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. JD

    Herman Cain is no John F Kennedy or Bill Clinton. Mr. Cain was the GOP's great black hope. They thought they would fight a black president with a black candidate they could control. "They" were wrong on both parts. Mr Cain should stay in the pizza business, at least he knows something about that. It's a total joke and disgrace to America when a candidate doesn't think he needs to know things like foreign policy because he has people that will working in that. Please, Americans are not stupid! They proved that by not electing the witch, the bully Sarah Palin and others such as Ms Bachman. The days of voting like your parents did are over. People are educated enough to actually read up and research candidates. When they do, they find things like mistresses and affairs coming out of the wood works.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • J R Brown

      I'm rather curious....the last President we elected had virtually no experience in governance and had gaping holes in his ideas about foreign policy but his promises that he'd surrounded himself with very capable people seemed to get people to vote for him...why the problem with Cain on that issue?

      We, as Americans, do not elect people on their abilities...we elect them because of how they are marketed to our biases and stereotypes. Obama was being groomed to run for President for at least a decade by politicos...he was well practiced at throwing out the appropriate sound bytes for the audience. Ever seen any of the YouTube vidoes of Obama trying to talk about things without a teleprompter? If it weren't for the fact that he's the President, it would be absolutely hysterical...as it is, its just sad. The guy can't put two thoughts together.

      The problem is not with the quality of our candidates...the problem is with the quality of our people. We, as a society, have exactly the government we deserve....incompetent crooks raiding the cookie jar at every opportunity. They are a reflection of who WE are as a society....

      December 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. newsgirl64

    I hope Cain stays in the race...I don't believe those women are telling the truth. Funny no one's saying anything about the shady backgrounds of the gal's who came forward. I think someone paid them, not sure how but some little devil is behind it. I simply don't believe the hype. Perhaps having another black man in the White House is way to much to even think about for some so let's put Cain on the railroad and run him down the tracks. Go CAIN GO, don't run from anyone, you stand and fight...at least your not a coward like the ones behind the lynch mob......I am proud of you and pulling for you!

    December 3, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • mw

      Of course they have shady backgrounds; they are having an affair with a married man. That doesn't absolve Cain of any responsibility, that only means he's shady as well. Either the man is a very, very talented liar, is deluding himself or he's completely innocent (and I kinda got my doubts he's innocent.)

      December 3, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thnk for myself

      The GOP boasts how it is all about family values. What part of family values does this man represent? The entire circus that has been the GOP hopefuls for this year has been a joke. The only guys who are semi competent are shunned by the party. It is almost as if this living soap opera is handing Obama the next term on a silver platter.

      December 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kim

    He is just a cheating no good man and the women that stuck around for 13 years is a stupid homewreaker. She should of knew she was a jumpoff. His wife probably knows he was unfaithful she just got caught up on that bid for the white house. He needs to drop out the race and suppy Obama.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JimAR

      She should of knew = She should have known.

      She was a jumpoff = She was just being used.

      and suppy Obama = I have no idea whatsoever.

      December 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. newsgirl64

    Don't Believe the Hype from Shady Ladies

    December 3, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • PK California

      So, who would be the first Lady? His wife lives in a separate house now. Or maybe the girlfriend would be the first FIRST LADY who is not married to the president. My oh my, this could get very complicated!

      December 3, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. newsgirl64

    DoNt BeLiEvE the HYPE from ShAdY LaDiEs.........Go Cain Go......

    December 3, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Whose paying you? You look like a Cain campaign person whose job is to go on to websites and try to sway opinion.

      Cain is finished

      December 3, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bigbendjc

    It wasn't a true presidential quest. Like Sister Sarah he wanted to get his name out in the public to sell books and get speaking engagements. When he found himself at the top of the polls he decided to ride that train to riches. For heaven's sake the man doesn't even read newspapers or watch the news (even Fox) to stay informed! He wasn't qualified and people who supported him were duped! NEXT anti-Romney please!

    December 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. textaz03

    Absolutly! Cain should end his bid for the Presidency. He is one who can't be trusted. He appartently has a lot of baggage that is starting to work its way out of the closet. If he stays in, its just for publicity only because he is no longer electable IMO. We don't need another Clinton scandal in the White House and who knows what else could come out of this guys closet. Biggest losers if he stays in is going to be the donors. Wasted money on a guy who is not going to win the bid. Time to move on Mr Cain.

    December 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. David

    Should Cain quit? He never should have run. Would "Joe the Plumber" be a good President? The fact that only one Party even considers these people to be a "political force" says it all.

    December 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ian

    per John 3:16, cain should stay in the race. the message of the lord is so clear. read that passage you'll understand....

    December 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ThinkLessDoMore

    "Uncle Cain" as figure head for the "extreme white"
    ....uhhhh what... have they gone liberal?

    December 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MikeRowe1525

    Typical politics of the 21st century...In the beginning, It's all about character assassination, then it's about the dirt in the closet, then it's starts into political policy's, but the talk is usually limited to political correctness.

    December 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RDK

    Clearly a small group of extreme conservative republicans are behind all this. They will make sure Cain is out of the way leaving his voters without another option but to vote for Gingrich since Romney is not conservative enough for them.

    December 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Blackbeered

    Of course he shouldn't quit.

    Didn't we learn anything when the media hounded Gary Hart from the presidential race in ran in 1987 and we ended up with Dukakis ! ?

    "he was considered a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination until news organizations reported that he was having an extramarital affair."

    Can you imagine how different, and better, the world would be today if the media hadn't drummed out this highly-qualified individual?

    December 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Benibiker

    Every single Republican candidate should quit, they're all clowns just in it for the limelight, they don't care about America.

    December 3, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mommy

    After hearing and seeing the women on the news they seem shady. He was probably set up because he is a threat but unfortunately he can not recover because there is not enough time for investigations. He has great ideas and yes he does not know foreign policy but neither does the current president. If it were not for Hillary he would be well in and over his head which I think he is anyways. Cain should have an investigation and in stories like this follow the money and you can find the true answer.... This too shall pass.

    December 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
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