CNN’s Don Lemon Slams Santorum’s Non-Apology For Racist Comments: ‘It Was Horrible’

CNN moderator Don Lemon speaks to the crowd at the Democratic presidential debate at the Fox Theatre on July 31, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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May 4, 2021 7:54 a.m.

CNN anchor Don Lemon raked former GOP senator-turned-CNN contributor Rick Santorum (R-PA) over the coals on Monday night after Santorum refused to apologize for his racist comments downplaying European settlers’ genocide of Native Americans.

“I mean, Rick Santorum, really? Did he actually think it was a good idea for him to come on television and to try to whitewash the whitewash that he whitewashed?” Lemon said during his program shortly after fellow CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s interview with the contributor.

“It was horrible. It was horrible and insulting, and I apologize to the viewers who were insulted by this,” Lemon continued. “I was sitting in my office, furious, because he’s done it so many times. So many times.”

When Cuomo asked Lemon why Santorum didn’t apologize, the anchor pointed out it was on the ex-Republican senator to explain himself.

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“That’s not for me to answer. That’s for him to answer,” Lemon told his colleague.

Earlier in the evening, Santorum went on Cuomo’s show in his first television appearance since he sparked calls for CNN to fire him last week over his claim that white colonizers “birthed a nation” when they came to America and that “candidly there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”

The contributor insisted on Monday night that he was “not trying to dismiss Native Americans” and that he simply “misspoke” when he made those remarks.

“I wasn’t saying any of the things that the social media world was saying that I was saying,” Santorum told Cuomo. “I was simply talking about the founding documents of the United States, not the colonies, but the United States was based on these principles of freedom of conscience, religious liberty and the importance of that as a building block to the American dream.”

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