Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said he "loved" a controversial Super Bowl ad by Michigan Senate candidate and current Republican congressman Pete Hoekstra that featured an Asian woman biking in a rice paddy and speaking in broken English.

"I thought it cut through the clutter," Cain said, according to The Huffington Post. "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."

Hoekstra’s campaign removed a website tied to the Super Bowl ad earlier this month, although his spokesman insisted then that the Senate hopeful stands by — and would continue to air — the accompanying television spot, despite heavy criticism from both sides of the aisle. The ad has also been removed from his Facebook page, YouTube channel and campaign website.

But Hokestra has struggled in the polls, with an NBC/Marist survey of the Michigan released earlier this week showing him now trailing incumbent Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowThis week: House GOP regroups after farm bill failure The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by CVS Health - A pivotal day for House Republicans on immigration GOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary MORE (D) by 21 points. A PPP poll released a week earlier found that 46 percent of voters said the commercial made them less likely to vote for Hokestra, versus just 16 percent who said it made them more likely.

But Cain said liberal outrage over the issue was hypocritical.

"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?”

Cain is in the midst of a Midwestern campaign swing in support of Hoekstra, Ohio congressional candidate Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher, and presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich.