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(Reuters) - Presidential candidate Herman Cain, battling allegations of sexual harassment, said he regretted calling House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi "Princess Nancy" in a Republican debate on Wednesday.
Cain criticized Pelosi for not acting on a piece of healthcare legislation when she was speaker of the House.
"You didn't hear about it in the previous Congress because Princess Nancy sent it to committee and it stayed there," Cain said at the debate in Michigan.
Asked by CNBC after the debate if he regretted the remark in light of the sexual harassment claims by four women, Cain said, "That was a statement that I obviously should not have made, but I was trying to make a point."
Cain has denied all allegations of inappropriate behavior and said the accusations will not force him to withdraw from the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
The former pizza executive has been leading in some polls of Republicans or tied with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Cain's favorability ratings have slipped in some polls.
Editing by Peter Cooney