By Justin Sink
Cain was criticizing the former Speaker of the House for blocking a Republican healthcare bill. Cain's campaign initially celebrated the turn of phrase, tweeting from the candidate's official Twitter account: "The answer to Health Care: HR3000, the bill killed by 'Princess Nancy' in committee."
But after the debate, Cain was asked by CNBC whether the comment was appropriate, especially in light of recently surfaced sexual harassment allegations that have dogged his campaign.
"That was a statement I probably should not have made, but I was trying to make a point," Cain said.
Cain was quickly criticized by a number of political analysts, including former George W. Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino.
"Ay yi yi, former Speaker Pelosi called a princess in the debate? Not fair. We may disagree on policy, but she earned the Speaker title," Perino tweeted.
Cain's off-the-cuff rhetorical style has endeared him to many Republican voters, who view his primary rival — Mitt Romney — as too wooden or calculated. But his unscripted humor has also led to embarrassing moments, including a joke about not needing to know the names of foreign leaders that brought into question his foreign policy credentials.