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Gingrich: Sexual harassment not something 'you joke about'

"I think if you look at the concerns we have about issues like sexual harassment, if you look at the tragedy at Penn State, if you look at how people feel in general about this kind of stuff, it's not something to be joked about," said Gingrich on "The Laura Ingraham Show" Friday.

Former Speaker of the House Gingrich defended Cain's right to defend his innocence and discuss his accusers, but said "these are not things I think you joke about."

Cain on Thursday made a joke about the possibility of Anita Hill endorsing him at a campaign event in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Hill made sexual harassment accusations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during his confirmation in the 1990s.

A clip that first aired on "Special Report With Bret Baier" shows Cain in the middle of a raucous crowd of supporters when someone makes a comment about Hill. The substance of the comment was drowned out by applause in the room, but it had the candidate doubled over with laughter.

“Is she going to endorse me?” Cain asked, smiling.

During Wednesday's CNBC Republican debate Cain dismissed the allegations against him as a "character assassination."

"The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion, based on unfounded accusations," said Cain during the debate.