Rick Santorum-Sarah Palin Truce? Santorum Blames ‘Shoddy Journalism’ On Spat

ABC News’ Michael Falcone and Gregory Simmons report:

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum seemed to be heading toward a truce with Sarah Palin on Thursday, once again saying that “shoddy journalism” was to blame for the escalating tensions between the two potential presidential candidates this week.

Palin and Santorum traded barbs over the past few days. At issue was Palin’s decision not to attend this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference -- a choice that Santorum seemed to blame on Palin’s desire to get paid for her speaking engagements.

“They took things I said out of context and, in fact, not just out of context but they implied things that I meant when clearly I didn’t,” Santorum told ABC News in an exclusive interview at the conference. “I think it’s shoddy journalism no one called me on it, no one asked me what I meant and to my knowledge they didn’t ask the interviewer about it.”

Palin, who declined a chance to deliver the closing-night keynote speech at the convention, responded to Santorum in an Fox News interview Wednesday night.

“I will not call him the knuckle dragging Neanderthal that perhaps others would want to call him,” Palin said of Santorum, “I’ll let his wife call him that instead.”

Santorum said he wasn’t ready to make any decisions about a presidential run just yet, indicating that it could be weeks or even months before he makes up his mind. But he

“I think you’re going to see my history in the U.S. Senate on a lot of issues and contrast that very favorable,” Santorum told ABC when asked to compare himself to other candidates. “I don’t think anybody who is thinking about running for president --as I am -- has that kind of experience.”

As is his custom, Santorum did not shy away from social issues at the conference, calling America “a great moral enterprise.”

Social issues, he said, “are the issues that matter, those are the issues that bind us together and those are the issues we cannot retreat on.”

During his speech at the conference Santorum criticized the Obama administration for its social welfare policies.

“We have a country that doesn’t allow failure, that gives people 99 weeks of unemployment,” Santorum said. “I know it sounds tough, but my grandfather didn’t come to this country because we have 99 weeks of unemployment benefits -- and he came here at a tough time.”

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