Rick Santorum speaks on ‘disappointing’ CNN firing: ‘I have no animus’

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‘I did misspeak’: Santorum backpedals on CPR comment

Former Republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum does not hold a grudge toward CNN after the network fired him as a contributor last week over remarks he made about Native Americans.

“CNN has the right to fire me,” Santorum told Fox News’ “Hannity” Monday night. “If they don’t like what I’m saying or what I’m doing, they have the right to fire me. I have no animus at all toward CNN.”

Santorum, who had been at CNN since 2017, was heavily criticized after telling a Young America’s Foundation event last month that the Founding Fathers “birthed a nation from nothing.”

“I mean, there was nothing here,” Santorum said at the time. “I mean, yes, we have Native Americans, but candidly, there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”

Santorum claimed that he misspoke and meant to refer to the American founding rather than “American culture.”

“It’s a little disappointing because … what I said was not at all disparaging toward Native Americans,” he told host Sean Hannity.

“I was giving a talk to a group of young people, talking about the founding principles of religious liberty and how important it was to the immigrants who came here to found this country, and that that was an important value that was imbued in our Constitution,” he said.

Santorum added that while he was grateful to CNN for “holding on [to me for] four-and-a-half years in spite of some of the things I said defending [former] President [Donald] Trump”, he thought the network ultimately caved to “cancel culture” by firing him.

“I think it does show that the left is intolerant,” Santorum said. “They’re worried, I’m sure, that their viewership, which is obviously very left, [that] they were going to pay a price. And the intolerance of the left is really the issue here, and the cancel culture that is flowing from it. And I hear from a lot of liberals — in fact many CNN contributors who talked to me afterwards — who were very, very concerned about the cancel culture that’s now hitting them at CNN.”

Santorum also insisted that he “told the truth” in his remarks.

“You’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re not entitled to the facts,” he said, “and that’s where I think we’ve gotten off-kilter here a little bit in America.”

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