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. stick

    Cain should stay in the race...just because a bunch of paid s k an k women who couldn't get l a i d in a w h o re house come and say he did soemthing to him with no proof... then you know the libs are scared of him terribly...

    December 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • garc

      I love, love, love when you guys say us "libs" are "scared" of him. You have no idea how much we wish he would be the nominee.

      December 2, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Twippit Kaenon

      Whether those women were truthful or not, Cain should just get the h*** out. I don't give a flip about what he's done with women; all that aside Cain simply DOES NOT HAVE THE CREDENTIALS. Fumbling basic foriegn policy questions? Ostrasizing entire minorities?? As our representative to the world and international negotiator in prime, a potential presidential candidate should think a bit further than "9-9-9".

      December 2, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Herkimer Schwartz

      He goes another right-wing fanatic taking up for Herman Cain. I guess that this jerk too has that right-wing "macho makes right" mentality. They don't think that what Herman Cain did to these women was such a bad thing at all!!!

      December 2, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Herkimer Schwartz

      My apology for the missprint above. I meant to print "Here goes", not "He goes".

      December 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vispetti

      Stick, you are ignorant. I consider myself an independent thinker who just so happen to be a registered Republican to support Ron Paul. This isn't a conspiracy conjured up by Liberals. Admit that Cain is ignorant. If that Libya interview didn't tell you that this man was clueless, nothing will I guess. But please stop with the left vs. right nonsense. You've got to be insane to think that anyone is threatened by Cain. A faceoff between President Obama and Cain would be an Obama victory hands down. Although I would support Ron Paul no matter what, it would serve the Republican voters good for supporting candidates who share the same foreign and economic policies as President Obama. Might as well keep Obama, why vote for a Republican imposter. Newt, Romney, Cain, Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum are intervenetionists on foreign and economic issues. They no more believe in free markets than I believe in Santa Claus. And even Obama beats all of the GOP candidates at being a warmonger.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tamm

    Should Cain quit? Is the Pope German?

    December 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. alx

    absolutely he should quit.. first he is a black republican therefore he is lying to himself, he has had affairs therefore he is lying to his wife, he used to be ceo of a bad pizza joint that I've only seen in bad gas stations therefore he is lying to pizzalovers... all this a God's plan?!!, give be a break this is a fools attempt at trying to be white...

    December 2, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Phat Phanny (oac)

    The man can't even be honest with his own wife. Why would anyone expect him to be honest with america ? Having a relationship with a woman other than his wife, and keeping it hidden from her for 13 years, doesn't speak a lot about integrity.

    December 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. lawrence

    Cain casually used God for leverage like God persuaded him to run for president. God had plan for him, etc.
    I had dreamed up a scene for Saturday, he'll raise one arm in the air, point a finger to the supporters to quote son of God
    "I've talked to my wife, he who cast the first stone must be without sin. Are you with me? Are you with me?"
    The supporters will scream out of their lungs "run, Cain, run", "yes we Cain", "yes we Cain", ...
    And the video goes viral on the internet.

    December 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Oh, 'god' gave him a purpose. He just hasn't figured it out yet. It's not president..

      Maybe it has something to do with these new fries at BK? Whatever it is, he needs to keep looking..

      Maybe it's get divorced..

      December 3, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. clearmind

    So Cain is running for President knowing that being a presidential canidate is going to be investigated? Sorry that shows he has lacks good decision making ~ oops you sorta need that to be president dontcha?

    December 2, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      That's what i'm all about. The saving grace – it was never infidelity. For me, anyway.. Leeintulsa – 2016

      December 3, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. KanaK

    I think it is better for Cain and the US if he quit. No smoke without the fire. Whether he had affairs or not is not the real question. The real question is how he handled it. My only worry with Cain quitting is that some of his supporters may fled to Romney who runs for presidency for corporate welfare. I do not see any of the current contenders as a viable alternative to Obama – Cain quitting is not going to make much sense. If he stayed in the race, he may contribute a bit more to the economy by spending on the campaign – I welcome that!

    December 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Never Assume

    Your premise that Cain was ever a serious candidate is faulty.

    December 2, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Disguisted

    I am a professional black woman and can't see why any woman would be attracted to him. But in any case, to me he is a complete disgrace. Even before the womanizing allegations came to light, I felt he was a complete idiot and nothing but a farce. Just because Obama won doesn't mean you can win just because you're a black man. You MUST be qualified. I hope his wife kicks him to the curb.

    December 3, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Disguisted

    Oh and let me add that these woman are trifling. You knew he was married and you had a 13 year affair? How trifling is that?!!!

    December 3, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. rockford59

    Hey leave him in the race.. I wonder how many more women might come forward !! Cain is da man

    December 3, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. Darrell

    Here is what I dont get so someone please explain it to me. Cains poll numbers have dropped because of unproven claims of infidelity yet Newts numbers have increased and everyone knows how bad he cheated on his former wife? What gives?

    December 3, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Vispetti

      Darrell, don't you get it? It's not the GOP candidates, it's the majority of the GOP voters. The problem is that their rhetoric and professed principles don't coincide with the candidates they support. Bottom line, they are hypocrites. The only GOP voters who have a shred of consistency are the Ron Paul supporters. The only reason why I am in this friggin' party is to support Paul. After this primary, if Paul is not nominated, I will never in my life support this party. This party is no different than the Democratic Party. Well maybe there are some slight differences. They both share the same political policies but the GOP tries to be self-righteous and highly moral when it is impossible for anyone to live up to such standards. This is why when a Republican is exposed for criminality and immorality, they fall hard.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. levas

    Stay in the race AND sue the behind off of her.

    December 3, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. Richard

    Herman Cain should stay in the race! He is a shining example of Republican party, and he should represent! He is a liar, a cheat, and a greedy capitalist; how better to portrait the Tea Party / "Republi-CON" movement (quoting Norman Goldman)? Frankly, I don't care which clown gets nominated to represent the dark side, because any one of them will lose to Obama next November! Obama isn't my first choice, but he is leaps and bounds above all other winnable candidates this year!

    December 3, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    Levas: you are a sick puppy.. Hey!!! How can you not BELIEVE IN GLOBAL WARMING with all the HOT AIR the repubes are putting out!!!

    December 3, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
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