Barack Obama is calling the flack over his use of the phrase "lipstick on a pig" at a campaign stop "the latest made-up controversy by the John McCain campaign."
The McCain camp says the comment by Obama was directed at McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin. In her acceptance speech at the GOP convention last week, she joked that lipstick is the only difference between a hockey mom like herself and a pit bull.
The McCain campaign has put out an Internet ad slamming Obama for the remark, and it's demanding an apology.
Obama used the old "lipstick on a pig" phrase in criticizing McCain's economic policies as being similar to those of President Bush. He calls it an "innocent remark." And his campaign accuses the GOP camp of engaging in a "pathetic attempt to play the gender card."
It's also pointing to instances of McCain using the same phrase, including once when McCain used the phrase last October to refer to some of Hillary Clinton's policy ideas.