Cain Gets Emotional When he Talks About his Wife's Care for him During his Battle With Cancer
In a soul-baring session of emotional anecdotes, six GOP presidential candidates through tears and laughter confessed to foibles, failures and hardships during a forum Saturday in Iowa.
Six Republican presidential candidates listen to moderator Frank Luntz, right, during the Thanksgiving Family Forum tonight sponsored by he Family Leader in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
The two-hour Family Leader event felt at times more like a Christian prayer meeting or a dishy talk show than a campaign event, which made moderator Frank Luntz exclaim at one point: "I feel like Dr. Phil!"
Organizers with the Family Leader, an influential Iowa-based evangelical Christian advocacy group, wanted the unconventional event to elicit personal answers that revealed each candidate's character - with none of the timers and buzzers of typical presidential debates.
And Luntz eventually pried the six - Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann - away from their standard talking points.
Some 2,500 conservatives, including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and U.S. Rep. Steve King, listened from pews at First Federated Church in Des Moines.
With the presidential hopefuls gathered around a Thanksgiving-themed table facing the audience, the imagery was one of the Last Supper setup - and faith was a central theme.
Asked what the words "so help me God" in the presidential oath mean to him, Perry, the governor of Texas, admitted that thought of being president is almost overwhelming.
"Being the president of the United States has got to be the hardest job in the world and the idea that one of us sitting round this table could do it with our own human intellect, our capability, is beyond any of us," Perry said. "We have to have that eternal wisdom that comes from God. And so 'so help me God' is almost a plea.'"
Perry also confessed that his childhood dream was to become a veterinarian.
"But then he (God) introduced me to organic chemistry," he said, as the audience cracked up, "and I became a pilot in the United States Air Force."
Gingrich, a former U.S. House speaker, laid bare the details of a hopeless time when he was an emerging national figure, after he'd earned a doctoral degree and was elected go Congress. Although he was successful in his professional life, he felt hollow inside, he said.
"I wasn't drinking, but I had precisely the symptoms of somebody who was collapsing from under its weight," he admitted.
A friend gave him a copy of the "Big Book" from Alcoholics Anonymous. That and the Bible helped him recover, he said.
Stories shared with tears
It was Cain who got the tears flowing.
The retired Georgia businessman, who noted that his wife of 43 years, Gloria, was with him, was overcome with emotion recalling the day he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
Luntz quietly interjected: "Take your time."
"I said I wasn't going to do this!" Cain said, light-heartedly berating himself.
He continued: "It's as bad as it gets, I will never forget before my wife and I were about to get in the car I said, I can do this..."
Cain paused again. The audience was silent.
"She said, 'We,' " Cain finished, and covered his face with his hand.
He removed his glasses and cleared his eyes with a handkerchief.
Later, Luntz asked Cain to share particular regret of his life.
"No one is perfect," Cain answered. "And I believe that I have had a serious of little failures rather than one great big disaster."
Cain, whose campaign has been dealing with a barrage of controversy when sexual harassment allegations leveled at him in the 1990s where unearthed earlier this fall, didn't talk about those incidents, two of which ended in financial agreements
Instead he talked about another challenge of corporate life: time away from home.
"One little failure in my mind was, I didn't believe that I was home enough when my kids were growing up," Cain said.
Cain grew emotional again talking about the "the sacrifice I made to be able to climb those corporate ladders."
"But my wife was that rock. She was that nucleus," he said.
Source: Des Moines Register | Jennifer Jacobs
Gospel Music Videos
Music Video Search
- Kirk Franklin Lands New BET Hosting Gig
- Tasha Cobbs’ Hit Anthem ‘Break Every Chain’ is #1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs Chart
- Blind Legal Activist Chen Guangcheng Confirms Chinese Government Has Pressured NYU to Boot Him Out
- Author Kimberla Lawson Roby Greets Fans Across the Globe
- Alveda King: Let Babies and Mothers Off Abortion Bus
- Constitutional Amendment Introduced to Protect Children, Parents
- U.S. House Passes Bill to Protect Unborn in Sixth Month and Later; National Right to Life Commends Seven Georgia Lawmakers
- Church Security Expert Reacts to New Government Guidelines for Houses of Worship