Washington (CNN) - Deputy Campaign Manager to Obama's re-election bid, Stephanie Cutter, called Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich's backlash over the president's comments on the controversial Trayvon Martin shooting "despicable."
On Wednesday, Cutter told Soledad O'Brien on CNN's "Starting Point" that the Republican candidates should "watch their own words."
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
"I think it's abysmal, despicable that people like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are trying to make this a divisive issue," Cutter said.
On Friday, Obama broke his silence on the Florida shooting of the African American teen, shot in February by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.
"If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon," said Obama, promising a thorough investigation into the case.
Following Obama's comments, former House Speaker Gingrich brought the political heat on Sean Hannity's radio show when he called Obama's comments "disgraceful," insisting it was not a matter of what the teen looked like. Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, followed suit when talking to conservative radio host Scott Hennen. He accused the president of unnecessarily injecting race into the discussion.
Cutter is not the first Obama official to speak out against the GOP presidential candidates in defense of the president. David Plouffe, Obama's senior adviser, called Gingrich's comments "reprehensible," saying they came from someone who was "clearly in the last throes of his political career."