Video: Cain’s wife steps into the spotlight

  1. Transcript of: Cain’s wife steps into the spotlight

    MATT LAUER, co-host: Let's turn now to the race of the president and those allegations against Republican front -runner Herman Cain . Now his wife, rarely seen on the campaign trail, is leaping to his defense. NBC 's Kelly O'Donnell has that story. Kelly , good morning.

    KELLY O'DONNELL reporting: Good morning, Matt. It's been two weeks since Herman Cain 's presidential campaign has been rocked by those allegations of sexual harassment going back to the 1990s , and for two weeks Cain has been fighting back on his own, insisting he's done nothing wrong. And now for the first time , Cain 's wife, Gloria , is fighting back by his side.

    Mr. HERMAN CAIN: This is my family. @@ [

    O'DONNELL: Gloria Cain has been nearly invisible during her husband's run for the White House .

    Mr. CAIN: Because this thing is going to move so fast you may not see her much, so you better look quick.

    O'DONNELL: Mentioned on the trail...

    Mr. CAIN: I can tell you one thing about my wife of 43 years, she is 200 percent behind me.

    O'DONNELL: ...but unlike other candidates' wives...

    Former Governor MITT ROMNEY: She's going to serve, I'm going to shake hands.

    O'DONNELL: ... Gloria Cain has not been stumping for her husband.

    Mr. CAIN: My wife and I, we have a family life , and she is maintaining the calmness and the tranquility of that family life so when I do get a day off of the campaign trail, I can go home and enjoy my family.

    O'DONNELL: The reluctant campaigner is now stepping forward to defend her husband against sexual harassment allegations in an interview with Greta Van Susteren that Fox News will run tonight.

    Ms. GLORIA CAIN: To hear such graphic allegations...

    Ms. SHARON BIALEK: And he put his hand on my leg...

    Ms. CAIN: ...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.

    O'DONNELL: Two other women had filed claims and received cash settlements from the National Restaurant Association where Cain served as president. Gloria says the claims do not match the husband she knows. "I'm thinking he would have to have a split personality to do the things that were said." Cain has repeatedly denied any inappropriate behavior.

    Mr. CAIN: The charges and the accusations I absolutely reject.

    O'DONNELL: Fighting back, yet acknowledging the strain on wife Gloria .

    Mr. CAIN: She can get angry like anybody else.

    Offscreen Voice: So is she angry about this?

    Mr. CAIN: Oh, yes. Yeah, she'll tell you flat out she's angry about it.

    O'DONNELL: But the family still manages to find time to laugh at themselves.

    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN reporting: Well, your mother says that your father talks too much.

    Unidentified Man: He's got a lot to say....

    Mr. CAIN: All right....

    Unidentified Woman: We're immune to it. You know, that's what it is.

    O'DONNELL: And long before Cain 's campaign was hit by these allegations, he had said he was running an unconventional campaign. So despite the fact we're accustomed to getting to know candidates' families throughout the process, he says it was always his plan to keep his family able to have their private lives and rarely appearing on the campaign trail. But Gloria Cain is really doing something very important for Cain , and that's acting as a character

    witness. Matt: All right, Kelly O'Donnell in Washington this morning. Kelly , thank you very much .

    LAUER:

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Photos: Herman Cain

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  1. Republican candidates for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, Johnny Isakson of Marietta, left, Herman Cain of Forest Park, right, and Mac Collins of Atlanta, reflected in the mirror on the wall, wait in the green room of WSB-TV studios before the start of a debate between the three in Atlanta, July 10, 2004. (John Amis / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Republican senate candidate Herman Cain held a press conference to promote advance voting after casting his ballot with his wife Gloria in McDonough, Ga., on July 13. 2004. Cain married Gloria in 1968, the year after he graduated from Morehouse college with a degree in mathematics. The couple have two children and three grandchildren. (Rob Felt / Daily Herald via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Sarah Palin impersonator Patti Lyons, right, shares a laugh with Herman Cain in the lobby of the Marriott Wardman Park hotel during the Conservative Political Action Conference Feb. 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. In a speech on the second day of the conference, Cain declared that "stupid people are ruining America." (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Herman Cain announces his run for the Republican candidate for president at a rally, May 21, 2011 in Atlanta. Though he never held public office he worked on the Bob Dole and Jack Kemp campaign in 1996, ran for president briefly in 2000 and ran for Georgia state senate in 2004. (David Goldman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Republican presidential hopefuls Rep. Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain, cross paths during the taping of a radio show at the Barley House, May 31, 2011 in Concord, N.H. (Jim Cole / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Herman Cain speaks in the spin room following the Republican presidential primary debate June 13, 2011 at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Cain repeated his earlier statements the he would be uncomfortable with a Muslim in his cabinet (Darren Mccollester / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Herman Cain speaks during the "'Energy Independence Day Tea Party" rally on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, on July 4, 2011. (Joseph Kaczmarek / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Herman Cain talks to reporters as dozens of Tea Party supporters rally near the U.S. Capitol against raising the debt limit in Washington, July 27, 2011. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Herman Cain talks to voters from the Des Moines Register's Soapbox during the second day of the Iowa State Fair August 12, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. The Republican candidates attended the fair in hopes of winning the Iowa Straw Poll, but Cain finished 5th. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Herman Cain visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, Aug. 24, 2011. It was Cain's first trip to Israel where he also attended Glenn Becks "Restoring Courage" event. (Bernat Armangue / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Republican presidential hopefuls, from left, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and former Gov. of Utah Jon Huntsman, pose for photographs on Sept. 7, 2011 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., for the Republican presidential candidates debate. (Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Herman Cain speaks to delegates during the Republican Party of Florida Presidency 5 Convention in Orlando, Florida, Sept. 24, 2011. (Phelan Ebenhack / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Herman Cain talks with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show at NBC Studios on September 30, 2011 in Burbank, California. (Kevin Winter/nbcuniversal / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. After strong comeback and winning Florida's straw poll, Herman Cain makes a campaign stop and launches his new book "This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House," outside The Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub, Oct. 2, 2011, in Milton, Ga. (Curtis Compton / Atlanta Journal & Constitution via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Herman Cain signs a copy of his new book for supporter Mary Wargula, of Dunwoody, Ga., Oct. 2, 2011 in Milton, Ga. Cain has written five books, two of which published during his current presidential campaign. (Curtis Compton / Atlanta Journal & Constitution via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain arrives to address the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit in Washington on Oct. 7, 2011. (Nicholas Kamm / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney participate in the Republican Presidential debate hosted by Bloomberg and the Washington Post on Oct. 11, 2011 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. The debate focused the discussion on the economy giving Cain an opportunity to promote his 9-9-9 plan, which was mentioned 24 times in the two-hour event. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Herman Cain announces that he is suspending his campaign as a Republican presidential candidate while his wife Gloria Cain stand behind him during the scheduled opening of a local campaign headquarters on Dec. 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Cain had taken time to reassess the condition of his campaign "because of all this media firestorm stuff," adding, "my wife and family comes first." (Scott Olson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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