Palin-Bachmann rancor heating up below the surface

But a personal relationship between the conservative female leaders has, in fact, been nonexistent for the past 16 months, as aides from Bachmann’s camps have privately — and sometimes publicly — disparaged Palin to an extent that has caused growing exasperation in Palin world. That behind-the-scenes rancor is now boiling over as the former Alaska governor inches closer to a presidential run…

But according to well-placed sources, it was Bachmann’s assertion during Thursday night’s debate that she was “very good friends” with Palin that ignited a fire in Palin world.

“To say that they’re good buddies — what is a good buddy?” a Palin-affiliated source said. “You can’t use that to try to get her supporters.”…

But the Palin camp privately became agitated when Bachmann did not rise to Palin’s defense last January amid the fallout from the mass murder in Arizona and attempted assassination of Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords; following that tragedy, Palin took heat from some liberals for using gun imagery in a 2010 campaign map that targeted Democratic officials for electoral defeat.