11:35 ET on NBC. He’s “proud” and “grateful” that she was on the ticket, but as far as him rebuking the Africa/NAFTA smears, it sounds like this is as close we’re going to get:

Asked by Leno about griping about Palin from unidentified McCain operatives in the days following the election, the Arizona senator said, “These things happen in campaigns.

“I think I have at least a thousand, quote, top advisers,” he scoffed. “A top adviser said? I’ve never even heard of … a top adviser or high-ranking Republican official.”

However, McCain never directly addressed the embarrassing controversy over Palin’s expensive campaign wardrobe purchased by the Republican National Committee, or statements by unidentified McCain aides who have reportedly said she was not prepared on foreign policy.

Good enough?