Barack Obama | Election 2008 | John McCain | News | Sarah Palin

Why McCain's 'Lipstick on a Pig' Sexism Claims Hold No Water

The McCain campaign is lashing out at Barack Obama's use of the common phrase "You can't put lipstick on a pig" at a campaign top yesterday, saying he was alluding to VP hopeful Sarah Palin.

Here's the clip:

Said Obama: "Let's just list this for a second. John McCain says he's about change, too. Except -- 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 gonna shake things up in Washington.' That's not change. That's just calling some -- the same thing, something different. But you know, you can -- you know, you can put lipstick on a pig; it's still a pig."

The crowd immediately cheered, and if some were referencing Palin, they did so because of the "lipstick pitbull" line in her RNC speech.

The McCain camp is now charging sexism and has released another despicable ad:

UPDATE: CBS had the above video taken off of YouTube, and told MediaBistro: "CBS News does not endorse any candidate in the presidential race. Any use of CBS personnel in political advertising that suggests the contrary is misleading."

However, McCain has used the phrase before as well, in reference to Hillary Clinton and her health plan:

"McCain criticized Democratic contenders for offering what he called costly universal health care proposals that require too much government regulation. While he said he had not studied Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's health-care plan, he said it was 'eerily reminiscent' of the failed plan she offered as first lady in the early 1990s. 'I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig,' he said of her proposal."

The Obama camp has responded: "Enough is enough. The McCain campaign’s attack tonight is a pathetic attempt to play the gender card about the use of a common analogy – the same analogy that Senator McCain himself used about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health care plan just last year. This phony lecture on gender sensitivity is the height of cynicism and lays bare the increasingly dishonorable campaign John McCain has chosen to run."

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  1. NICK: *Seriously. My head is about to explode from all the bullshit. I can't take much more of this.*

    I feel much the same way. I agree with DAVE as well; watch what you say, boys. Don't give them ammunition.

    It seems each side is just waiting to characterize any statement as a "new low" - and, it seems, are not too careful about going low in the first place. Negative campaigning is effective, because no matter how untrue, people will remember and accept the negative. It makes my head want to explode, and me want to take a shower. And we have two more months of this?

    Posted by: JT | Sep 10, 2008 11:54:20 AM

  2. RE: Rad, et al:

    "where are the Clintons, where are the Clintons?"

    Now you want them. LOL.

    On a side note, I noticed in the coverage of the DNC convention, that Obama had a 17 year old Super Delegate. WTF???? They can't vote in the general election, but they can determine the Dems candidate?

    This is the candidate you deserve. Don't go begging for the Clintons now.

    Posted by: dc8stretch | Sep 10, 2008 12:30:55 PM

  3. Errata:

    My apologies, Jason Rae is the youngest super delegate at 21. My error. I also apologize for going off topic.

    Posted by: dc8stretch | Sep 10, 2008 12:42:39 PM

  4. DC8Stretch

    As I corrected Rad

    The Clintons are already on the ground in battle ground states

    Hillary's schedule is filled up with campaigning over the next 8 weeks for obama in battle ground states where she did very well in the primaries. She was in FL on Monday and tore into the repubs and mccain.

    She is not holding back. She is supporting Obama 100%.

    They are encouraging their big funders to help Obama, Streisand (best friends with the Clintons and a big funder of theirs) is holding a $28,500 per person fundraiser slated to bring in 9 mill for Obama. Bill is even having lunch with Obama soon. Clinton surrogates are out defending Obama in the media.....Carville!!! Baglea!!! Waserman Schultz!!! Ki Ki Meyers!!! etc Even telling Obama to be like Bill Clinton in his campaign and stay on issue and simple = Its the ECONOMY stupid!

    BUT of course if you were a real Clinton supporter, you would know such things.

    In your appearing to not know what is going on with the Clintons, you appear to not be a supporter of Hillary's.

    I now question if you ever supported Clinton back in the primaries or are just a concern troll

    real Clinton supporters should know at least a bit about what Hillary / Bill and their team are doing = A LOT!!! to support and help Obama.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Sep 10, 2008 2:49:27 PM

  5. Obama was trying to get in a dig at Palin with that line. I've never heard it said with a big hammy vaudevillian pause between the first and second part while the crowd roars with laughter before the punchline even comes.

    He sounded nervous just saying it because he knew it was wrong. If you see it otherwise, you're deluding yourself.

    I don't have a problem with people getting in their zingers. Go for it. But don't be a cowardly liar afterwards and say that it's not what you meant.

    Posted by: paul | Sep 10, 2008 8:05:41 PM

  6. You all owe an apology to the Pigs of America.
    And to the pigs of future generations, you can only hold your heads in shame.

    Posted by: BILLOFTHEDESERT | Sep 10, 2008 11:57:47 PM

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