Friends and supporters of McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee form Arizona, say his humor demonstrates his genuineness; detractors counter some of his jokes are out of touch with today's sensitivities, Politico reported Thursday.
Kim Gandy, National Organization for Women president, says a number of McCain's jokes about women shows a lack of respect.
"Some people can't tell the difference between a joke that is really off-color and one that is off-the-charts offensive and clearly some of John McCain's 'jokes' fall into that category," she told the Washington publication.
The Iranian government recently condemned McCain for suggesting boosting U.S. cigarette sales to Iran could be "a way of killing 'em."
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said the candidate's humor is central to his appeal.
"He's long said that he's said and done things in the past that he regrets," Rogers said. "You've just got to move on and be yourself -- that's what people want. They want somebody who's authentic and this kind of stuff is a good example of McCain being McCain."