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Posted at 2:41 PM ET, 02/10/2011

Rick Santorum is a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal

By Ruth Marcus

Just in case his wife doesn't take Sarah Palin up on her offer, I'll say it: Rick Santorum is a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.

The former Pennsylvania senator and wannabe president was bad-mouthing Palin the other day for being a no-show at CPAC, the annual conservative gathering and showcase for presidential hopefuls.

"I wouldn't have turned it down," Santorum said of Palin's decision not to attend, "but I don't live in Alaska, right, and I'm not the mother to all these kids, and I don't have other responsibilities like she has."

All these kids? Santorum has seven, which by my count makes him two kids busier than Palin.

Oh, wait, I guess not. He's father to all these kids, not mother.

And we know who stays home with the kids.

Back during the 2008 campaign, I ventured onto this treacherous territory, writing about Palin's decision to enter the vice presidential campaign with an infant, one with special needs at that.

"I don't question whether Palin can pull off the most impressive juggling act in the history of working moms, balancing, as she told People magazine, BlackBerry and breast pump," I wrote. "But I do wonder -- somewhat to my astonishment -- why she'd choose to, and I suspect many mothers feel the same. Looking over my female friends -- educated and accomplished -- it is hard to think of one who has not trimmed her career sails to accommodate family life."

Here's the distinction: It is one thing to acknowledge that women tend to feel, as I put it, more of a "homeward tug" than their husbands in juggling work and family life. It is a different thing, as Santorum did, to presume it in any individual case -- to assume that being "mother to all these kids" will keep a woman stuck at home.

The first is reality, as much as you can debate whether this is social construct or genetically driven. The second is simple sexism.

In fairness to Santorum, his digs at Palin were not limited to her motherhood. He also slammed her for raking in the big bucks rather than hanging with the right wing.

"I have a feeling that she has some demands on her time, and a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them," Santorum sniped in an interview with S.E. Cupp, who hosts an online radio show on Glenn Beck's website.

Palin slapped back at her fellow Fox News commentator on Sean Hannity's show. "Just because I'm a mom, that does not mean that I didn't want to be there," Palin said. "I'm the proud mother of five. My kids don't hold me back from attending a conference."

Palin expressed some sympathy with Santorum, saying, "I think the reports were much worse than what he really said. I think some things maybe were taken out of context."

Then she went in for the kill: "I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal that perhaps others would want to call him. I'll let his wife call him that."

Touche, governor. Senator: She told you not to mess with Mama Grizzlies, stay-at-home or otherwise.

By Ruth Marcus  | February 10, 2011; 2:41 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Next: Jim Webb: The last Jacksonian Democrat


Half-term, half-wit Sarah Palin's career would be over in half an hour in a jumble of word salad gibberish were she ever to appear on "Meet the Press", "Face the Nation" or "This Week."

Palin also doesn't have enough palms and Sharpies to appear in that press conference she's never had since her 2008 nomination.

She won't have a news conference because she’s afraid someone might ask her to point out Alaska on the map.

"Fox News: Sarah Palin is an idiot "

Posted by: republican_disaster | February 10, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I can't stand Rick Santorum (anagram: Rico Rumstank), but not for this bit of trifling nothingness. But I guess you have to meet your Palin-mention quota by any means necessary.

I'm a semi-stay-at-home dad in that my wife and I both work, but her job is the more strenuous (and lucrative) and mine's at night. And I couldn't care less about these kinds of statements ... because they don't matter.

Posted by: scrappledog | February 10, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Love it - by all means let's encourage Palin and Santorum to fight. With luck they will make themselves and each other even more unelectable than they are now. (Disclaimer; for one sad period, Santorum was one of my senators.)

Posted by: vklip | February 10, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Santorum and Palin: in the "Biggest Lying Right Wing Dimwit" contest, there's no clear winner here. They're both an embarrassment to America.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | February 10, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Senator Frothy Mixture? LOL haha

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | February 10, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

If you think Palin's comments regarding Santorum are causing some heartache, go to the Free Republic website and check out the dust up her laissez-faire attitude toward GOProud at CPAC has caused.

It's a thing of beauty!!!!!!!

Posted by: palmtree2001 | February 10, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Why would a serious journalist care what Sarah Palin says or thinks?

She's done nothing since November of 2008 that would enhance her resume and make her a more respectible candidate for national office.

But we're not talking about serious journalism here. There's an urgent need to sell more papers and increase viewership. Putting Palin in your column certainly does that.

Not that it's news or anything.

Posted by: MDLaxer | February 10, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I see that Pravda On The Potomac once again beguiles us with their display of intellect, or shall I say lack thereof.

Posted by: | February 10, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

When he was in the Senate, Santorum was known as stupid, pushy, unlikeable and an all-around @hole. And this was from his Republican colleagues.

Nobody but George Will likes this guy, so that tells you something right there.

Posted by: karlmarx2 | February 10, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I love it when the right wing argues over the number of angels on a pinhead . . .

. . . or was that the number of pinheads . . .

Posted by: palmtree2001 | February 10, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Miz Palin, Neanderthals come in both sexes

Posted by: museum3 | February 10, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Santorum Makes clowns like Palin, Beck, and Bachmann appear to be reasonable and somewhat intelligent. What rock did he crawl out from under? Make him crawl back.

Posted by: sameolddoc | February 10, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

R. S. may be a Neanderthal, but if you use your family to sell the nation on the idea that you are the wholesome, apple pie baking, driving your kids to hockey all the time mom, then gosh darn it why would you be surprised if people say you spend time on that?
I personally feel that getting a nanny is a valid lifestyle choice for a working mom, but if you don the mantle of Family Values, you get pinned with family values.
Go figure.

Posted by: Stanwell | February 10, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

For once, I agree with Sarah Palin. That said, she ought to look in the mirror if she wants to see another (intellectual) example of her characterization of Sanctimonious Santorum.

Posted by: uche05 | February 10, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Ruth Marcus needs to consider taking Dana Milbank's pledge not to comment on non-news about Sarah Palin for an entire month. With all that's happening presently, she writes about this? Get a life!

Posted by: truenorth | February 10, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

MDLAxer: Why indeed? Why would anyone care what Sarah Palin, or Rick Santorum, or Newt Gingrich, or Michelle Bachmann, or any other rightwing loon thinks?

Posted by: Observer691 | February 10, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin and Ruth Marcus both need to read up on Neanderthals, who had larger brains than so-called 'modern humans.' Besides, all of us who aren't of pure African ancestry have about 4% Neanderthal genes, according to anthropologist Svante Paabo. As for Rick Sanitorium, his politics go back much further, at least to Pithecanthropus erectus.

Posted by: chuck8 | February 10, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I guess if you've got nothing to say, name-calling can fill up a column.

Right, Ruth?

Posted by: Benson | February 10, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

When repug hypocrisy collides.

Oh, and I wouldn't be so quick to claim that Palin has FIVE kids.

Posted by: solsticebelle | February 10, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

these remarks are indicative of both Rick Santorum's world view and judgement; can't wait for some of the primary debates when he is asked to explain his position on some of the social value issues. He will put his foot into it with all the gusto of a true believing zealot. It should be fun.

Posted by: bobfbell | February 10, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Neanderthal? I saw the same interview. Santorum was on the side of Palin. He saw the many reasons Palin couldn't accept. There was nothing in the tone Santorum us to assume anything else. It was only after the MSM that got a hold of it that some came away with what you describe as knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.

Posted by: houstonian | February 10, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If you ask me, they're BOTH overbearing, in more ways than one.

Posted by: dotyr | February 10, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Santorum a Knuckle Dragging Republican - YUP!!

Posted by: pdq5 | February 10, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Why are you attacking Neanderthals?

Neanderthals have rights, too, and they did not drag their knuckles.

Posted by: AlanGoldberg54 | February 10, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Does any of this matter, except for reality T. V. ?

Posted by: peterroach | February 10, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Must be a slow news day Ms. Marcus...

Posted by: GroverView | February 10, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

And you Ms Marcus are a knuckle-dragging idiot. Tell us - were you born an idiot or did you go to some special idiot school?

Posted by: ctgprguy | February 10, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

he's Santorum all right.... look it up (See Savage Love) ... LOL.

Posted by: fendertweed | February 10, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"Man is the head of a woman, and her voice shall not be heard unto the last hours lest she become like a pillar of salt and blown by the four winds unto kingdom come."

--Nephi, 12-8

Posted by: motorfriend | February 10, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

please people Santorum is merely testing the waters to see if a future rivalry between the two will permit him to question her "ability" to be an effective leader and mom at the same time. He would rather get zapped for it now and recover than use it later and not. Women should crucify him for it but they are too busy swooning over Barack/Spocks pectorals to notice

Posted by: senndas | February 10, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Santorum belongs in a sanitarium. He lost his seat in defeat. He's even too crazy for the Tea Party people. Santorum is also rabid anti-immigrant.

If Santorum is unelectable in PA - he does not have enough traction to run or win nationwide. Let's get rid of the chaff early.

Posted by: alance | February 10, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I must take up for the Neandertals here since they cant take up for themselves, having been wiped out by the so-called Cro-Magnon, or modern human, about 30,000 years ago. The view of Neandertals as brutish bent-over semi-humans has been discredited thru archeological research for over 50 years now. They were an intelligent organized species of human with a rich culture. They walked upright, made tools and implements, had clothing, commuicated by speech, lived in groups, cared for one another, etc. It does not surprise me that the conservative from alaska once again does not get it right. But I am surprised that an intelligent thoughtful columnist would carry that out-dated and wrong misrepresentation forward.

Posted by: racerdude | February 10, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, for crying out loud!

These are people considering presidential campaigns?


At some point, the general public on both sides of the political spectrum has got to realize what a couple of clowns these two are.

I was really hoping that after the 2006 senatorial campaign that we had seen the last of Senator Santorum.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | February 10, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

If Republicans could find a real "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal", they might have a viable candidate for 2012. At least he would reflect their "base".

Posted by: DaveHarris | February 10, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin and Ruth Marcus both need to read up on Neanderthals, who had larger brains than so-called 'modern humans.' Besides, all of us who aren't of pure African ancestry have about 4% Neanderthal genes, according to anthropologist Svante Paabo. As for Rick Sanitorium, his politics go back much further, at least to Pithecanthropus erectus.

Posted by: chuck8 | February 10, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Marcus and you doofus' will repeat anything negative you hear about Palin. Rachel Madcow got punked when repeated a scam article about Palin on her show. US Weekly Magazine used another fake article about Palin supposedly dissing Christina Aguillera. If you watched the Palin interview, you would see the context in which Palin made the comment about Santorum

How about doing some independent research, libtards? You hear the Palin bell ringing and you all immediately start barking.

Posted by: pgr88 | February 10, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"Knuckle dragging Neanderthal"? Now that's intelligent right- wing commentary. But it's typical of the species.

Posted by: mhr614 | February 10, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"Knuckle dragging Neanderthal"? Now that's intelligent right- wing commentary. But it's typical of the species.

Posted by: mhr614 | February 10, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus,

Please do not insult Neanderthals by comparing them to Rick Santorum.

Posted by: bpai_99 | February 10, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I will not call Palin (TM) the nasty uneducated unqualified money-grubbing bimbo that perhaps others would want to call her.

Posted by: scientist1 | February 10, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Agreed- a total rectum - the worst of the very worst that the GOP has to offer

Posted by: staussfamily | February 10, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Let them fight. Make fools of one another and each other.

Posted by: ged0386 | February 10, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Please, this is unfair to Neanderthals and "knuckle draggers". Plus, acording to the new Anthropology, those of the Eurocentric persuasion, are the products of breeding between Homo Neanderthalis and Homo Sapiens Sapiens and thus a whole lot of folks from European backgrounds are genetically "part Neanderthal".

As for Palin, well for anyone unable to complete even one term as a Governor of a State like Alaska with so few people, well presidential material? Hardly even given the number of intellectual lightweights that have occupied the presidency in the past.

Posted by: jcraven | February 10, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Two morons trying to duel verbally and you need to report it?

Posted by: therev1 | February 10, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Santorum is a horse's ass. Palin barely reads. The GOP meanwhile is very adept at taking money from Wall Street and the Insurance companies who hate average Americans. Sick? tough luck. Eat cake. Marcus is spot on.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | February 10, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I will not call Barack Obama the ungrateful treacherous son that perhaps others would want to call him. I'll let Rev Jeremiah Wright call him that.

Posted by: skponggol | February 10, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

You have a lot of nerve criticizing Santorum. He wouldn't send you to Treblinka like immoral Noral gals.

Posted by: ravitchn | February 10, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

These are the family values of Rick. You take care of the family. He talks about values.

Posted by: baldinho | February 10, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Three of Palin's childrens are adults or almost so. Only two are under the age of 12. When exactly does a woman get to climb out from under the rock and stop being subtly or not so subtly dismissed for being a mother?

Posted by: rb63 | February 10, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

This is just a preview of what will happen when the knives come out in the GOP primary. Santorum is a fool and an ass but other candidates will have to question Palin's bona fides at some point in order to win the nomination. The era of not speaking ill of fellow Republicans is over. Mama Grizzly will slash and claw at any usurper that questions her primacy.

Posted by: Natmeister | February 10, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Think of all the jobs for men Rick could create as President. Just one example is all the jobs currently held by women that don't involve raising the children or cooking the dinner and whatnot.

Posted by: baldinho | February 10, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

What is disturbing in all this is Palin's sudden about face on the issue of Creationism. Her acknowledgement of the existence of the Neanderthal - which is said by paleontologists to have derived from a chimp-like ancestor between five and 10 million years ago - appears to be her first clear endorsement of Darwinism. Palin's conservative credentials are seriously in question. If she wants to regain credibility she should forswear her own knuckle dragging for the next two years, at least for public appearances. What she and Todd do around the house is their own business.

Posted by: Southernwriter | February 10, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think Palin believed in evolution.

Posted by: rbrent516 | February 10, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Ha. I bet Palin sympathizes with Santorum because she's beenon the receiving end of the Dan Savage definition of "santorum" all too many times. It certainly would explain a lot.

Posted by: bucinka8 | February 10, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Palin. Santorum (google it) is a throw-back to the "bare-foot and in the kitchen" days. A woman is the weaker vessel, needs to be subservient to men, and concern herself with the hearth and child raising. In fact, if you search the Bible you find way more support for his position than you will for the idea that homosexuality is a sin.

He's just spreading the Good Word and all good Christians should agree with him and insist that Sister Sarah go home and take care of her kids. I mean, if Sarah gets to decide who "real Americans" based on their religion and values then Mr. "Frothy Mixture" gets to decide on who good and righteous women are.. It's only fair.

Posted by: thebobbob | February 10, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Rick is an oddball and his weird facial expressions reflect his constant mental struggle to sound "normal." Luckily for him, his base has no idea what normal" is, but he's still going to blurt out crazy stuff.

Posted by: BurfordHolly | February 10, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Santorum and palin were made for each other. They lack grace, class, honesty and humility. Palin has sold out her kids for the spotlight and money. Santorum never took care of his kids so his excuse is that he is trying to get a place at the trough like the pig he is.

Posted by: Freethotlib | February 10, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, I think you put the emphasis on the wrong word in the sentence.

It's not "...ALL those kids" it's "...all THOSE kids."

You know, the gay-bashing, Facebook-posting, unwed pregnancy, dancing, on again-off again nude hockey playing baby daddy kids. THOSE kids.

Posted by: arancia12 | February 10, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Santorum's comments do not reflect well on his capability to win over an electorate which is far more egalitarian than it seems he is in terms of women's role in the family.

Mrs. Palin's comments are, I suppose, not as insulting as one may take them to be out of context. However, they are hardly becoming of a dignified statesperson.

Posted by: j762 | February 10, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Santorium dismissed felony child rape by perverted Priests as "homosexual activities" between priests and "post-pubescent men"

He's a cowardly toad that is right at home in the GoP along with Bill Donohue, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by: areyousaying | February 10, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Could it be Palin and Sanitarium went to the same five community colleges together?

Posted by: areyousaying | February 10, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have truly redefined rape.

Posted by: motorfriend | February 10, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

A Palin vs. Santorum pissing contest? Lord, this is even funnier than Beck vs. Kristol.

Posted by: rashomon | February 11, 2011 12:14 AM | Report abuse

to all,

how many more times do i have to remind the LEFTIST/brain-DEAD idiots on "PP" that Sarah Palin is NOT going to be the TEA PARTY candidate for POTUS in 2012 or (i suspect strongly) any other year?

fwiw, the TEA PARTY groups WILL support her for a seat in the Senate from AK (should she choose to run), but nothing more than that.

further, after 4 years of BHO & "the national DIMocRAT leadership", most anyone that the TEA PARTY picks will waltz into the WH on 01/20/13, in the most humiliating landslide for the DIMocRATS/main-SLIME press/"ruling elites" in modern US history.

BHO & the DIMs are FINISHED, as most voters do NOT trust them with our money, our government AND/OR with our LIBERTY.
the DIMs will after 2012 be was irrelevant as the Whigs are.
(today the DIMocRAT party of race-baiters, lunatics, criminals, idiots & kooks has a "solid base" of about 30-35%. = that makes them: LOSERS!)

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | February 11, 2011 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Republicans abscond with Democrat's circular firing squad.

Can't wait for the Jerry mean... Republican... primary to get into full swing. And I do mean swing.

Posted by: plaza04433 | February 11, 2011 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if Santorum is a knuckle dragger or not, after spending 25 yrs in the USN I've met a bunch of them. But he is just about the stupidist politician I've ever heard.

Posted by: MikeM17 | February 11, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, it's kind of like that study that said: if mom works, then the risk of obesity for kids is higher?


Um, why weren't the DADS studied in that also?

Posted by: atlmom1234 | February 11, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Santorum and Palin, wacky and wackier. Just don't ask me which comes first.

Posted by: affable100 | February 11, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Ruth Marcus, another nutsack liberal, can't be too smart. I saw the comment palin made in it's entirty and palin didn't say that!! Duh Much to do about nothing, from the desperate liberals

Posted by: zzapperz | February 11, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Santorum defined:

Posted by: FriendofKeyserSoze | February 11, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Yep, everyone, keep it up. Attack Sara Palin, every single day. Attack her family. Degrade and demonize and ridicule her. Keep it up. She will run for president and she will win. You can't stop it. Get over it.

Posted by: southbaybruce | February 11, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I love it when the cannibalistic Conservatives devour their own.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | February 11, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

In the words of Eric Cartman,"cripple fight"!

Posted by: USblues2 | February 11, 2011 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Re: Neanderthal comment from Palin. It's like a Cro-Magnon calling the Neanderthal prehistoric.

Posted by: joaquinWashingtonPost | February 11, 2011 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I was called a Neanderthal by Palin long before Rick Santorum

Posted by: grassboots | February 12, 2011 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Calling Santorum a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal is an insult to Neanderthals. Calling Sarah Palin a mama grizzly is in insult to grizzlies. They are both bigoted, extremist, sociopaths.

Posted by: bizecology | February 12, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to see that the level of political commentary is still below the first grade level in the Post.

There is no question why America elects the politicians it does.

God help us.

Nyah, Nyah, Nyah,, Your mother wears combat boots.

Posted by: jstratt2 | February 12, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

As a United States Senator, Santorum has repeatedly supported limits on consumers' rights to seek compensation in the courts. In 1994, he sponsored the Comprehensive Family Health Access and Savings Act that would have capped non-economic damages at $250,000. In a 1995 floor speech supporting damages caps, Santorum said, "We have a much too costly legal system. It is one that makes us uncompetitive and inefficient, and one that is not fair to society as a whole. While we may have people, individuals, who hit the jackpot and win the lottery in some cases, that is not exactly what our legal system should be designed to do."

But the same rhetoric does not seem to apply to Santorum. In December 1999 he supported his wife's medical malpractice lawsuit against her chiropractor for $500,000. At trial, the Senator testified that his wife should be compensated for the pain and suffering caused by a botched spine adjustment, claiming that she had to "treat her back gingerly" and could no longer accompany him on the campaign trail. After the verdict, Santorum refused to answer phone calls asking what impact the case had on his views of "tort reform." According to his spokesman Robert Traynham, "Senator Santorum is of the belief that the verdict decided upon by the jury during last week?s court case of his wife is strictly a private matter.

Posted by: saskwatch | February 13, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

And within the week Sarah Palin states that women, specifically mothers, are "more qualified, really, to multitasking and the things you need to do as president than a woman, a mom" than anyone else.

",really" thrown in to emphasize that she actually "really" meant "no one" more so than moms specifically - apparently because of their special familial obligations that provide them with skills sets that fathers lack.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Palin.

Posted by: pgs70 | February 17, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

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