Herman Cain answers questions from the news media in Manchester, N.H. (Brian Snyder/Reuters )
Herman Cain has a critical summit meeting Friday with a house leader. His house.
Cain is decamping back to Georgia for a sit-down with wife Gloria over the subject of Ginger White, the Atlanta woman who claims she was Cain’s mistress for over a decade, and he said the two will discuss the future of his struggling presidential campaign.
Cain is slated to open his national campaign headquarters in Atlanta on Saturday and, at least as of now, is expected to go through with it. But the lease had better be month-to-month.
White, appearing on MSNBC Thursday night, apologized to Gloria Cain and Cain’s children. (Watch video below.)
"I am not a cold-hearted person. I am a mother of two kids. And of course my heart bleeds for this woman because I am a woman and being in a situation like this cannot be fun," she said. "And I am deeply, deeply sorry if I have caused any hurt to her and to his kids, to his family. That was not my intention. I never wanted to hurt anyone and I'm deeply sorry. I am very sorry.”
In an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader Thursday, Cain said his wife knew nothing about his relationship with White or the money he has given her over the years to help her support herself. But he maintained that the two had a friendship, not an affair.
Friday, the Union Leader weighed in on Cain in an editorial--and while praising him as a person, the newspaper said he isn't of presidential timber.
"Cain simply hasn’t prepared himself adequately for the presidency. That combined with the fact that he said yesterday he would change nothing about his handling of the allegations of the past several weeks, and his assertion of a conspiracy theory that stretches credulity, show a lack of self-awareness that should give any supporter pause," the paper wrote. "We hope the allegations against Herman Cain prove untrue. Whatever the outcome, we suspect his wife will have him back from the campaign trail sooner rather than later."
What Cain is going to do today or tomorrow or the next day remains anyone’s guess. He hasn’t run a conventional campaign by any means. And this week, even as he and his campaign has suggested that he may be quitting, they have also remained defiant and publicly optimistic about the future.
So, even as White was apologizing to Gloria Cain on Thursday evening, Cain’s lawyer, Lin Wood, showed up Piers Morgan’s show on CNN to besmirch her. Wood said the media hasn’t dug into White’s past enough.
"What I find naive is the failure on the part of members of the media to be asking the tough questions of the accuser, someone who has, obviously a troubled past," Wood said. "You are participating in the deterioration of the political process."
Wood on Thursday released cellphone billing records showing that Cain and White called each other 10 times the past six months and exchanged over 200 text messages. Cain said they involved White asking for money and told the Union Leader that he suspects White was paid a large sum to tell her story to the media, something White has denied.
Nothing may be more emblematic of Cain's skid than new numbers showing that his support has cratered in Florida, where his surprise straw poll victory just over two months ago catapulted him into the race's top tier. A new American Research Group survey released Thursday had Cain falling to just 10 % among GOP primary voters, down from 34% in October.
And a new Des Moines Register poll in Iowa to be released this weekend shows Cain in single digits.
Regardless, then, of what Cain and his wife determine today, voters seem to be, at least right now, making the decision for him.