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McCain defends Palin against Letterman joke

 Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and his wife Cindy (R) greets Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (3rd R) and her family after arriving at the airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota September 3, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder - Reuters
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and his wife Cindy (R) greets Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (3rd R) and her family after arriving at the airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota September 3, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
— image credit: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Senator John McCain has a message for late-night comic David Letterman: Enough with the jokes about Sarah Palin and her family.

The host of CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" drew the ire of Palin this week by making jokes about her visit to New York last weekend.

Letterman joked that a Palin daughter, presumably Bristol, 18, had sex with New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez during a baseball game the ex-vice presidential candidate attended. Bristol gave birth to a child last year fathered by her former fiance.

"I don't understand why Letterman would say that about a young woman," McCain said during a telephone interview on Thursday. "They (the Palins) deserve some kind of protection from being the butt of late-night hosts."

Palin, who was visiting New York with her 14-year-old daughter Willow, charged that Letterman made "sexually perverted comments," prompting a semi-apology from Letterman on his show on Wednesday night.

The Alaska governor was the vice presidential candidate last year on the Republican Party ticket headed by McCain.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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