Jane Swift went quickly to work this evening as a leader of a brand new "truth squad" defending GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, excoriating Barack Obama for a comment he made while campaigning in Virginia today.
Obama told voters that they shouldn't believe John McCain and Palin's talk about reforming Washington. "You can put lipstick on a pig," Obama said. "It's still a pig."
"You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink," Obama added. "We've had enough of the same old thing."
Republicans took offense, saying that was a personal attack on Palin, who during the GOP convention speech last week, asked delegates if they knew the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull. Pointing to her mouth, she exclaimed, "Lipstick."
Swift told reporters on a conference call that Obama's comment was "disgraceful" and that "he owes Governor Palin an apology."
Challenged about how she could be sure that Obama was referring to Palin, Swift replied, "She's the only one of the four presidential or vice presidential candidates who wears lipstick."
Swift also said Obama's remark was different than McCain comparing Mitt Romney to a pig during their free-for-all before the New Hampshire primary. "Never get into a wrestling match with a pig. You both get dirty -- and the pig likes it," McCain said then.
Swift said Obama's comment was gender-specific.
The Obama campaign, however, pointed out that McCain used the same phrase while criticizing Hillary Clinton's healthcare plan, saying it was the same as the one she pushed as first lady. "I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," he said of her proposal.
The former Massachusetts governor said it's only the latest in a series of offensive comments from Obama and his supporters. She said that after going up against Hillary Clinton in the primaries, Obama's campaign "would have figured out how to respectfully" debate a female candidate.
"This is just the same old low road," Swift said.
Republicans also blasted Obama for describing Palin in Michigan on Monday as a "mother, governor, moose shooter."
The McCain campaign issued a statement today from Walter Morse, co-chairman of New Hampshire Sportsmen for McCain: "What Barack Obama dismisses as a 'moose shooter' we in New Hampshire call a 'sportsman' or a 'moose hunter.' Senator Obama has demonstrated once again that he doesn't understand rural America -- and after suggesting that many of us 'cling' to religion and guns, he also doesn't seem interested in learning. Although the sportsmen's community knows Barack Obama is no friend, this comment reinforces the critical need for hunters and anglers to mobilize behind our allies John McCain and Sarah Palin."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.