McCain camp aggrieved over being called on racialized campaign message. From the Post
the sense of grievance over this issue within McCain's high command is deep and palpable. Those emotions led to the decision to have Davis call out Obama on Thursday with his extraordinarily provocative statement: "Barack Obama has played the race card and he played it from the bottom of the deck," he said. "It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."
Before all this happened, McCain advisers believed that the Obama campaign successfully pinned a racist label on Bill Clinton during the during primaries -- for comments that drew protests from some leading African American politicians -- and were determined not to let the same happen to McCain. Also, they take personally any suggestion from the Obama campaign that they are part of a campaign that would play the race card and are indignant about it.
Ironically, the McCain camp's celebrity ad comparing Obama to the vapid pair of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears drew some criticism as a subtle attempt to play the race card in the same way Republicans did against Harold Ford in the 2006 Senate race with the ad that concluded with an attractive young blonde woman saying, "Harold, call me." McCain advisers are as incensed over those suggestions as Obama advisers are over Davis's charge.