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Palin: Santorum a "neanderthal"

Published by Tim McNulty on .

neanderthal

Looks like Rick Santorum prodded the Mama Grizzly just a little too much this time -- she went on Fox News last night to call him (in a roundabout way) a "knuckle-dragging neanderthal."

Santorum has been actively going after other social conservatives like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee as he tries to gain traction in his GOP presidential bid, Politico quoted him saying Palin prioritized giving speeches and tending to her family over politics. Santorum called the Politico story "garbage" but that didn't stop Palin from striking back at him yesterday.

From the HuffPost:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took a minute Wednesday to counter an earlier claim by Rick Santorum that she might be skipping the annual Conservative Political Action Conference this week because she had more lucrative options on the table.

While she prefaced her comments with the disclaimer that earlier reports about the former Pennsylvania senator's statement may have been slightly overblown, as Santorum himself contended, that didn't stop Palin from getting in a jab. The former vice-presidential candidate said she wouldn't call Santorum "the knuckle-dragging neanderthal that perhaps others would want to call him, I'll let his wife call him that."

Palin also appeared to take issue with Santorum's suggestion that her parenting duties might have kept her from attending the conservative conference.

"Just because I'm a mom, that does not mean that I didn't want to be there," Palin said in an interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity. "I'm the proud mother of five. My kids don't hold me back from attending a conference."

The spat isn't just awkward for the GOP -- it has the making for an internal squabble at Fox News too. Palin and Santorum are both under contract to the network (along with Huckabee and Newt Gingrich), so it will be interesting to see how things go the next time they're in the lunchroom.

So far, the network seems to think it could mean good ratings -- their PR staff is highlighting the squabble, and issuing a full transcript to reporters. It's after the jump:

SARAH PALIN TELLS FOX NEWS THAT SHE WON'T CALL SENATOR SANTORUM A 'KNUCKLE-DRAGGING NEANDERTHAL'—SHE'LL SAVE THAT FOR HIS WIFE

In last night's interview on FOX News Channel's (FNC) Hannity, Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin discussed Senator Santorum's comments he made about Sarah Palin missing CPAC this week, her perspective on how President Obama is handling the situation in Egypt, and where she stands as a potential candidate for President.

Excerpts from the interview are below:

*Mandatory Credit: FOX News Channel's (FNC) Hannity*

On her response to the article on Politico about Senator Santorum's claims that she missed CPAC this week in order to make money of paid speeches and that 'she is the mother of all those kids':

"OK, that's the first that I have actually heard what he had to say. And yes, I think the reports were much worse than what he really said. I think some things were maybe taken out of context. So I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal but perhaps other want to call him that, I'll let his wife call him that instead."

"I think that maybe he's uninformed as to why it is that I can't make it to another political speech in a couple of weeks. As I've explained February is our busiest winter month. And just because I am a mom that does not mean that I didn't want to be there. But, you know what, I've never been to CPAC, I don't know what the big brouhaha is this go-around. I've never been to that conference, so I don't know why anybody would think it is that big of a darn deal not to be there this time."

"Whoa I didn't know that he had said that that I'm the mother of all those kids. I'm the proud mother of five children. And that my kids don't hold me back from attending a conference. But, you know, again, that kind of tit-for-tat thing that Americans are really turned off by. And they want to hear us engaged in debate and discourse and conversation about solutions. About getting the economy back on the right track and securing our borders. Securing our homeland and not the kind of pettiness that happens I guess internally within the GOP machine."

On her stance as a potential candidate for President:

"I don't have a date in mine. I will make the decision as things fall into place or don't fall into place for me and for my family as we move forward with the internal deliberations that we are engaged in, and deciding whether to run for this office or not. So, I'm not going to put myself in a box to give a timeline. Other people no doubt some politicians; they are going to be doing it in a more conventional manner than I will. I've never done anything really conventionally. That's what going rogue is all about. You get out there and you do what you believe is best for the people whom you want to serve and you better be willing to serve for the right reasons. And a lot of that even includes the timing of announcing when it is that you would desire to put yourself forward in the name of service."

"Nobody has to read anything into anything. I mean, when the time is ready to announce and that will be the right time. But, you know, in the meantime, I and I think every other potential candidate out there is continuing to prayerfully consider and speak with those whom are close to us who are advisers and decide for ourselves with the right timing."

On her perspective of how President Obama is handling the situation in Egypt and his decision to speak out against the Muslim Brotherhood:

"He passed and that was a lost opportunity." (on passing to speak out against the Muslim Brotherhood)

"And again, gives me, gives so many other people great pause, when we are trying to figure out what is it that our president stands for and stands with? If he could be strong with the steal is fine, like Reagan was and let us know candidly, honestly, sincerely, what do you think of the Muslim brotherhood? What do you think of Sharia law? What do you think of Muslim extremists? Islamic extremists when they won't even use the term Islamic extremist anymore. What do you think that their desire is for Israel, for America, for other freedom loving democratic loving countries that would seek peace in this world?"

On her personal feelings toward the president:

"Because I'm with you Sean, I don't hate the president. But I certainly dislike and distrust what his policies are. It's just been proven over and over again. Look at the trillion dollar stimulus package that really was kind of sold to the states as a state bailout. We don't want to do another state bailout because that first trillion dollar one didn't work, with that stimulus package today, you know, stimulated those in the Tea Party movements and other conservative movements and independent movements to say no, you know, enough is enough and we have to rein in this government growth. So, no, for the president to have that kind of thin skinned there with an answer like that, I think was some quite reflective."

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