Obama Attacks McCain in "You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig, but it's Still a Pig" Row
Senator Barack Obama claims today that the McCanin camp have got it all wrong if they thought he was referring to Republican running partner and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin when he quipped, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" in a "sexist" accusations backlash.
Fears are growing amongst the Democrats that ex-Hillary Clinton supporters and would-be voters may now transfer their vote to the Palin camp.
Barack Obama today accused the McCain campaign of underhanded tactics in portraying his "lipstick on a pig" remarks about the Republican ticket as a misogynistic attack on vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
The Democratic nominee came out fighting after his Republican rivals expressed outrage at his remarks.
“I don’t care what they say about me. But I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and Swift-boat politics,” he said, on a visit to a school in Norfolk, Virginia. "Enough is enough.”Related Links
His remarks referred to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that in 2004 severely damaged the campaign of Democratic nominee John Kerry with unsubstantiated allegations about his decorated military record in Vietnam. The phrase has since become synonymous with political smear tactics.
Mr Obama has adopted a more aggressive stance in recent days as white female voters defect to the Republicans following the selection of Mrs Palin, the first female governor of Alaska. Yesterday, he appeared to be attempting to counter his rivals’ claim to the mantle of change when he said of Republican policy: “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”
The McCain campaign claimed the analogy was a sexist attack on Mrs Palin, who at last week’s Republican convention likened herself, as a “hockey mom”, to a pitbull in lipstick. It quickly released a web ad, “Lipstick”, directly linking Mr Obama’s remarks to the mother-of-five, and demanded that the nominee apologise for his “offensive and disgraceful” comments.
But, on the stump today, Mr Obama said the row was a diversionary tactic by the McCain campaign to avoid discussion of weightier issues.
“What their campaign has done this morning is the same game that has made people sick and tired of politics in this country. They seize on an innocent remark, try to take it out of context, throw up an outrageous ad because they know that it’s cat nip for the news media,” he said.