CNN: News Cabler Drops Rick Santorum After Comments on Native Americans

CNN Drops Rick Santorum After Comments on Native Americans

The former Republican senator had come under heavy criticism after he made several comments about Native Americans in late April at the Fight for Religious Freedom seminar.

 

CNN has dropped senior political commentator Rick Santorum.

A network spokesperson did not offer any specifics on the contract termination other than the split was official. Santorum, whose title at CNN was senior political commentator and who has been on the cabler’s payroll as a political contributor since 2017, had been a guest and analyst throughout the presidential campaign and 2020 general election.

The former Republican senator had come under heavy criticism after he made several controversial comments about Native Americans in late April at the Fight for Religious Freedom seminar, where he said pilgrims created a “blank slate” from “nothing.”

Santorum told the crowd, “We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here. I mean, yes, we have Native Americans but candidly there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture. It was born of the people who came here, pursuing religious liberty.”

Santorum faced massive backlash over the statements, including from Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians. “Rick Santorum is an unhinged and embarrassing racist who disgraces CNN and any other media company that provides him a platform,” Sharp said.  “Televising someone with his views on Native American genocide is fundamentally no different than putting an outright Nazi on television to justify the Holocaust.”

On May 4, Santorum appeared on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show and walked back his remarks, saying “I misspoke” and “I was not trying to dismiss Native Americans.”

He added, “They have a huge impact, particularly in the West and many other areas of the country, where they have a huge impact on American culture. I was talking about — and I misspoke in this respect — I was talking about the founding and the principles embodied in the founding. The way we treated Native Americans was horrific.”

The Native American Journalists Association cautioned Native American and Alaska Native reporters from working with, or applying to jobs, at CNN after the comments.