Former Alaska Governor 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.

"Just because I'm a mom that does not mean that I didn't want to be there," Palin told Fox News. "…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."

via Palin calls potential rival ‘Neanderthal’ – CNN Political Ticker - Blogs.

Update:  Santorum says he and Palin have spoken privately about this issue and things are "fine" between them.