By Lincoln Archer

June 19,

A RACIST "joke" has Barack Obama supporters fuming and Republicans cringing, as bizarre claims of sex and drugs were allowed centre stage on the US presidential campaign trail today.

A man who used YouTube to claim he took drugs and performed oral sex on Senator Obama in 1999 was given free rein at the US National Press Club, prompting a two-hour press conference that soon descended into farce.

Appearing with his kilt-wearing lawyer - who said the attire was necessary to accommodate his amply proportioned genitalia - Larry Sinclair presented himself for a grilling over his sensational claims.

"I asked him to wear a suit and tie," Mr Sinclair said of his attorney, according to the Huffington Post's bemused correspondent. He offered little evidence of his claims, but promised some in the future.

He also promised to take a police lie detector test to prove himself. He may get the chance sooner than he thought - later reports said Mr Sinclair was arrested after the press conference, which might be remembered as the low point in the toxic margins of this campaign.

A post on Politico revealed Mr Sinclair has an extensive criminal history.

Racist badge

Meanwhile in Texas, the man behind a racist badge targeting Senator Obama, which was sold at a Republican party convention, apologised today but said he was just trying to be funny.

A badge bearing the words: "If Obama is President... will we still call it The White House?" was sold at a stall at the Texas Republican party's get-together over the weekend.

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photo: Revealed ... the original Dallas Morning News post showing the badge / Web grab/