Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain claimed Sunday that the Occupy Wall Street protests going on in New York City and across the country were a conspiracy designed to help President Barack Obama.

"The proof is quite simply the bankers and the people on Wall Street didn't write these failed policies of the Obama administration," Cain told CBS' Bob Schieffer. "So it's a distraction. So many people won't focus on the failed policies of this administration."

"You're saying that these people all got together to draw attention away from Barack Obama?" Schieffer asked.

"We know that the unions and certain union-related organizations have been behind these protests that have gone on, on Wall Street and other parts around the country. It's coordinated to create a distraction so people won't focus on the failed policies of this administration," Cain replied.

"It's anti-American because to protest Wall Street and the bankers is basically saying you are anti-capitalism. The free market system and capitalism are two of the things that have allowed this nation and this economy to become the biggest in the world."

Also appearing on CBS, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich offered his own take on the protests.

"The sad thing is is this a natural product of Obama's class warfare," Gingrich declared. "We have had a strain of hostility to free enterprise. Frankly, a strain of hostility to classic America starting in our academic institutions and spreading across this country. I regard the Wall Street protest as a natural outcome of a bad education system, teaching them really dumb ideas."

Watch this video from CBS' Face the Nation, broadcast Oct. 9, 2011.

Watch this video on iPhone/iPad