Palin calls potential rival 'Neanderthal'
February 10th, 2011
08:50 AM ET
10 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. GL

    LET THE SHOW BEGIN! I have order dozen of bags of popcorn.

    February 10, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Dave

    For once I agree with Sarah Palin. While I think Palin is an idiot Rick Santorum is a complete numskull. The people of PA couldn't stand him and now he wants to be president. What is it with the Republican Party for 2012? The only people running are failed politicians.

    February 10, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Lori in St Pete

    I've got news for dim bulb barbie: So is she, so am I, and so is the rest of the population who aren't of pure African ancestry. Everyone, except for Africans who come from bloodlines that haven't mixed their DNA with those from other nations are part Neanderthal, so pretty much, she just called him a human being.

    February 10, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. Wow

    Palin Fans: And you want to elect this woman to president? Someone who calls opponents names when they didn't even come close to insulting her?

    February 10, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Patrish

    This woman has a knee jerk response to the slightest bad press. Mature people ignore this stuff and move on, but not her. All she dos is whine, and attack. And some people actually thinks she is qualified to lead! A pity!

    February 10, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. anotherGDlefty

    Uh oh Rick, time to start the backpedal......

    February 10, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. cecilia

    are there ever any headlines for Palin that do not begin – " Palin hits, or attacks or fights back. ?? maybe if she had an intelligent thought then we would expect something else. has anyone else noticed that the farther she falls from GOP grace the more slang she uses in her "comments" –
    and double shame on Santorum for even addressing how a woman should handle her job as a parent and public office
    has anyone ever asked him how he manages his home and family while taking time to insult women – not that I am a fan of Ms. Palin, but give me a break – I thought we got way past that some time ago

    February 10, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Russ

    So Sarah, when do you take care of your kids? You certainly can't have much time for them between book tours, television shows and appearances. Looks like someone touched a sore spot there didn't they. What possible Presidental candidate makes an infintile derogatory statement like that and expects people will vote for her? And drag his wife into it by basically saying she's married to a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. You really dragged yourself through the gutter on that one. How much lower can you go?

    February 10, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Indy

    Got to give this one to Palin. Her kids do not hold her back, I don't think any of them go to school and we all know she was found guilty of expense fraud which prooved that she had her kids on the state payroll expenses as they attended many conferences at the tax payers cost. Her kids have never held her back, she simply puts them all in front of the cameras when she needs to and charged the people of Alaska for her childrens travel expenses and even when palin worked at home she charged Alaskans for travel she never did, while she took care of her kids. Palin does not have a job to hold her back, her speechwriters do all the work posting on Facebook and Twitter so she is right on this one, nothing holds her back except of course she demands goss amounts of money for anything she attempts to do.

    February 10, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. fred

    Whether Santorum meant to be critical or or not, IT'S THE TRUTH. Palin, the "proud mother of 5 children," should be VERY BUSY raising those kids. When you have five kids, it takes a lot of work. As a Republican, there are so many things I dislike about Palin. When someone says you are busy, take it like an adult, and don't blow up the story and spread drama, cuz guess what?! CNN will SURELY report on it, and you'll be made to look even dumber than you already look.

    With that said, Huckabee for President 2012.

    February 10, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. ReFascistican

    He's a "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal," and your an IDIOT!!!

    February 10, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Thomas

    If Santorum and Palin mated, it would be the most idiotic child in the world.

    February 10, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. Adalbert

    A stupid bimbo and a "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.". Fantastic. The right wingers will win in Albania.

    February 10, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. Robin

    Wig Wig Wig Wig! Dear Sarah what happened to your hair? Stress from all those nasty comments?

    February 10, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. Who Cares?

    So you want some men to "MAN UP" and others not to be Neanderthal.

    February 10, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. ramtruck2500

    cant she just leave what a number!

    February 10, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. John

    I refuse to believe that Palin even knows what a Neanderthal is, I KNOW she can't spell it!

    February 10, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. Me

    Sheesh, Palin just can't stop being the victim, can she? Of course, this is the most revolting of personal attacks on her kids. It couldn't possbily be Santorum just saying she has a lot of things on her plate, kids, other appearances, other commitments.

    February 10, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Dennis

    And she is a real authority on "neanderthal's" since she is married to one.

    February 10, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. Another zinger!

    And Dems won't call Sarah stupid and a joke... We'll let her own Republican friends do it instead. She's nothing more than a higher profile entertainer like Beck or Rush. She's not even a politician, or public servant but rather a capitalist making $$$ off of the joke that McCain created...

    February 10, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why does she call herself a "hockey mom" when none of her kids play hockey??

    February 10, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. Who Cares?

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


    My Lord...she is such a mean-spirited, bitter, and angry woman. I can't believe people look up to her as a role model. She complains about all the stuff people say about her and then goes out and tries to get between a husband and wife??

    February 10, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  23. Larry

    Good old thin-skinned Sarah. Every time someone says something about her she doesn't like she attacks him with some petty, adolescent insult like this that makes her look anything but presidential.

    February 10, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. mbays

    Sounds like a case of Mrs Neanderthal meeting Mr Neanderthal – what a nice pair they would make.

    February 10, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. Lynne out Sarah – people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    February 10, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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