Sarah Palin appeared last night on Sean Hannity's TV show, where she was asked about Rick Santorum's comments that she was not going to CPAC for the reasons of financial opportunities and the responsibilities of motherhood. And while she almost let the whole thing go, she didn't hold back from tweaking her potential rival for the Republican presidential nomination.

Earlier this week, Santorum speculated about the reasons for Palin's absence from CPAC. "I have a feeling she has some demands on her time, and a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them," he said. "So I'm sure that she's doing what's best for her and her family."

What's more, he added, that unlike himself, she lives all the way in Alaska — and is "the mother to all these kids." As Mediaite and others have pointed out, the strong social conservative Santorum is a father of seven children, two more than Palin's five.

Hannity reviewed part of Santorum's comments — at first omitting the section about Palin being the mother of all those children.

"Okay, that's the first that I have actually heard what he had to say. And yeah, I think the reports were much worse than what he really said," said Palin. "I think some things maybe were maybe taken out of context. So 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 instead.

"But no, you know, I think that maybe he is 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's that big of a darn deal not to be there this time."

Hannity, however, did not let the opportunity to light some fireworks just pass him by, and returned to the topic a short while later.

"But back to the Rick Santorum's comments. I mean, it was pretty specific," said Hannity. "He said financial benefit and, quote, 'she's the mother of all those kids.' I think it was Mediaite that pointed out that, you know, he has seven kids himself."

Palin's eyes shot up for a second, when Hannity read that line.

"Whoa," she said. "I didn't know that he had said that about — 'cause 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, it's 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."


Sarah Palin Slams 'Knuckle-Dragging Neanderthal' Rick Santorum Republished with permission from TalkingPointsMemo.com. Authored by Eric Kleefield. TPM provides breaking news, investigative reporting and smart analysis of politics.