Palin calls potential rival 'Neanderthal'
February 10th, 2011
08:50 AM ET
3 years ago

Palin calls potential rival 'Neanderthal'

Update: Santorum says he and Palin have spoken privately about the issue and are 'fine.'


(CNN) – Sarah Palin is mixing it up with potential rival Rick Santorum, suggesting the former Pennsylvania senator and presidential hopeful is a "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal."

The eyebrow-raising slap came in response to Santorum's recent comments that Palin was likely skipping an annual gathering of conservatives in Washington this weekend because of other "business opportunities" and her mothering responsibilities.

"I don't live in Alaska and I'm not the mother to all these kids and I don't have other responsibilities that she has," Santorum told conservative online radio host S.E. Cupp in comments that some commentators called sexist.

"Just because I'm a mom that does not mean that I didn't want to be there," Palin responded on Fox News Wednesday night. "I'm the proud mother of five…my kids don't hold me back from attending a conference."

"I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal," Palin continued. "I'll let his wife call him that instead."

Santorum meanwhile maintains he never meant to insult Palin but was instead merely stating that she is a busy person.

"We've watched every episode of 'Sarah Palin's Alaska,'" Santorum said on Fox Wednesday. "We enjoy it. I know she has obligations to do other things outside of the work she does at Fox. I said I assume she has other things to do."

Both Santorum and Palin are contributors to Fox News.


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. Bruce

    Gee, let's see - you've got a spat between Sarah Palin, who is like some poor feeble-minded girl put up in front of the cameras and made to "perform," never understanding that 90% of the audience is laughing at her; and Rick Santorum, who represented the narrowest ideological corner of his constituency for 12 years in the US Senate - this is hardly a duel of the titans . . . . and if the two of them somehow end up going head-to-head as front-runners in the primaries, one can imagine the Democrats happily counting up the seats they'll be picking up in November of 2012.

    February 10, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. JackieInDallas

    Gee, you mean a member of the GOP isn't one of her worshipers? For all that the Tea Party accuse supporters of President Obama of wanting to make him into an idol, I see that one MUST worship her in order to be free of her criticism if one is a member of the GOP.

    Note to Ms Palin: Learn to accept the comments, both good and bad, made by others. It is very possible that Santorum's comments were meant innocuously (look it up...it is good to learn new words). As a hopeful for the highest office in this land, you had better learn to accept criticism and negative comments gracefully, and without overreacting to each one because once you declare for the office, you will be facing a barrage of it. Not all the money in the world, all the staff in the world, nor all the intelligence in the world will protect you from it...and you don't have those attributes.

    February 10, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. David

    .....and so it begins.

    February 10, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Ernie

    What Sarah Palin is not understanding is the Republican Party is telling her "We don't want you and we don't need you".
    According to what I ame reading and hearing is that Sarah Palin is now a "Liability" she's no longer an "Asset". Sarah
    Palin's "Agenda" is to make as much money as she can (There's nothing wrong with that) and position herself for the 2012
    Presdental elections. The Republicans are not circling the wagons around her meaning is Sarah Palin will not be the nominee . Sarah Palin is "NOT ELECTABLE" her days have come and gone.

    February 10, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  5. anagram_kid

    I will not call Sarah Palin a mediocre mother; I will let her kids do that.

    February 10, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. Barking Alien

    I am not sure where Palin fits on the evolutionary scale. Somewhere between Neaderthal and Cro-Magnon. Oh wait she does not believe in evolution how can there be a Neanderthal like Santorum?

    February 10, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. Church of Realism

    This deserves a hearty Hahahahaha.....

    February 10, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  8. JurryL

    I am pretty sure her track record as being a "good mother" that can run a household goes to pot when you consider that two of her children have been arrested and another knocked up. Sorry "$aint $arah. Your victim act is getting old.

    February 10, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. Indie Woman in Denver

    Far be it for me to side with Sarah Palin on ANYthing – apparently hell has frozen over – but kudos to her for her response to Mr Santorum. He has even less chance of becoming prez than she does, and alienating 52 pct of the voters right off the bat isn't wise. He's far too conservative for me, anyway, but I'm just saying...

    February 10, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  10. dutchman2400

    Palin is one of the most defensive people around. She has some real fears that she can't seem to get around.

    February 10, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. StrategicBob

    There is no need to insult Neanderthals in this way.

    Each of these two probably consider the other unfit for political office. If so, they would both be right.

    February 10, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. JustMe

    Both Santorum and Palin are contributor to Fox News.

    As is just about everybody else considering a run for the GOP nomination. I swear I am beginning to think being a contributor to Fox News is a pre-requisite for running for the Republican nomination for President in 2012 and IMO, that is NOT a good thing.

    February 10, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  13. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    WOW! Caribou Barbie finally admitted she is a mom! Then who has been taking care of Trig while she is on all of these speaking tours? Does she make the "First Dude" take care of him? One of the things that surprised me was Santorum still going to CPAC even though a Gay Conservative group was one of the sponsors!

    February 10, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. Mike

    "I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal," Palin continued. "I'll let his wife call him that instead." Didn't you just that with the public statement phrased to make the comment anyhow?

    February 10, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    And in this corner, weighing in at 135 pounds soaking wet the Killah from Wassilla, the Hillbilly Grizzly, Birther of 5 mother to none.........Flailin Palin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. Judas

    Well, hell must have just gone into a deep freeze, because this is the first time, and will most likely be the last time I’ve ever agreed with anything that Palin has said. As a Republican and a Pennsylvania resident, I can say that being called a "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal" is the highest compliment Santorum will ever get. This clown can easily be included on any list as being among the worst of the worst of American politicians, ever.

    February 10, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. beevee

    Two conservative nuts going at each other. The GOP leaders should totally ignore her so that she becomes a non-factor in politics.

    February 10, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  18. kate

    Palin claims to be a Christian. Ha...and she calls people names??? What a joke.

    February 10, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  19. Sniffit

    Yessss....yeeeesssssss...let the hate flow through you....

    $10 says she gets even more nutty and virulent as the polls continue to show her that she's losing her new toy shine with conservatives. I'm guessing that by June or July we might even see an incoherent, raving, spittle-flinging Jaberwocky Barbie rant. Have your popcorn ready...

    February 10, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  20. evolution

    Neanderthal.....so Palin believes in evolution !!

    February 10, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  21. Kate

    Would love to see them duke it out on tv.

    February 10, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  22. Charles

    Such an accusation from a person who could not name a single book or magazine she had read in the last year and cannot string a coherent sentence together without a script. My irony meter is on 11.

    February 10, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  23. WTF242

    do people really want to admit they watched sarah palins alaska?

    February 10, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    And the crowd goes wild ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    February 10, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. lynn

    Does she even know what a Neanderthal is, are they in her Alaska backyard? Her handlers must be using a Thesaurus, does she even know what a Thesaurus is?

    February 10, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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