A spokesman for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says use of the word "retarded" by a consultant to Texas Gov. Rick Perry was disrespectful.
Perry consultant Dave Carney reportedly used the word several times during a conference call about the first Republican gubernatorial debate.
The campaign manager for rival Kay Bailey Hutchison spread the word about the remark.
Palin has demanded that President Barack Obama's chief of staff be fired for using the word.
Palin aide Meg Stapleton didn't say Carney should lose his job, but Stapleton called the language "disrespectful."
Palin, who has a son with Down syndrome, is campaigning with Perry on Sunday. She says the word "retarded" is a slur.
Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner said Thursday: "It was an unfortunate choice of words and the governor is extremely disappointed."
Accounts of Carney's alleged use of the word made it into a few blogs last month but didn't get much attention until the incident involving Rahm Emanuel came to light.
Palin is scheduled to join Perry at a Republican rally in Cypress near Houston on Sunday.
Rock musician Ted Nugent is slated to perform at the rally. Like Carney, he's also familiar with the word "retarded." He recently told Royal Flush Magazine that hunting is "the last pure perfect function of mankind."
"It's untouchable on all levels. Unless you're retarded," he said.