On Monday night, Gloria Cain, wife of Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, sat for a much-anticipated interview with FOX News.
Cain has often said that his wife of 43 years supported him “200 percent,” and Mrs. Cain backed up his assertion, coming to her husband’s side when he needed her most. Recent polls have shown that Cain’s sexual harassment scandal — four women claim he acted inappropriately during his time at the National Restaurant Association in the ’90s — is costing him support, especially among women.
“I know the person that he is, and I know that the person that [the accusers] were talking about, I don’t know who that person is,” Mrs. Cain told interviewer Greta Van Susteren. “And if I haven’t seen parts of that person in 43 years, I don’t think I’m that simple that I would miss something that significant.”
Addressing her husband’s latest accuser, Sharon Bialek, who says Mr. Cain groped her when she asked for his help finding a job, Mrs. Cain said, “I’m thinking he would have to have a split personality to do the things that she said.” She added that her husband “totally respects women.”
Mrs. Cain did admit that there was a time when she had slight doubt about her husband’s total innocence. “In the beginning, I started thinking in my mind, ‘Could I have missed something?’ But then I always go back to the beginning. No, I’m not missing anything. I know Herman. I know him,” she said.
When Van Susteren asked Mrs. Cain if she was being naïve, Mrs. Cain added that if she wasn’t completely sure about her husband’s innocence, she would not defend him.
“I know the type of women that you’re thinking about, that the little woman at home is the last to know,” she said. “But I never see myself as being the little woman at home. And I’ve always said when I’ve seen stories like that, I will not be one of those people who will stand up on stage with a smile and knowing that you were wrong. I’m not going to do that.”
By most accounts, Mrs. Cain’s interview was favorable. Over on the Daily Beast, Michelle Cottle critiqued, “Is Gloria Cain cute as a button, or what? Smart. Spunky. Likable. Charmingly unscripted. Seemingly earnest. All the things you like to see in a political spouse.”
But still, Cottle wasn’t quite sold on Mrs. Cain’s defense of her husband. (Neither was I). “No matter how many times Gloria insisted that she is not that type of woman, she never offered any real reassurances of why she believes (and, by extension, why the rest of us should consider) Herman guiltless other than ‘I know him,’]” Cottle wrote. “While delivered with infectious spirit by Gloria, this is, in fact, the oldest spousal defense in the book — one that grows more meaningless with each passing scandal.”
What did you think of the interview?
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk