Former Rep. Nathan Deal’s (R-Ga.) gubernatorial campaign reacted nastily to Sarah Palin’s endorsement Monday of primary rival Karen Handel (R).

Deal, in a statement, called Palin’s decision “disappointing” and then accused Handel of voting to fund gay “outreach” to “kids,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“As Fulton Commission chair, Handel voted to give taxpayer dollars to ‘Youth Pride’ which did outreach to gay and ‘questioning’ kids as young as 13 and funded seminars such as ‘Unsung Heroes of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community’ — this was during a budget crisis,” Deal said in the statement.

In a note on her Facebook page, Palin called Handel a “reformer.”

“This pro-life, pro-Constitutionalist with a can-do attitude and a record of fighting for ethics in government is ready to serve in the governor’s office,” she wrote

Last month Palin’s backing helped South Carolina Republican Nikki Haley claim her party’s gubernatorial nod.

In Georiga on Monday, Handel’s campaign dismissed Deal’s remark.

“These guys are really just embarrassing themselves,” said Dan McLagan, a spokesman for the former secretary of state.