ABC News’ Rick Klein reports:
Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, are swinging back at David Letterman, after the talk-show host made the Alaska governor and her family the focus of a series of off-color jokes.
Letterman’s “Top 10” list Tuesday night focused on Palin’s recent trip to New York, and included several cracks: “Bought makeup from Bloomingdale's to update her 'slutty flight attendant' look,” Letterman said.
But it was a line in Letterman’s monologue that set off a firestorm: “One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”
Palin was in New York with her 14-year-old daughter, Willow.
The line prompted an angry response from the Palins. In a statement posted on Facebook and distributed to the press yesterday, the governor said:
“Concerning Letterman's comments about my young daughter (and I doubt he'd ever dare make such comments about anyone else's daughter): 'Laughter incited by sexually-perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands - that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone's daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.' ”
Todd Palin added: “Any 'jokes' about raping my 14-year-old are despicable. Alaskans know it and I believe the rest of the world knows it, too.”
Letterman responded last night by saying that the joke was aimed at 18-year-old Bristol Palin, not Willow: “We were, as we often do, making jokes about people in the news and we made some jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter [Bristol]... and now they’re upset with me…” Letterman said.
“These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl.... Am I guilty of poor taste? Yes. Did I suggest that it was okay for her 14-year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No."
Letterman also invited the Alaska governor to come on his show.
UPDATE: Per ABC News' Kate Snow: Gov. Palin pushed back at Letterman again this morning, issuing a statement via Palin PAC spokesperson Meghan Stapelton.
"The Palins have no intention of providing a ratings boost for David Letterman by appearing on his show," Stapelton said in an email to ABC News. "Plus, it would be wise to keep Willow away from David Letterman."