OTR Interviews

Herman Cain's Wife Stands By Her Husband Against Sex Harassment Allegations: 'That's Not the Person He Is'

Exclusive: Gloria Cain discusses the sexual harassment allegations against her husband with Greta

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 14, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight: She's the woman everyone has been waiting to hear from, Mrs. Gloria Cain. And now for the first time, Mrs. Cain goes public about the sexual harassment accusations against her husband, Mr. Herman Cain. And you will only see it right here. But that's not all. Tonight, you're going to meet many members of the Cain family.

But first, here's Gloria Cain.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Mrs. Cain, thank you for doing this.

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GLORIA CAIN, WIFE OF HERMAN CAIN: Thank you for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: You're not nervous, are you?

GLORIA CAIN: Very.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: You are? Well, don't be. Don't be. All right, let's do this.

GLORIA CAIN: OK.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let's start with the sort of the painful stuff...

GLORIA CAIN: OK.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... and then let's move to the fun stuff.

GLORIA CAIN: OK.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK?

GLORIA CAIN: That's good.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. I assume in the past two weeks, you've seen all the accusations.

GLORIA CAIN: Yes, I have.

VAN SUSTEREN: Your thoughts?

GLORIA CAIN: The first week-and-a-half, I think I was in shock because I didn't see it coming. There were such ugly things said, and I kept thinking, Who are these people talking about? This isn't Herman. After about a week-and-a-half of watching the news and everybody having an opinion, I decided not to watch anymore news. And at that point, I could tell my spirits started to lift.

And I know the person that he is, and I know that the person that they were talking about, I don't know who that person is. And we've been there for 43 years. 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.

So after about a week-and-a-half of listening, I decided, OK, enough is enough. Everybody has an opinion, but they don't know Herman.

VAN SUSTEREN: How did you first hear about it? Did Mr. Cain sort of give you a tipoff that this stuff is coming?

GLORIA CAIN: I think -- when was that? That Sunday night, he mentioned something in passing, There may be a news story coming out, I'm not sure, and it deals with sexual harassment. And I'm thinking, Well, it's just hearsay or whatever.

And then on the news that night, I started seeing the actual story, and it started to snowball. So at that point -- I really didn't know what hit me at that point. But it started that Sunday night when the news story first hit the media. That was my first knowing about it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you at any point in the week or two weeks that followed (INAUDIBLE) you pull him aside and cross-examine him, and say, OK, you know, Herman, what's the story, you know, what's the real story? Did you do this or not do this?

GLORIA CAIN: Yes, of course, because I wanted to know, are there any accusations -- do you remember any of these people? Do you remember anything happening that was considered sexual harassment or what? He kept saying no.

He told me about the first lady who made the accusations through the National Restaurant Association. And for some reason, that rang a bell because years ago, I think when he first mentioned something about there was some accusations of harassment, and I said, Oh, well, is there anything to it? No.

And from that point on, I think the next thing he said was the accusations were deemed not reliable or unfounded. They were unfounded, and that was the end of that. That was, what, 15 years ago? And from that point on, we had never even said anything else about it.

So it was totally a shock. And the thing that I couldn't understand, even with that, if a person is so hurt or traumatized because of something you alleged happened to you, why would you wait 15 years to say something about it? I think if it were me, I would have to say something right away. I couldn't live with something that hurt me to that extent.

So when he said it was unfounded and we didn't speak anything else about it, it was said and done. It was just done.

VAN SUSTEREN: Then there was a second one. It's a much more graphic allegation of -- essentially, of a woman coming to Washington.

GLORIA CAIN: Now, that one I totally don't believe. I watched her on the news that day because I wanted to hear her specific allegations. And the things that she was saying, I'm sitting there thinking, You weren't in the car with Herman. I don't know where you have been, but I know Herman Cain and I know he has -- he has always had too much respect for women to treat them in any type of negative way. That wasn't a part of his being.

We dated for a year. We were engaged for a year. We've been married for 43 years. He is so -- I guess, if you understand what old school is, of that generation where men still wanted to open the doors for women, and if we're walking along the street, he wants me to walk on the outside, next to the curb. It's not just me, it's any woman he's walking with because old school people think they're supposed to be women protectors. So if anything is going to happen, if mud is going to get thrown on them, if a car is going to go out of control, he's the type of person who would rather be there and get hit first, rather than have the woman walking on the outside.

He's always been that type person. So to hear such graphic allegations and know that that would have been something that was totally disrespectful of her as a woman -- and I know that's not the person he is. He totally respects women.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any chance -- and I got to ask you the question -- you know, women always think that their husbands -- I mean, the very public thing with the wives of many years of whom they, you know, love and have a family, that there's another little side of them off to the side what -- where they have some extracurricular activity?

GLORIA CAIN: No, because his conscience would bother him. His conscience would bother him, and he couldn't look me straight in the eye. And I can usually tell if there's -- is there something wrong? It's, like, Well, I was supposed to go such-and-such a place, or whatever. His Congress bothers him to the point where he would say something to me.

So yes, I know the type of women that you're thinking about, that the little woman at home is the last to know. 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.

So you know not to do anything wrong because you will be there by yourself. So he knows how I feel. I seriously in my soul don't think he's that type person.

VAN SUSTEREN: How's it been on the family? You've got kids, grandchildren.

GLORIA CAIN: My daughter was angry, but she knows her dad also. He's an outgoing person, but he's always been very respectful of people. So everybody who knows him knows he's outgoing. That's different from being disrespectful or having any type of harassing natures.

Well, my son, it was that Monday night before he even saw the story, and he texted me to, This is ridiculous. This is just very ridiculous. And he says to me, When do you get your chance to tell your side of the story so you can shut this down? They know him also. People who have been around him know him.

VAN SUSTEREN: You've been married a long time. Troubles in your marriage? And I hate to ask this, but that's the -- you know -- you know, it's a long marriage. And it's a good thing it's a long marriage.

GLORIA CAIN: Yes. Yes, there have been troubles. There have been times when -- and when people always say, I've been happily married for 43 years, I usually tell them, that's not true. We have loved each other for 43 years. He's happy sometimes. I'm happy sometimes. The times when he makes me angry, I'll go to another room. The times when he makes -- when I make him angry, he'll go to another room.

So we have the times when we don't agree, but we eventually talk about what the situation is. And at that point, we still may not agree, but we leave it alone. It's, like, OK, you have your opinion and I have mine, and we move on.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you never split up in the 23 or separated or anything like that?

GLORIA CAIN: No. No. No.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of watching all this unfold, you know, does it make you dislike the process?

GLORIA CAIN: Extremely. Extremely because it made me realize you can live your whole life trying to be respectful, trying to be faithful, trying to have faith, just trying to treat people right, and anyone can come from any place and say whatever they want to say about you.

The problem with that is there are people who will believe that person over you. And to know that you're being honest and you're telling the truth, and then you have to try to prove that you're telling the truth, that's probably one of the worst feelings that a person can have, to be telling the truth and then have to try to prove you're telling the truth all because someone can come and say anything they want to about you. And that can happen. If it happened to us, it can happen to anyone, and that's sad.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do voters know whether to believe the women or Mr. Cain in any of this?

GLORIA CAIN: I think they have to look within themselves. And you have to get to a point of relying on your own instincts and just coming to a decision on your own. I don't know if those people will ever be able to be 100 percent sure.

Since all of this has happened, I've been out around in my neighborhood, and people who know me and who know Herman, you can still get this little feeling that they're even wondering, Well, could this be true? And that's a very hurtful thing. And people don't realize that when you throw -- when those people threw mud on Herman, they didn't think about the fact that you're throwing mud on the wife or the spouse. You're throwing mud on the children. And we all have to endure what you're doing, and it's worse when you know that some of the things that these people are saying -- no.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any part of you at all that wonders whether -- I mean, there's a little piece whether this could be true?

GLORIA CAIN: No. Because I keep going back to -- now, 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.

Now, there was one other thing -- and I'm one of those people and I have this thing of putting the pieces together. So it's like the power of, what, deduction? I looked at especially this last lady and the things that she said, and I'm thinking he would have to have a split personality to do the things that she said.

And I hadn't even mentioned it to Herman. I said -- had anyone mentioned the fact that -- and I know to some people, it won't make a difference, but it makes a difference to me. No one has mentioned the fact that during that time when Herman was working with the National Restaurant Association, he had a little lady who was his assistant, and she loved Mr. Cain. She just loved Mr. Cain. This lady was an ordained minister, and they used to get in discussions concerning Scripture. And they just had this way of just being able to connect with each other on a spiritual level, along with the business level.

And see, this is another thing about when people throw allegations around -- with me saying this, there will be some people who will take very innocent comments, and if your mind is going towards that gutter mentality, they will always be able to try and put some type of gutter meaning to whatever you are saying. No matter what you're saying, their minds will always go back to that type of mentality.

But this little lady was a true Christian. Like I said, she was an ordained minister. And it's, like, OK, you'd have to have a split personality. You would have to not feel any guilt whatsoever to be able to do the things that this woman accused him of doing, and then have this lady who he knew was an ordained minister. It's like those two things just -- I don't think the average person -- I don't think anyone would be able to function on a playing field like that, this type mentality on this side and this type -- no, I don't believe it.

VAN SUSTEREN: After the first one but -- after the second one, rather, when the more graphic descriptions came out, did you confront him about that one and say, What's up with that, or not?

GLORIA CAIN: No.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did he say anything to you?

GLORIA CAIN: No. I heard his comments with his news conference.

VAN SUSTEREN: You didn't ask him -- you didn't -- the two of you were together and you didn't ask him?

GLORIA CAIN: No because I listened to what she said. And I'm thinking, No, I'm sorry, that's -- some of the things that you're saying about him, that's not Herman. So no, I didn't ask him about that. And I'm not being naive.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Straight ahead, our conversation with Gloria Cain continues, and it's getting personal. You're going to hear intimate details about her marriage of 43 years and how she first met Mr. Herman Cain. You'll only see it right here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAN SUSTEREN: Mrs. Herman Cain, Gloria, is speaking publicly for the first time, and she's telling you about her 43-year marriage to Mr. Herman Cain only right here "On the Record." Once again, here's Gloria Cain.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Has it been exciting to be married to Herman Cain or exhausting?

GLORIA CAIN: Exhausting!

VAN SUSTEREN: That's what it sounds like!

GLORIA CAIN: Exhausting. Even now, exhausting.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: Would he be a good president?

GLORIA CAIN: I think he would. I think he'd be a great president.

VAN SUSTEREN: Just think he would?

GLORIA CAIN: Just -- yes. Yes, I think he would. I think he would try to make a difference. He would. That's the one reason he's doing this. And if I didn't understand that, I would not agree with it. I know it's his way of trying to make a difference.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you ever thought about living in the White House in that bubble?

GLORIA CAIN: Sometimes I let myself go there, but then I try to pull myself back in that I don't want to start projecting too far in the future because then I would worry more. So I try to take one day at a time. And in that way, if or when that happens, then I have faith that the Lord will have me ready to do whatever I need to do that's going to help him.

VAN SUSTEREN: He tough?

GLORIA CAIN: At times.

VAN SUSTEREN: Strong?

GLORIA CAIN: At times.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tell me, how old were you when you met Herman Cain?

GLORIA CAIN: I think maybe 18, 19.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you remember the first time you saw him?

GLORIA CAIN: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you think he was cute?

GLORIA CAIN: He was OK.

VAN SUSTEREN: Just OK?

GLORIA CAIN: He was OK.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: Just OK?

GLORIA CAIN: He was OK!

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, what was the problem? I mean, a guy that's just OK is -- I mean, I got to tell you, I don't think OK is...

GLORIA CAIN: I think maybe I had a boyfriend at the time.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who was not OK, who was better, right?

GLORIA CAIN: At that point. But he fell by the wayside, so...

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: So Herman Cain was just OK.

GLORIA CAIN: He was OK. He was nice, but I wasn't interested in meeting someone at that time.

VAN SUSTEREN: Where did you meet him, or where did you see him?

GLORIA CAIN: His family -- his father owned a little neighborhood grocery store, and Herman worked part-time I think during college at the store. I had a very good friend from church who happened to live down the street from the little grocery store. And that weekend, my friend was having a party and she wanted me to stay overnight with her.

So that particular day, earlier in the day, we were walking down the street. She had a letter to mail. The mailbox was really across the street from this little store. So we are walking down the street, and he's standing out on the corner in front of the store because there were no customers at that point, with his hands in his pocket and just happy-go- lucky.

And when my friend started to talk with him, she said, I want you to meet my little sister. And he wanted to know, Your little sister? She said, Yes, this is the little sister I've been trying to introduce you to. She did not tell him she referred to me as her little sister because I was a year younger than she was. So she just referred to me as her little sister, but we were about the same height, you know, same weight and everything.

So he at that point became interested. So this is little sister? So he starts talking. And I'm thinking, Who is he? Why is he talking so much?

She introduced us. We talked a little bit. We went back to her house. That night, we had -- that she had the party, I was there. Herman was there. I was introduced to a friend of theirs who was already attending the school I was about to start attending.

So I'm interested in talking with her, and Herman is interested in talking with me. It's, like, Why is he still talking? Why doesn't he just go away? But he kept talking and he kept talking. It's like, OK.

I think for the next year, he would drop by my school. If I saw him on the other side of the bridge, it's, like, Why is he here? Why does he keep showing up? I just -- he just talked all the time, and I just did not like that. So I avoided him.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you know that he was deliberately doing this? I mean, were you clued in that he was obviously interested in you?

GLORIA CAIN: I kind of knew, but I wasn't interested in him.

VAN SUSTEREN: At all?

GLORIA CAIN: At all. At all. But I think this went on for about a year. And the following year, at Christmas, I think a friend gave him my phone number and he called. We must have talked on the phone for two hours.

And at that point, I appreciated the personality. He was smart. He always just had this laughing, bubbly personality. And I got to understand more about him. I thought at one point, he was egotistical. That was one reason why I just didn't want to be bothered with him.

But after talking with him for two hours on the phone, it's, like, No, that's not ego, that's more confidence than ego. And we at that point set a date to go to a movie and to get something to eat. And from that point on, we started dating.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Coming up, Mr. Herman Cain joins his wife and tells you about that first date. And the children and the grandchildren all go "On the Record," a rare glimpse of the Cain family. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAN SUSTEREN: She says he talks too much. Gloria Cain jokes that her presidential candidate husband just talks too much. Now Mr. Herman Cain joins his wife to go "On the Record." And you are about to meet the rest of the family, too.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Cain, I'm glad you joined us. I learned two things about you today. Number one is you're persistent.

HERMAN CAIN, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: You pursued her. It didn't sound easy.

HERMAN CAIN: No.

VAN SUSTEREN: And you talk too much.

HERMAN CAIN: Yes, I have been accused of being articulate.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: Articulate?

HERMAN CAIN: But yes. That was what she reminded me of when we first met which is why it took a year before I could get a date. I didn't know to stop talking. So finally we got there.

VAN SUSTEREN: I grilled her, too, on the recent stuff that's come out.

HERMAN CAIN: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: She believes you.

HERMAN CAIN: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: She's behind you.

HERMAN CAIN: Yes, 200 hundred percent.

VAN SUSTEREN: Two hundred percent?

HERMAN CAIN: Absolutely no doubt in my mind. And you know what, that's one of the most confident things about going through all this if your family had doubts in you about the stuff being shown on TV it would really be crushing and I would really have to ask myself could I go on. But I know my family believes me because they know me, as she said. They know me. That is very comforting.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what was did you hung around the school for like a year and you are almost like a stalker while she's trying to go to school.

HERMAN CAIN: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: And you talk too much.

HERMAN CAIN: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: And you are persistent until you had a conversation that changed on the phone. What was it -- what did you like about her?

HERMAN CAIN: Well, I did not have a steady girlfriend. She was in college. I was in college.

VAN SUSTEREN: You sound like a reject at this point.

HERMAN CAIN: No.

VAN SUSTEREN: Here we go.

HERMAN CAIN: No, I did not have a steady girlfriend.

VAN SUSTEREN: One of many?

HERMAN CAIN: She didn't tell you when we went on that first date, that very first date, I didn't date anybody else from that point on, neither did she. We knew then. I had scheduled my Christmas dating list for the week, and I cancelled all of them after I took her out that first time.

VAN SUSTEREN: Where did you take her?

HERMAN CAIN: We went to a movie.

VAN SUSTEREN: What movie, do you remember?

HERMAN CAIN: Charleston Heston, "Number One."

VAN SUSTEREN: You both remember?

HERMAN CAIN: Yes, Charleston Heston, "Number One."

VAN SUSTEREN: Put your arm around her?

HERMAN CAIN: Maybe once or twice, didn't try to get fresh, not on the first date. But she would tell you this too. I didn't have a lot of money. In fact I had just enough money to buy the tickets to the movie, I did buy some popcorn and a Coca-Cola. And afterwards I said would you like to go and get something to eat? She said "Yes." I'm going, I'm in trouble now. I didn't have any money in my pocket.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why did you and that then?

HERMAN CAIN: Well, that's the -- that's the gentlemanly thing to do. But get this, she bailed me out. We go to this drive-in burger king place called the Split Tea, wasn't that the name of it?

GLORIA CAIN: I think so.

HERMAN CAIN: So we drive up, and I had a couple more dollars left. And so I'm thinking to myself, and they would wait on you at the car. A guy comes over. Do you know what you want to order yet? I said no, not yet. The guy would go and he would come back. And I would go do you know what you like? And she said, well, I'm not really that hungry. I said, OK. I took the ticket off the car, took her home. She saved me that time. She said we can just go, we don't really have to stay.

VAN SUSTEREN: You are shaking your head.

(LAUGHTER)

GLORIA CAIN: But all during the movie I'm sitting there thinking I'm so hungry. I will be happy when this is over and we can get something to eat. I know I want a hamburger and some French fries. And I'm thinking OK, the movie is over, we were going to get something to eat. But then I tried to be cute and not seem greedy.

(LAUGHTER)

GLORIA CAIN: And when he said, well, would you like something to eat? I thought I would at least make it sound nice, I'm not that hungry. And he says, OK. So I'm thinking what just happened?

VAN SUSTEREN: Who is the disciplinarian for the kids growing up in the family?

GLORIA CAIN: I think I was more so because he traveled.

HERMAN CAIN: Yes.

GLORIA CAIN: And the one or two times he disciplined them with our daughter, all he had to say was "I'm going to spank you," and she would fall out crying. Her feelings would be --

VAN SUSTEREN: This is in the one turning 40?

HERMAN CAIN: Yes.

GLORIA CAIN: So he never really spanked her.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't believe what she did to you.

KAROL CAIN, HERMAN CAIN'S DAUGHTER-IN-LAW: Tell them my age.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: Can you believe that she did that to you? Can you believe she did that to you on TV?

HERMAN CAIN: Mom threw you under the bus.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, it's nice to meet all of you. But is this fun for you or painful going through the whole process?

KAROL CAIN: It's exciting. It's an experience.

VINCENT CAIN, HERMAN CAIN'S SON: It's very exciting. And it's an experience.

VAN SUSTEREN: Your mother said your father talked too much.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

KAROL CAIN: We are immune to it. That's what it is.

HERMAN CAIN: You learn to listen well.

VAN SUSTEREN: You listen?

KAROL CAIN: We listen well.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who is the disciplinarian between the two?

KAROL CAIN: Probably both.

VAN SUSTEREN: Really? See, I would have thought your father would be a pushover for you.

KAROL CAIN: It was both. It was both.

HERMAN CAIN: Who is this sneaking into the picture?

VAN SUSTEREN: We've got one more. Bring them all in. Who is this?

HERMAN CAIN: Come on in. That is Preston, nicknamed "Bam-Bam."

VAN SUSTEREN: And.

CELENA CAIN: Celena.

VAN SUSTEREN: How old are you.

CELENA CAIN: I'm 12.

KAROL CAIN: I'm Karol.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm not going to ask you your age.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: You guys are on television. This whole campaign is sort of a shock?

GLORIA CAIN: Kind of shocking.

KAROL CAIN: Shocking.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right.

KAROL CAIN: But it's interesting. Definitely interesting.

VINCENT CAIN: Positively shocking.

VAN SUSTEREN: In what way?

KAROL CAIN: Because you never know what is going to happen from day- to-day.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you interested in politics?

KAROL CAIN: We are now.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, thank you all very much for spending the day with us. It will be an interesting campaign.

KAROL CAIN: Yes, it is.

VAN SUSTEREN: And there will be good times and bad times.

HERMAN CAIN: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: Fun times and not so fun times, but it will never be dull.

HERMAN CAIN: Thank you, Greta, very much.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)