02/23/2012 06:58 pm ET Updated Feb 24, 2012

Herman Cain Defends Pete Hoekstra, Says He 'Loved' Controversial Campaign Ad

Herman Cain defended Rep. Pete Hoekstra and his controversial ad while campaigning for the Republican in his home state of Michigan.

The former Republican presidential hopeful told reporters he "loved" the ad, which ran during the Super Bowl and portrayed a young Asian woman speaking broken English while riding a bicycle past rice paddies.

"I thought it cut through the clutter," Cain said, according to Mlive. "You know, mamby-pamby commercials aren't going to make it in the media or the political world. I don't think it was insulting at all. I don't think it was racist at all."

After receiving criticism, Hoekstra took down the ad and a website that also featured the racially charged images. Since the ad aired, Hoekstra has plummeted in the polls.

Cain is making several campaign stops throughout Michigan in support of Hoekstra's Senate bid. He scoffed at "outrage" over Hoekstra's ad, comparing the Republican's critics to his own.

"You're going to tell me that that little girl walking out there saying what she said is racist when you've had some people on the left calling me names?” Cain said. “They called me an 'Uncle Tom,' they called me a 'sellout,' they called me 'shameless’... Where was the outrage over that?”