McCain's campaign said Obama's remarks were offensive and a slap at Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin -- despite the fact that the Arizona senator himself used the phrase last year to describe a policy proposal of Hillary Clinton's.
Obama's campaign responded by saying McCain was running a "dishonorable campaign."
Obama made the remarks at a Virginia campaign stop late Tuesday afternoon.
"John McCain says he's about change too, and so I guess his whole angle is, 'Watch out George Bush -- except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy and Karl Rove-style politics -- we're really going to shake things up in Washington,'" he said.
"That's not change. That's just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. You know you can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, it's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough of the same old thing."
I didn't see it as an attack on Sarah Palin, I saw it as a case of using McCain's words against him:
Within minutes, the McCain campaign announced a conference call focused on the remark, which they said was a deliberate reference to Palin's line: "You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."
Palin used the line in the opening remarks of her convention speech, and she frequently uses it on the campaign trail.
In Iowa last October, McCain drew comparisons between Hillary Clinton's current health care plan and the one she championed in 1993: "I think they put some lipstick on the pig, but it's still a pig." He used roughly the same line in May, after effectively claiming the Republican nomination.
And it's not a new line:
It wasn't the first time Obama used the line. In a phone interview with The Washington Post last September, he used it in reference to the situation in Iraq.
"I think that both Gen. [David] Petraeus and Ambassador [Ryan] Crocker are capable people who have been given an impossible assignment," Obama told the Post. "George Bush has given a mission to Gen. Petraeus, and he has done his best to try to figure out how to put lipstick on a pig."
Other politicians have also used the phrase in recent years, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Rep. John Mica of Florida and Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, among others.
Torie Clarke, a former McCain adviser, even wrote a book called, "Lipstick on a Pig: Winning In the No-Spin Era by Someone Who Knows the Game."
This is a cheap political ploy to take offense where none was intended or given. McCain-Palin...political theater, no substance.
Technorati Tags: Politics, McCain-Palin, Theatrics, Hypocrisy