(CNN) - As questions swirl over whether rival presidential campaigns leaking details of past sexual harassment claims against Herman Cain, one 2012 hopeful is denouncing such tactics as 'repulsive.'
"I'd want to see the evidence, but I would say if it turns out that a Republican presidential candidate deliberately went out and created this kind of a story about a fellow candidate, that they would pretty rapidly become a pariah to the rest of us and they'd fire who did it," Gingrich said Wednesday on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."
Gingrich's comments come as Cain's campaign made claims that Texas Gov. Rick Perry's staff were behind leaks to the media that Cain had been accused of sexual harassment when he was the president of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
Perry's campaign denied those allegations, but did circulate articles that suggest Mitt Romney has ties to staffers who worked with Cain at the National Restaurant Association.
Gingrich said Wednesday he wasn't sure if another campaign was behind the leaks, but that if the claims were true there would need to be consequences.
"I'm not taking Herman's word for it," Gingrich said. "If it turns out he's right they better fire a bunch of people in the next 24 hours or expect all Republicans of every background to turn against him because that's the kind of behavior I find totally repulsive in this political system."
Gingrich said the attention paid on the story by media outlets was overblown, saying the focus should instead be on substantive policy issues like jobs and the economy.
"I think there's a desire in the Washington press corps to cover gossip over policy as often as possible," Gingrich said. "Just look at the Twitter thing a couple months ago with Congressman Weiner, which was a stupid thing for him to do and a sign he's a stupid person but that covered a lot more time and attention than did all sorts of public policy issues that are vastly more important to the lives of the American people."