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Herman Cain Fights Back Tears At Thanksgiving Family Forum

Herman Cain Tears

First Posted: 11/19/11 09:28 PM ET Updated: 11/19/11 09:31 PM ET

During Saturday night's Thanksgiving Family Forum, GOP contender Herman Cain choked up as he talked about a health crisis from his past.

Debate moderator Frank Luntz asked the candidates to describe a personal challenge they had endured, and Cain related the story of finding out that he had stage 4 colon cancer in 2006.

The Des Moines Register transcribed the exchange:

“I will never forget,” Cain began, “walking out of that surgeons office after she had just told us stage four …”

And then Cain paused. His eyes began to water.

Moderator Frank Luntz interjected: “Take your time.”

“It’s as bad as it gets,” Cain continued. “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 remained silent.

“She said, ‘We,’ ” Cain finished.

Cain’s hands covered his face. The audience erupted in applause. As Texas Gov. Rick Perry fielded the next question, Cain removed his glasses and continually cleared his eyes with a handkerchief.

Cain also fought back tears when he spoke about how he had not spent enough time with his children.

It was the second time in two days that Cain's emotions showed through. On Friday, he choked up while talking about his wife to an ABC affiliate in New Hampshire.

But as The Los Angeles Times reports, Cain was in good company on Saturday night. Both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich also fought back tears during the GOP forum — Santorum while talking about not loving his disabled daughter enough, so that he would not be devastated if she died, and Gingrich while describing a family friend's son who underwent surgery for a series of brain tumors.


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Filed by Benjamin Hart  |