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. John

    Herman who?

    December 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. petemg

    When Mr. Cain was not a threat we never heard any accusations against this man, but since has been making headlines, these accusing women suddenly have a memory. Yeah, to me I wonder what made people so scared of Mr. Cain. Or did all of these accusations come out because the saintly white people did not want to take a man of color seriously because of what Obama has said and done.
    Many comments here that state they did not believe Mr. Cain when he stated he had not extramarital affairs. But isn't it interesting when you people believed Clinton when he stated, "Read my lips, I have had no affairs." and then later forgave him when he admitted to the affair with Monica. How much money did Clinton accept when he rented out the Lincoln bedroom for a night or two.
    What about JFK and brother and RFK having had affairs. One cannot find one politician who is guiltless of something or another. Get real people we must get down to business and bring back our country.

    December 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. newsgirl64

    Well I guess he felt it's not worth all the trouble, I don't blame ya Cain, who needs all this mess. I'm still with ya thought
    God Bless

    December 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. richjoy

    Politics at the national level is all about gathering campaign money...unfortunately for him, Cain is a Republician, and no monied Republicians are going to associate with a candidate who cannot pass the family-values test.

    ...and if you are thinking that is not so because Newt is in the race, I am suggesting he does not have a large campanign fund, was forced to suspend campaigning within weeks of announcing, is somewhat popular now because most people don't remember him in the 90s, benefits from the demise of other candidates (TX governor), and will also drop out when the spotlight moves to shine on him.

    December 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dennis

    Come on folks, he's a politian. When do you ever recall a politian telling the truth? They have all had affairs and wouldn't be able to tell the truth if their life depended on it. For example, Cheney and Newt...now these guys are both crooked as a 3 dollar bill and we keep electing them because there is no one out there to vote for who has integrity.

    December 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. maggie

    The Cain-train has derailed ,but wait, it can still make it to the Jerry Springer show.

    December 3, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CantFight thePower

    Which just goes to show that one can never underestimate the Power of the Kitty-Kat!

    December 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • So Right

      LOL!!! That's Right!! He's ME-OWWWWWTTT!! LOL!!!

      December 3, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TREY

    It is funny how President Clinton lied to congress had an affair didn’t get impeached but how we will grill this guy for accusations that have not been proven yet!

    December 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • RPAries

      You're just mad because Cain is....OUT!!!! Quit crying...

      December 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Cain is out of it now. He said so.
    A writer here thinks that the Republican nomination hinges on "family values" because of campaign funds.
    Then we have Romney and Obama.
    I'll take Obama, and I'm a Republican.

    December 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Voting Democrat

      So will I and this will be the first time I will be voting Democrat! There are really no other options left that I would feel more comfortable with. However, Obama Does Help the Middle-Class, the Poor, and Minorities much more than the GOP and that makes a heck of a lot of difference, especially this time around, for many of us.

      December 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • laurex

      unfortunately most folks confuse Obama's "handouts" as "help"........remember give a man a fish and he can eat a meal, teach him to fish and he can eat forever. Similar to that of the OWS movement no one is quite sure what the Obama-strategy is (other tah to get re-elected). Does anyone really feel that Obama has any leadership skills other than charisma. But charisma only takes one so far. As a leader it helps to convince people to follow your lead and to beleive in your ideals. But as a leader you must also have a vision and a direction. Obama's charisma got him elected but it will not sustain him.

      December 4, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat (in a hat)

    For some reason, when a person like Herman Cain gets humbled the way he just did, it makes me feel like kharma does still exist. This man has acted so full of himself and it is good to see him get grounded. Even on the campaign trail he was dressing out like a pimp daddy. Not the kind of image you would expect from a possible POTUS. I wonder if his wife has forgiven him. Move over little dawg, Cause the big dawgs movin in.

    December 3, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chuck steaks

    i juss lsntd to a blak wurman tels me ams a racist cuz i wil vote for da citizen cain?! wats wit hern? sums of mines bess frenz is blaks! and moss is in da teaparty! so kepson kepin on citizen cain an dun lit da ganbnagers git u dun. stanup!stanup! stanup fur mi rights!! so spek da prez. spelchkdunwurk. god bless america.

    December 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Portland tonyi

    The party's over!

    December 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bigwilliestyles

    Yeah. So long Sleep-N-Eat. Good riddance.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. SZ

    A man cheating his wife is a big fool.

    December 4, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. lurex

    You're out of your gourd. He's not handing out any more than any other president did. Keep drinking the gop cool-aid and you'll get poisoned just like the reat of the gop is. Ain't no better candidate out there right now to compete with obama, so you best gear up for another four years, because that's who we're gonns have...OBAMA/BIDEN 2012.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
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