01/20/2012 09:38 am ET

Herman Cain: Newt Gingrich Being Questioned On Ex-Wife's Claims By CNN Is 'Crap'

Herman Cain defended former Republican rival Newt Gingrich, saying CNN's question about recent claims made by Gingrich's ex-wife were "crap."

Cain applauded Gingrich for his defensive response when asked about allegations made by Marianne Gingrich, who said the former House Speaker asked her to have an "open marriage." During an appearance on Fox News Friday morning, Cain said it was unfair for CNN's John King to bring up the topic during Thursday's Republican debate.

"I loved Newt Gingrich's response because that's the same crap that they pulled on me, and that's what's wrong with politics," Cain said. "This is what's turning the American people off. What does something that happened 20 years ago relative to an ex-wife have to do with fixing America’s problems today? Nothing."

The allegations were the focus of the first question of Thursday's debate, angering the former House Speaker from the start.

"I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that," Gingrich said.

As a Republican presidential candidate, Cain dealt with similar questions after several women accused the former Godfather's Pizza CEO of sexual harassment. Though Cain continually denied the allegations, he eventually suspended his presidential campaign, claiming the accusations had a "tremendous" and "painful price" on his family.