[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/06/art.palin07.gi.jpg caption="Palin has been the target of tough leaks from some former McCain staffers."]
(CNN) - The war of words between supporters of each half of the Republican presidential ticket escalated Thursday, as a spokeswoman for Sarah Palin called charges circulated by former campaign aides to John McCain ‘sickening,’ and the Alaska governor herself said the advisers spreading the rumors were ‘small, evidently bitter’ people.
Former McCain campaign aides have been sources for a string of embarrassing stories about Palin that have become public since GOP defeat Tuesday night, including the charge that she spent thousands of dollars more on clothing for herself and her family than the $150,000 that has been reported.
There have also been reports of a somewhat distant relationship between John McCain and his running mate.
“This is so unfortunate and, quite honestly, sickening,” said Palin aide Meghan Stapleton in a statement. “The accusations we are hearing and reading are not true and since we deny all these anonymous allegations, there is nothing specific to which we will respond.
“We have the highest regards for Senator John McCain. Governor Palin was honored to be chosen as McCain’s running mate. And as Governor of Alaska, Governor Palin looks forward to working with President-elect Obama on securing energy independence for America.”
Back home in Alaska, Palin herself said she would not respond to individual accusations.
“If they’re an unnamed source, then that says it all,” she said. “I won’t comment on anybody’s gossip, or allegations that are based on anonymous sources. That’s kind of a small, evidently bitter type of person who would anonymously charge something foolish like that, that I perhaps didn’t know an answer to a question. So until I know who was talking about it, I won’t have a comment on false allegations.”