The suggestion from the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza came in an exchange about why the GOP hopeful doesn't consider himself an African American.
"I am an American. Black. Conservative," he said in explaining his view on the matter. "I don’t use African American, because I’m American, I’m black and I’m conservative. I don’t like people trying to label me. African American is socially acceptable for some people, but I am not some people."
Cain said that he considers himself to be "a black man in America" and feels stronger ties to the United States than to Africa. He suggested his perspective has been informed by the fact that he can trace most of his ancestors to the U.S. and it also "goes back to slavery."
The presidential contender went on to draw a contrast between himself and the president, who he described as "more of an international," before suggesting "he was raised in Kenya."
In an interview with The Atlantic's Joshua Green at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year, Cain was asked whether he believes Obama was born in the United States.
"I have no idea," he said at the time. "The fact that it has become an issue, or a controversy, does raise a question that I can't say that I feel one way or the other because I have not reviewed all the various 'proof' one way or another."
While Cain has generally been regarded as a longshot contender in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, recent polls show the GOP hopeful making headway in his pursuit of the White House.