Overheard on CNN.com: Rough roads ahead for Cain's campaign
Herman Cain kicks off his presidential campaign with his wife, Gloria, at a May rally in Atlanta.
December 2nd, 2011
02:00 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Rough roads ahead for Cain's campaign

Editor's note: Overheard on CNN.com is a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The comments section began to buzz after a story appeared about Herman Cain's plans to meet with his wife to discuss the future of his campaign. There's been a lot of chatter recently regarding the Republican presidential candidate's 13-year friendship with a woman named Ginger White.

Cain says he offered White financial assistance because she was in need. The majority of our commenters seemed convinced that Cain's friendship carried additional benefits. Many also said his campaign is doomed.

Cain to meet with wife amid affair claims, dropping poll numbers

There were a lot of commenters who tried to put the friendship in the context of their own lives. Many said they didn't find Cain's story believable and were baffled about his need to schedule a meeting with his wife. Some compared him to Newt Gingrich, who has also battled controversies over his personal life.

beowulfpk: " 'Yes, honey, I know I have been texting this woman at all hours of the day and supporting her financially, but I swear she is just a friend.' Anyone that believes that is a fool. The worst part about Cain is that he is a liar. If he had at least admitted partial fault to some of these allegations, he probably could get through this. Look at Newt. He cheated on his wife who was dying of cancer, and people still love him."

Several iReporters and commenters suggested that Cain drop out of the race, and there were also some who wanted him to stay.

Others noted that many politicians have dealt with allegations of affairs, including prominent presidents. Commenters wondered what motivates women to come forward and say they were involved with these men.

mysrom: "I don't understand the big deal. There are very few presidents who didn't have affairs (at least that I know of) and most were quite accepted. JFK, FDR and Clinton are the first to come to mind. Has anyone asked why these women all of a sudden came out of the woodwork? Cain should hang in there; Clinton got elected (twice) in the midst of sexual harassment and affair scandals."

Many readers indicated they weren't as concerned about the possibility of Cain having an affair as about attempts to cover up his behavior. Some saw him as hypocritical:

WolfAK: "For a man who founds his platform on making everyone accountable and doing their own work with no handouts, he seems to have handed out a bit himself to these women. Playing it hard and stern before then claiming he is soft and kindhearted just smacks of lies. Do I care if he had affairs? Not really. Payouts, cover-ups, denials in face of facts, hiding behind lawyer letters and agreements? That does not make any kind of candidate in my eyes."

In general, there was much cynicism expressed about politics.

Ocean26: "I don't care if you make a 'mistake' and cheat on your wife, but five different women and one who says it's been ongoing for 13 years confirms to me you have no morals or character and do not deserve the highest office in this land."

MrDystonia: "I disagree, Ocean26. His behavior qualifies him for elected office. After all, we've been electing lawyers to these positions for decades."

Commenters said Cain should have known these allegations would surface due to his high profile.

llardkent: "Were he not running for president, Cain's story would be a curiosity. But he is running for president, and his handling of the repercussions of women coming forward with accusations of impropriety is astonishing. He admits that he had a long-term relationship with a woman his wife didn't know about, in which he gave the woman money and gifts, but he wasn't physically intimate with her? If you have a long-term relationship with someone and give them money and gifts and your wife doesn't know about it, you are a cad regardless of the nature of your physical relationship. After everything else he is accused of, to admit to this, then suggest he is still a viable candidate is insane. He is toast. Is this an indicator of the quality of the men running this country, in politics and business? It seems every one of these guys, when the spotlight goes on them, have terrible narcissistic flaws - and these are the same guys who think they know better than us how we should live our lives. All that remains is for Cain to admit he is an adulterer, and proclaim that it is only because he loves his country so much."

CrimsonSky: "What amazes me the most is the arrogance of this guy, his ego and his stupidity. Didn't he think for a second that his life would be put under a microscope? And that all his extracurricular activities would be exposed to everyone, and that he would be judged according to his lifestyle? He is a habitual liar, a cheat and not a candidate for any job that I can think of. Pathetic!!"

A lot of our commenters referred to Gingrich's baggage, saying they thought Cain was getting too much scrutiny while the former House speaker wasn't getting enough. A few alluded to race as a possible explanation, while others rejected such theories:

MotTheHoople: "Why are people bearing down on Cain for having an affair? All the while embracing Newt? Newt also had an affair at the same time he was spearheading the impeachment of Clinton for having an affair. Which makes him a hypocrite. ... Why are people holding Cain up to a higher standard than Newt? Is it the skin color? Or what?"

dfwenigma: "The problem with Newtie is that his laundry has been aired so many times that people don't see the dirt in it anymore. That his party would even allow him to run shows the shame that typifies the modern GOP. Newt Gingrich is a dyed-in-the-wool hypocrite. He challenges liberals for committing the same peccadilloes he does and then cries foul at the liberal media. Believe me this is going to get foul and the other campaigns are going to make Gingrich go away. He's a nonentity in this election."

Now it's your turn to share your take. What lies ahead for Cain? Do you think he should quit? Join the conversation in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Share your thoughts on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Herkimer Schwartz

    Mr. Cain grated his own road. Now he has to navigate it.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Hello Herkimer.
    It's good to hear the word "grated."

    December 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      So we are paving our roads with cheese now?

      December 3, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mary, Mary (Quite Contrary)

    Mr. Cain is typical of the holier-than-thou types who would want to legislate *our* morals even when he has none. Typical hypocrite.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Patriot

    Yea no, he's not Ron Paul, He should drop out. Ron Paul is the last stand for the American people and our liberties.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mindie from Indie

      Ron Paul is fine – except for two things. He is a racist and is pro life. No one other than angry white men will vote for Paul. No blacks, hispanics, asians, native americans or other races, and no woman or gays – Obama already has those votes wrapped up. Paul has already lost over 1/2 of the voters.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • UrbanDoesntMeanGhetto

      How is Ron Paul a racist? I am an African American and I voted for him in the 2008 elections and I plan on voting again in the 2012 election. LOTS of African Americans agree with his platform. If you didn't know, most of us hold conservative views and are greatly disillusioned with the democratic party. Don't speak on behalf of a group if you don't know what you're talking about, ok?

      December 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gilligan

      Urban, the (D) after a name means one knows what all black people think about everything all the time.

      December 3, 2011 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Vispetti

      Mindie from Indie is misguided. Ron Paul is no racist and many blacks support Ron Paul. I'm black and I support Paul. I met Paul in person and I believe him when he says he did not write that letter that was supposedly racist. As I remember, the comments weren't even all that bad–whoever wrote it.

      Many blacks and Latinos actually support Paul. You might want to do better research on Paul.

      December 3, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Ron Paul drives me nuts. He says some things I really resonate with... abolish the "fed" (which is actually not federal at all, but a private corporation), return to the gold standard... then he starts poooping out stupid republican talking points. Such a shame and a waste.

      December 3, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. American

    He has embarrassed himself, his family, and has made the GOP look bad (as if Bush didn't do a good job at that a long time ago). It's probably too much to ask that we elect someone with good morals, like Dr. Paul, right? Yeah, I thought so.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patriot

      co-sign

      December 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mindie from Indie

    All these GOP clowns don't stand a chance against President Obama's record of positives – One person stated if Cain had just told the truth from the onset he would still be loved, just like Ginrich is still 'loved' even though he has no family values and is a proven liar, cheater and fraud.

    Well let me tell you something – the only person who 'loves' Gingrich is Gingrich. Newtr won't get the nom as he so Rightously tells everybody – but it really doesn't matter because Obama will get his 2nd term.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Herkimer Schwartz

    @JIF
    How are you doing friend ? Yeah, grated is not a word you hear too often anymore.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Windell Singleton

    Mr. Cain is a prime example of why their are no real leaders left to look up to, unless lying and wrong doing becomes the number one reason to elect government officials. Get the job first, then cheat. "Damn Fool", Haven't you learn anything from Bill Clinton? He is "HISTORY"!!!

    December 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Southerner01

    OK first, no normal married man has a female friend he gives money to and texts all the time over a 13 year period, who his wife knows nothing about, and is not his mistress.

    Second, you grade a road. You grate cheese!

    December 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. wrigley

    Mr. CAIN WAS NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME ANYWAY GIVEN HIS LOW LEVEL UNDERSTANDING OF FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES. DON'T KNOW THE TRUTH OF THE CHALLENGES BUT AT THIS POINT IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER BECAUSE EVEN IF THEY WERE FALSE A LOT OF THE SPAGHETTI WOULD STICK TO THE WALL!!
    AS FOR RON PAUL, HIS ISOLATIONISTIC COMMENTARY IS EXACTLY WHAT THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT NEED-WE CAN'T HIDE OUR HEADS IN THE SAND AND THINK THAT EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ELSE "WILL BE JUST FINE" OUR FINANCIAL AND MILITARY STRENGTH, IF THEY CAN BE BROUGHT BACK, ARE ONE OF THE MAJOR HOPES AGAINST A CHINESE CENTURY TO COME!

    December 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Herkimer Schwartz

      Ron Paul's isolationism is a great idea whose time has not only come, but is long overdue. These right-wing fanatics will bring this country to it's knees without it. Unfortunately, most people are just too ignorant to realize this simple fact and that's why they'll probably wind up nominating some idiot like Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney!!!

      December 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scott

    This 999 plan, is that how many women he's conquered?

    December 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Republican for Obama

      999 is the number of women he has helped financially. I wonder how many women of the 998 left does his wife know about.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Herkimer Schwartz

    Most of Cain's followers also believe the allegations set forth by these women but they still support their candidate ever so faithfully. Since these people are for the most part right-wing fanatics themselves, they don't believe that what Herman Cain did was quite so bad. These people all have that right-wing "macho makes right" mentality.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Herkimer Schwartz

      Not me at 3:53 PM

      December 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Scott Knuckles

    Did Bill Clinton have to quit? What's the difference?

    December 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gilligan

      The (D) after the name.

      Duh!

      December 3, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. Gilroytx

    Cain will be miss, all that BS and non-sense was quite entertaining. Now the only clown left is Rick Perry and he ain't funny.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mo

    Yes, he should step down. There are too many allegations.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
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