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. phearis

    I just don't like Cain because: He's arrogant; He subscribes to the philosophy that it's always someone else's fault; He's unable to take responsibility for his own actions and when he's caught in a "flat out" lie, rather than be a man about it and admit it, he slinks back into the corner and denies, denies, denies.

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

      He seems to be trying to string everyone along. Why doesn
      t he get it over with and drop out. Do us all a favor including himself.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • DCE

      I hate that.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. george patton

    @scott knuckles your post was entertaining to say the least! The big difference between cain and that right wing thug clinton is that clinton has all the brothers backing him,hes a demacrat right wing thug

    December 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • phearis

      When that "thung" was in office, the US had the best economic growth since WWII, extremely low jobless percentage, almost no increase to the National Debt and a surplus. What a jerk huh?

      December 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tinker

    Herman just doesn't cut it. As much as his morality says about his character, his wanting to tax us even more than we already are is unreal. Today I shopped for groceries at a Sams Club. Paid $17. 93 in taxes. And he wants another 9% ?

    December 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Hitobito

    No one knows for sure if Mr. Cain has committed adultery. He appears to have been tried and convicted in the media. I personally do not like Mr. Cain or his politics, but he is innocent until proven guilty. If he is deliberately lying about his relationships with these women, then he'll have to face his wife and his conscience first. I don't care if he has had any number of affairs. Its none of my business. I have watched several of the GOP candidates debates and Mr. Cain appears to be among the most clueless of the candidates particularly about foreign affairs. But he's still a lot smarter than either Michele Bachman or Rick Perry. Rick Perry has to be the dumbest person ever to run for the Presidency. His performance indicates to me that he's not smart enough to avoid appearing like an imbecile. Pathetic.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mac

      Its white women who fall for a tall black rich businessman and then claim they were harassed, that is the real problem here.

      December 3, 2011 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. virgil starkwell

    Cain showed everybody that he was a fool long before all the women came out of the woodwork. A buffoon, really.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gilligan


      December 3, 2011 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Vispetti

      No, YOU'RE right–BUFOON!

      December 3, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. A Watcer

    Please, please, please keep the clown car manned.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Claudia

    One more pervert of the "Conservative" Party, is ironic right?, they are against abortion, but they are actually killing us economically and morally with all these scandals, wars they send our family members so young, etc.. Grinwich is the next one, I don't even know why is he even bothering to run. On the other hand, we have an amazing President,from the Democrats and who is moral, loyal and compasionate, YES COMPASIONATE NOT SOCIALIST!!! and has tried to work with the Republicans since he took office. God Bless Him!!! and I feel sorry for Cain's wife, and specially his children who are the ones that will pay the highest price in life. How dare Mr. Cain, your "grandiose" personality is costing you now quite a bit

    December 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. daleok

    Cain, go back to what you do best.....making pizzas.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michael Schanz

    To paraphrase the man himself "If you don't have a job then you have no one to blame but yourself". Well I think that he will not get the job that he is looking for either. So who is HE blaming about HIS troubles? If he cannot display any more sensitivity than he does to others then why should anybody give him the benefit of the doubt in the first place?

    December 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John

    Hermie is innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately for him, the nomination will be made LONG before he can prove he's innocent. Keep it tucked in for the rest of your life Hermie.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. PHinMiami

    Cain is nothing short of delusional. He was never 'in the race'. No way, no how, those 'Good Ole Boys' were ever gonna support him and the GOP knew it. Cain is a token black to soften the racism inherent in the GOP. Much like Sarah, he took himself too seriously. The GOP uses people to garner cheap votes.

    December 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kinglywarrior

    He was never really running for President anyway. He was trying to get his name out there so when he is eliminated he can do the book tour, random speech about nothing thing like Palin. But he even managed to screw that up.

    December 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. George Patton

    This fine American would have made a good president, but he should do the honorable thing and step aside so that one of the other fine candidates can win.

    December 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Merve

    It is over. He should return all of the money that honest and gullible people gave him and apologize for wasting everyone's time.

    December 2, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conventgirl

      Too true! Well said.

      December 3, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. friendlyfire

    Bottom line: He's a big liar, a cheat, and a manipulator. Would anyone trust this man as the President especially after the way he's handled these accusations and even when the latest accuser has his cell phone calls and God knows what all else to prove his involvement. Can he enlighten anyone about world affairs when he doesn't know what's been going on in Libya. That this man takes himself so seriously is as frightening to me as other idiotic, ego maniacs like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman who also long for power (excuse me, Palin now for money).

    December 2, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Well put, friendlyfire, and so very true, too! Thank you.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
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