Washington, Sept.10 : The McCain-Palin campaign has termed Barack Obama's ""lipstick on a pig" comment as "offensive and disgraceful" and demanded an apology.
The McCain campaign mobilized its new "Palin Truth Squad" Tuesday to accuse Obama of comparing Palin to a pig, and called on him to apologize.
The "Truth Squad" consists of dozens of McCain supporters.
According to news.com.au, the comment was allegedly made when Obama was dismissing his Republican rivals as an odd political couple that was aiming to keep him out of the White House.
Responding to the Republican outrage over the comment, the Obama camp said the remark was not a dig at Sarah Palin and accused the Republicans of a "pathetic attempt to play the gender card".
"We've been talking about change when we were up in the polls and when we were down in the polls. The other side, suddenly, they're saying 'we're for change too'. Now think about it, these are the same folks that have been in charge for the last eight years," Obama was quoted, as saying at a rally in Virginia.
"You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig. You can wrap up an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough," he added to instant applause.
McCain supporter Jane Swift, former Republican governor of Massachusetts, said the line was clearly directed at the Alaska Governor. That's because Palin frequently jokes that "lipstick" is the difference between a hockey mom like herself and a pit bull.
"It's clear to me ... that Senator Obama owes Governor Palin an apology," Swift said, calling Obama's comments "disgraceful."
She said, "This is just the latest in a series of comments that many folks like me will find offensive."
Last Thursday, Alaska Governor Palin joked that the only difference between a hockey mum like herself and a pit bull was "lipstick".
Palin has been savaging Obama daily on the campaign trail as Senator McCain talks up his maverick, reformer credentials.
He told a rally in Ohio that he had shown himself to be able to work with his opponents, something he said Senator Obama often claimed but could not prove.
There is no doubt that the campaign is getting nasty by the day, with both sides not hesitating to trade charges on issues and also indulging in personal barbs.
Since his shock decision to select Palin as his vice-presidential running mate, McCain has come from behind to tie with Obama or pull ahead in some polls.
Palin herself has polled well ahead of Obama's running mate Joe Biden in a hypothetical match-up between the vice-presidential nominees - 53 per cent to 44.
A survey of news media showed the McCain-Palin pairing has generated more coverage than the Obama-Joe Biden campaign for the first time in three months.