CNN dropped Rick Santorum as a political commentator following an outcry over remarks about Native American culture by the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.
Alison Rudnick, a spokeswoman for CNN, said Saturday the network had “parted ways” with Santorum, without providing additional details.
Santorum, a Republican presidential candidate in 2016, came under fire after a speech in April before the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative organization. He said immigrants to the U.S. created a Judeo-Christian culture from “a blank slate.”
“We birthed a nation from nothing,” he said. “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.”
Santorum, 63, later told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he “misspoke” and that he wasn’t trying to dismiss Native Americans.
“The way we treated Native Americans was horrific,” he said. “I was simply talking about the founding documents of the United States, not the Colonies.”
The National Congress of American Indians in April called for Santorum’s dismissal by CNN, saying in a statement that “any mainstream media organization should fire him or face a boycott from more than 500 Tribal Nations and our allies.”
Santorum in recent years has appeared regularly as a panelist on the CNN Sunday-morning talk show, “State of the Union.”
AT&T Inc., which owns CNN parent company WarnerMedia, has agreed to spin off its media assets and merge them with Discovery Inc.
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