Obama, appearing Wednesday in Norfolk, Va., accused McCain of "Swift boat politics," CNN reported.
"Spare me the phony outrage. Spare me the phony talk about change," Obama said. "We have real problems in this country right now. The American people are looking to us for answers, not distractions, not diversions, not manipulations."
The set-to began Tuesday when Obama mocked McCain's pledge to take change to Washington. Obama said McCain's call for change wasn't change but "calling the same thing something different."
"But you can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig," Obama told a crowd in Lebanon, Va. "You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, and it's still going to stink after eight years."
The McCain camp took the remark as a reference to Palin's joke during the Republican convention that the only difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom is that the mom is wearing lipstick.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, part of the newly formed "Palin Truth Squad," demanded an apology, calling Obama's comment "disgusting," The Washington Post reported.
Even former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who ran against McCain in the primaries, said he didn't believe Obama was calling Palin a pig.
"It's an old expression, and I'm going to have to cut Obama some slack on that one," Huckabee told Fox News.