CNN cut ties with former Republican senator and current TV analyst Rick Santorum.
Santorum, who played the part of CNN’s punching bag as one of the few GOP personalities, made disparaging comments about Native American culture according to the network.[Sponsored] Urgent: Common prescription drug now linked to Alzheimer’s?
He sparked controversy in an April 23 speech before the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth organization. Santorum said immigrants created a nation based on the Judeo-Christian ethic from a blank slate.
“We birthed a nation from nothing,” he said. “Yes, there were Native Americans, but there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”
The comment prompted Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians, to call him “an unhinged and embarrassing racist who disgraces CNN and any other media company that provides him a platform.”
Sharp called on CNN to fire Santorum or potentially face a boycott from more than 500 tribal nations and its allies worldwide.
His parting ways with the network was confirmed Saturday by Alison Rudnick, vice president of HLN Communications and CNN Diversity and Inclusion.
Santorum later said on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show that he “misspoke” in the sense that it wasn’t clear that he was speaking in the context of the founding of the United States government.
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“People say I’m trying to dismiss what happened to the Native Americans,” he said. “Far from it. The way we treated Native Americans was horrific. It goes against every bone and everything I’ve ever fought for as a leader in the Congress.”
Santorum’s comments have garnered liberal anger before, especially his views on gay marriage and homosexuality. In 2003, he infuriated gay rights advocates by appearing to compare homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality.
The Associated Press contributed to this article