- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 22, 2021

CNN has ditched Rick Santorum following weeks of calls for the network to fire him from his senior political commentator role over remarks the former Republican senator made about Native Americans.

Reached by The Washington Times, CNN confirmed Saturday that it recently terminated Mr. Santorum‘s contract. The politician-turned-pundit did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Santorum, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and 2016, has faced calls for his firing ever since he spoke dismissively of Native American culture last month.

“We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here,” Mr. Santorum, 63, said during a Young America’s Foundation event on April 23.

“I mean, yes, we have Native Americans, but candidly, there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture,” Mr. Santorum told attendees.



Native American activists and other advocates urged CNN to cut ties with Mr. Santorum in the weeks after the event as video of the remarks spread online.

News of the split between CNN and Mr. Santorum was first reported Saturday by the Huffington Post.

Mr. Santorum joined CNN in early 2017 and spent over four years with the cable news channel before they recently parted ways. He previously served two terms as senator for Pennsylvania from 1995-2007.

CNN did not give The Times a reason for cutting ties with Mr. Santorum. The Huffington Post quoted an unnamed executive who said the decision was made after Mr. Santorum went on-air to try to explain his remarks.

Mr. Santorum said during that appearance on “Cuomo Prime Time” that he “misspoke” and that his comments were “out of context,” but the segment ended without him ever apologizing, HuffPo noted.

“Leadership wasn’t particularly satisfied with that appearance. None of the anchors wanted to book him,” said the unnamed executive, according to HuffPo. “So he was essentially benched anyway.”

Indeed, some at CNN rejoiced in news of it splitting with Mr. Santorum as it circulated on social media later Saturday.

Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, a CNN political contributor and Never Trump Republican, said on Twitter that news of Mr. Santorum no longer being a colleague was “the best thing I’ve seen all day.”

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