Taoiseach Enda Kenny has refused to rein in his Government ministers over remarks attacking presidential hopeful Martin McGuinness.
Mr Kenny said he would not comment publicly on any candidate except Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell as he would have to work closely with the people's choice.
Relations between Fine Gael and Sinn Fein soured over the weekend following repeated attacks on Mr McGuinness for his IRA past and claims over his take home pay.
Sinn Fein hit back accusing the Government party of desperate tactics.
Mr Kenny said: "In every election campaign you are going to have comments made from people in the heat of battle. These are electoral comments. For me my campaign and the Fine Gael campaign is focused on this man (Gay Mitchell) and his credentials.
"Candidates put themselves before the people for the people's choice, it is up to each candidate to be truthful and open in respect of the questions asked of them by the people," he added.
Mr Hogan had claimed multinational companies would be appalled if Mr McGuinness was President and claimed his IRA past would drive away corporate investment from Ireland.
Meanwhile, in a Tweet, Mr Kehoe accused Mr McGuinness of having the proceeds of the Northern Bank robbery at his disposal.
At the campaign launch for Mr Mitchell, the Taoiseach also refused to be drawn on whether he thought Mr McGuinness - who has consistently maintained he left the the IRA in 1974 - is a terrorist.
"Hear my words. I will not comment on any candidate in this campaign except the Fine Gael candidate, Gay Mitchell," he replied.