Obama on Letterman: If That's What I'd Meant, Palin Would Be the Lipstick, ‘McCain's Failed Policies’ the Pig

In an interview on the "Late Show with David Letterman" to air later tonight, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., answers some questions on the lipstick controversy.

Letterman asks Obama if he still thinks the Republicans are overreacting to his comments last night.

"Look this is ... sort of silly season in politics –- not that there’s a non-silly season in politics," Obama says. "But it gets sillier, and it’s a common expression, at least in Illinois, I don’t know about New York City, I don’t know where you guys put lipstick on here."

To audience laughter, Obama says, "In Illinois, the expression connotes the idea that if you have a bad idea -- in this case, I was talking about John McCain’s economic plans -- that just calling them change, calling it something different doesn’t make it better. Hence, lipstick on a pig is still a pig."

"What I like about this scenario is because they -– the Republicans -- demanded an apology," Letterman says, "so that means there had been a meeting at some point somewhere along the line (of) they got together and said, 'You know what? He called our vice presidential candidate a pig.' Well, that seems pretty unlikely, doesn’t it?"

"It does," agrees Obama. "Keep in mind that, technically had I meant it this way –- she would be the lipstick!"

The audience laughs, but Letterman is confused.

"You are way ahead of me," says the late night host.

"The failed policies of John McCain would be the pig," Obama says. "I mean, just following the logic of this illogical situation."

At another point, Letterman asks Obama, "Have you ever actually put lipstick on a pig?"

"The answer would be no," Obama responds. "But I think it might be fun to try."

-- Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

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