• This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 9, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: So why is former governor Sarah Palin skipping this year's CPAC? Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum was asked that question. And well, his answer has ignited the media. Take a look.

    (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

    S.E. CUPP: What about Sarah Palin turning down the keynote? What do you think happened there or...

    RICK SANTORUM, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR: I -- I don't know. You know, I have a feeling she has some demands on her time.

    CUPP: Right.

    SANTORUM: And a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them. So I'm sure that she's doing what's best for her and her family.

    CUPP: You wouldn't have turned it down?

    SANTORUM: Well, no, I wouldn't have turned it down. But you know, I don't live in Alaska.

    CUPP: Right. Right.

    SANTORUM: Right

    CUPP: Right.

    SANTORUM: And I -- you know, and I'm not the mother to all these kids and I don't have other responsibilities like she has and other opportunities that she has to -- for, like I said, other business opportunities that may be in conflict with what she was asked to do.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    VAN SUSTEREN: Governor Palin responded on "Hannity" tonight.

    (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

    SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: That's the first that I have actually heard what he had to say. And yes, I think the reports were much worse than what he really said. I think some things maybe were taken out of context, so I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal that perhaps (INAUDIBLE) 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 mom, that does not mean that I didn't want to be there.

    (END VIDEOTAPE)

    VAN SUSTEREN: Former senator Rick Santorum joins us. Nice to see you, Senator.

    SANTORUM: Hello.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Article in Politico has certainly stirred up everybody. Let me just ask you -- the first line of this article in Politico says, "Rick Santorum, knocked Sarah Palin's decision to skip CPAC." Were you knocking the governor?

    SANTORUM: No. No. First off, she's right. I didn't know why she didn't -- I mean, I had no idea why she didn't, and I said it right there. I said, I don't know. I like Sarah Palin. My wife and I both like Sarah Palin. We talk about it all the time. We think she's a great spokesperson not just for the causes we believe in. But we share something in common. We both have children with disabilities, with trisomy disorder, and we have a tremendous amount of respect for her and what she does for her family.

    And that's what I said. I said, Number one, I don't know. Number two, I'm sure she's going to make the decision what's best for her and her family. And I'm sure she has obligations both business and family that could keep us (ph). And I would say that -- and I said, you know, She lives in Alaska. If -- if CPAC were in Anchorage, I wouldn't go. I mean, I -- I have responsibilities, too.

    I didn't make that clear, in that -- in that interview. But you know, I changed three diapers today. I mean, I have -- I have -- I have real responsibilities. I have a big family, bigger family than she does, and I understand...

    VAN SUSTEREN: So you weren't knocking her covertly, saying...

    (CROSSTALK)

    SANTORUM: I don't do things because of family obligations. I work my schedule around, you know -- you know, concerts and birthdays and all the other things that you have to do, you know, Little League baseball games. So I'm just saying she's busy. She has business obligations. She has family obligations. It's halfway around the country. And there's really nothing more to it than that. I mean, they said some -- they took some things...

    (CROSSTALK)

    SANTORUM: ... took some liberties with some of the things I said.

    VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell you what bothers me. And this is -- this is not -- this has really nothing to do so much with you and Governor Palin, but it really has to do with the state of journalism. Let me read you one of the sentences...

    SANTORUM: Can I interject here? They never called me about this story. I mean, they were -- they saw this thing. They write this story. They never called and said, Do you have a comment on it? Is this what you meant? They just ran the story, and then did this.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, here (INAUDIBLE) "Santorum" -- that's you -- "added that Palin has, quote, `other business opportunities,' implying her paid speeches were the former Alaska governor's priority." "Implying" was the -- was the -- was the writer's -- it could have called -- were you -- number one, were you implying? Number two, is that should journalists be reporting the facts, or should they...

    SANTORUM: Well, you'd think...

    VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, I -- I -- I have a problem (INAUDIBLE)

    SANTORUM: ... you should check the story out.

    (CROSSTALK)

    SANTORUM: Could they -- could they have -- I mean, this is a news story. Could they have said, Is that what you meant? And I would have said no, that we know that -- I know because she does -- we've watched -- I think we've watched every episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska." We enjoy it. We like to watch with the family. I know she has obligations to do other things outside of the work here that she does at Fox. And I just assumed that...

    VAN SUSTEREN: (INAUDIBLE) tough world, isn't it?

    SANTORUM: Yes, I mean, I just assumed that she was busy. That's all. I mean, and that's what I said. I said, I assume she has other things to do.