Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry's chief consultant is under fire for using the "R" word in a conference call regarding details of the Texas GOP gubernatorial candidates' first debate.

Told that one of the three candidates for the seat would have to use a holding room outside the building before the debate, campaign consultant Dave Carney said, "That's just retarded. This is just retarded. That is the most retarded thing I've ever heard."

Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner acknowledged the mistake on Thursday, saying it was "an unfortunate choice of words and the governor is extremely disappointed."

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin earlier this week took White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to task for remarks last summer reported in The Wall Street Journal last week in which Emanuel called Democrats who opposed a health-care measure "f----ing retarded."

Palin posted a note on her Facebook page entitled, "Are You Capable of Decency, Rahm Emanuel?"

Palin, whose youngest son Trig was born with Down syndrome, says the language is offensive to developmentally disabled and their families. 

"Governor Palin believes crude and demeaning name calling at the expense of others is disrespectful." Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton said after the Perry campaign's apology.

Palin, who previously endorsed Perry, is campaigning in Houston this Sunday with Perry, who is locked in an increasingly nasty primary battle with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Hutchison campaign officials who were on the conference call say the language was, "inappropriate," and "over the top."

Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.