In a rare interview since his bid for the White House ended abruptly in a hail of sexual allegations, Herman Cain appeared live tonight on the Bill Maher show on HBO to say that America needs to "lighten up - and not be so uptight about everything."
Cain weighed in on the controversy over Newt Gingrich's recent attacks on Mitt Romney for the work he did with Bain Capital that sometimes involved cutting jobs in client businesses.
Some Republicans have criticized Gingrich, saying such attacks might be expected from a Democrat, not a fellow Republican.
"That was poor strategy," Cain said, adding that when he took over the struggling Godfather Pizza chain he also had to cut jobs before he grew the business. "That was an irrelevant attack. That is how we grow businesses in America."
Maher asked Cain about his famous campaign ad in which a top Cain aide smoked a cigarette on camera. Cain defended the unconventional choice.
Maher said he liked to smoke pot, and asked if he should he do that in a political ad too?
Cain replied: "You can smoke pot all you want, just not on my campaign."
Cain appeared in tuxedo via satellite from Los Angeles where he was attending a movie premiere.
"I don't agree with a word you say, but I like you a lot," Maher, the notoriously left-leaning comedian, told Cain.