Santorum: Sorry For CPR Remark, But I Condemn ‘Both Sides’ For Reaction To Protests

AP

After suggesting this weekend that students organizing for gun control should learn CPR instead of asking “someone else to solve their problem,” former Sen. Rick Santorum apologized on Wednesday. But he did not back down from his larger point.

Santorum maintained his suggestion that instead of advocating for gun control measures, the students should be focused on starting local mentoring and anti-bullying programs in their schools and communities. The students he was referencing were the survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month who have been pushing for gun law reform since the shooting, in which 17 people were killed.

“The fact of the matter is I did misspeak in using the term CPR,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday. “I certainly respect their right to protest … Obviously that was not the intention, nor has it been my suggestion throughout the course (of) these shootings. What I talked about are broader things, like mentoring, like fatherhood programs. … things that can unify us.”

He said he condemned the actions of some on the far right who have tried to paint the student protesters as actors or as attempting to repeal the Second Amendment, but claimed there were “politics and hypocrisy on both sides of this debate.”

“In the strongest possible terms, I condemn both sides,” he said, before Cuomo interrupted, saying he sounded “like Trump after Charlottesville.” President Donald Trump blamed both the white supremacists and the counter protesters for the violence that erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year, that ended with one women dead.

Look you can’t get up there and say that many on the left have not been demonizing as mindless shills of the NRA,” Santorum said. “It’s happening on both sides, come on, don’t do this Charlottesville stuff on me.”

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