Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Sunday the $150,000 in clothes and accessories bought for her by the Republican National Committee don't belong to her, equating the high-priced wardrobe with the stagecraft at campaign rallies.
Dogged for days by the brouhaha over outfits from upscale stores such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, the Alaska governor argued that she and her family live frugally. To emphasize her point Sunday night, she wore jeans at an event in Asheville, North Carolina.
"This whole thing with the wardrobe, I try to just ignore it because it's so ridiculous," Palin told a Florida crowd earlier in the day.
"Those clothes, they are not my property, just like the lighting and the staging and everything else the RNC purchased," she said. "I'm not taking them with me. I'm back to wearing my old clothes from my favorite consignment shop in Anchorage, Alaska."
On Sunday, a McCain spokesman said about a third of the clothes were returned because they were the wrong size or for other reasons, and the rest would be donated to charity.
Palin talked about her accessories Sunday: earrings that were a gift from her husband's Yup'ik Eskimo mother, and "a $35 wedding ring from Hawaii that I bought myself. Because with my ring, I always thought, it's not what it's made of, it's what it represents."
News of such expensive clothes offered a stark contrast to Palin's image as an average "hockey mom."
In North Carolina, Palin was joined by country artist Gretchen Wilson, who performed her song "Redneck Woman." Palin sang along _ though not into a microphone _ and clapped her hands.
Associated Press Writer Mike Baker in Asheville, North Carolina, contributed to this report.
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