[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/15/art.mccainpig.gi.jpg caption="McCain said Monday Obama was not calling Palin a pig."](CNN) - His campaign team may have held conference calls, released ads and sent a flurry of memos charging that Barack Obama was slurring Sarah Palin when he used the phrase “lipstick on a pig” - but John McCain apparently thinks otherwise.
“Did he call her a pig?" the Republican presidential nominee was asked Monday in a briefing for reporters for the Associated Press and Florida newspapers.
"No,” responded McCain, who called his Democratic counterpart “eloquent.”
“But I know that he chooses his words carefully, and it was the wrong thing to say...
"I didn't like it. So we respond. I think the American people will judge as to whether he and others have treated Governor Palin fairly or not" - but the campaign will continue to respond to what it considers an attack. The Arizona senator also defended Palin’s record on earmarks, taxes and the Bridge to Nowhere.
Last week, he defended the Web ad his campaign had produced that said Obama had disrespected Palin, the Republican VP nominee, when he used the phrase to criticize McCain’s policy positions.