the affair and moved on. But no, he preferred to move on without acknowledging that he had been caught doing something wrong. If your wife doesn't know you are giving another woman money, that woman is more than a friend.

    December 3, 2011 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  4. Togo

    He took himself down... the media were just there to record it.

    December 3, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  5. scott

    What a bunch of Rubes!

    December 3, 2011 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  6. matrix09

    The Media? Looks to me like Cain's own behavior is what took him down. Like so many politicians he just can't seem to keep his pants up.

    December 3, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. Copenhagun

    Ya, the media had a 13 year affair and played grabass with various women with Herman Cain as a puppet. Seriously? The only person responsible here is HERMAN CAIN who's EGO is so huge, he didn't think about coming under the intense pressure of American politics and the American media.

    December 3, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  8. rockloper

    Boo hoo, the guy's a lying idiot.

    December 3, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  9. Lifeislikeafreckle

    Media is media. Maybe Cain should start asking Ron Paul for his advise how to use social media where his supporter actually listen to more than just media...

    December 3, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  10. CainNotAble

    Cain blamed most Americans for not being wealthy and successful. We'll Mr. Cain it's your fault that your campaign was a total failure.

    December 3, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  11. mike j

    What don"nt act surpised this world plays hard ball, just another loser that the media grasped, Then figured out this gentleman had nothing between his ears but how to better herman cain.When will people figure out that what made america great is being sold down the river by the same people who put us in this postion in the first place. The same old song @dance. PEOPLE WAKE UP you"ll be dead before you know it and no one will know you were even here make some sort of difference, Hate the rich if they got it we need it take it

    December 3, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  12. Reggie from LA

    BTW, I wonder who was threatening Herman Cain. Was it the run of the mill, usual fool or, is there a faction of sorts behind the Secret Service addition? I wonder what language was used to cause concern for his safety. In all honesty, he seems to be a very nice man. Not perfect, but reasonable. A bit off subject, but interesting nevertheless.

    December 3, 2011 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  13. karen503

    The Cain supprters are pitiful in their obsessive faith in a man who isn't worth their devotion.

    And they're all too eager to "blame the media" for Cain's hubris, when they most likely supported the media's hounding of Anthony Weiner, another dog who at least had the sense to be unfaithful only electronically.

    December 3, 2011 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  14. sara

    Send him some more money!!!! He needs more donations!

    December 3, 2011 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  15. todd

    Obamas state controlled media destroyed a man..,, shades of Stalin!!

    December 3, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  16. John B

    Let me fix that for you. "Media took a man down. Good." You had it in the wrong order.

    December 3, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  17. Acaraho

    Sorry but tell these delusional people that Herman Cain took himself down.

    December 3, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  18. sara

    "I don't care whether it's true or not" Conservative values? This explains why the South put men to death without suffice evidence. "I DON'T CARE IF IT'S TRUE OR NOT"......SOME STATEMENT, UH?

    December 3, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  19. whocares

    He didn't know that the world's next great superpower, arguably the 2nd strongest country in the world, and America's new geopolitical adversary for the 21st century, possessed nuclear weapons.

    December 3, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  20. kateslate

    No, Herman Cain took his own self down. I knew the first time I saw him speak and get impatient when he could not answer a substantive question that he was not a man able to lead this country.

    December 3, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  21. MikeT

    WOW! Cain could pee on their heads and tell them that its raining and these fools would believe him.

    December 3, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  22. John

    Herman Cain cause all the Trouble that came his way , the media only reported what people told them. So really Herman Cain brought down Herman Cain.And the other thing I don't understand Is , What do you Republican claim Is a good Christan. It sure Isn't someone that Cheat on his wife or In some cases wife's,or that someone that LIES. If this Is what you people Is a Good Christan than you much be reading a different Bible than the One Most people Read.

    December 3, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. Phil

    Media is for informing us, hopefully with facts. None of us know what actually went on with Mr. Cain and his "friend". However, where there is multiple instances of smoke there may be fire. Not suitable for President. Not Newt, Not Cain, Not Perry, Not Romney, maybe Paul, maybe Hunstman. Let's see what they got when the media goes deep. We could end up with "none of the above". What a surprise that would be.

    December 3, 2011 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  24. Jim

    "The very good are often the target of the very evil, and I think that's all this is."

    Behold the power of denial.

    December 3, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  25. cd

    obama better understand 'nothing" is now off limit's after 2012,execpt is children. His mother action's his action's from the day he was born on. It it now on SIR!

    December 3, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
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