Here’s Some Of The Other Hateful Trash Santorum Has Peddled Since Joining CNN

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April 27, 2021 3:51 p.m.

Former Republican Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, having lost his second presidential bid in 2016, joined CNN as a senior political commentator in early 2017. Now CNN is being slammed with calls to fire Santorum for whitewashing the genocide of Native Americans during a speech at a conservative event last week.

The network has yet to respond to the blowback.

But before Santorum was claiming European colonizers built America out of “nothing” and that Native Americans haven’t contributed anything to American culture, he offered plenty of awful (and fact-free) takes on race, school shootings and victims of sexual assault:

Claimed Muslims Are Responsible For ‘A Lot’ Of Anti-Semitism And Are Trying To ‘Stifle Opposition Voices’

Santorum’s response to the wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the country and the vandalization of dozens of Jewish tombstones in February 2017 was to accuse Muslims of anti-Semitism, even though there was no evidence that Muslims were responsible for those incidents.

“If you look at the fact of the people who are responsible for a lot of this anti-Semitism that we’re seeing, a lot of it is coming from the pro-Palestinian, or Muslim community,” he told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.

Santorum also wrung his hands over what he claimed to be “the role that Muslims are playing on college campuses to stifle opposition voices.”

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Criticized Students Protesting Gun Violence

Arguably one of Santorum’s most egregious moments as a commentator was when he went after student protesters, including school shooting victims, who were demanding that lawmakers implement gun control after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.

“How about kids, instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that — where there is a violent shooter and actually respond to that,” said Santorum, who raked in $115,942 from the National Rifle Association (NRA) during his 16 years in Congress, according to Politico.

He Told Van Jones His Son Is More Likely To Get Shot ‘In A Neighborhood’

When fellow CNN contributor Van Jones talked about how Black Americans like himself and his family were hurting in wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer, Santorum offered an astonishingly racist take on where Black people’s fears “really should be.”

“The reality is that your son has, unfortunately, a better chance of being shot by someone in a neighborhood, in a criminal event, than he does by a police officer. And it’s not even close,” he told Jones.

Accused Christine Blasey Ford Of Only Coming Forward With Sexual Assault Allegation To Tank Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

Santorum boosted conservatives’ smear campaign against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when she alleged in 2018 that Trump’s then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were teens.

The CNN contributor accused Blasey Ford of “complicity” with Democrats and baselessly claimed that she “obviously came forward because she wanted to have an impact on” Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“You don’t share this unless you’re trying to influence the political process. You don’t come forward unless you’re doing so because you want to influence this process,” Santorum said, exemplifying the reason many victims of sexual violence don’t come forward: Fear that powerful people like Santorum will drag their names through the mud and accuse them of having ulterior motives.

Claimed Obama Exacerbated Racism

During a roundtable discussion with CNN anchor Dana Bash in 2018, Santorum tried to blame former President Barack Obama for the rise of Trump-era racism that led to the deadly Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally.

“What is being ignored here is the role that Barack Obama played into all this,” he said.

Santorum claimed that “many, many, many people saw” Obama “doing more to exacerbate racism in this country,” and falsely argued that the former president sided against the police “[e]very time there was a controversy where someone of color was involved.”

In fact, Obama was often supportive of police throughout his presidency — he cut his trip to a NATO Summit in Europe short to fly to Dallas and give a memorial speech in honor of the five police officers who were killed by a sniper in 2016. He notably did not make similar trips to Minneapolis and Baton Rouge after the police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling that year.

Defended Trump’s Racist Smearing Of Dreamers As Criminals And Gang Members

During CNN’s panel on Trump’s State of the Union address in 2018, Santorum defended Trump’s racist characterization of “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.

“Some Dreamers are gang members,” the Republican said before mocking the idea of calling them “Dreamers” in the first place.

“First off, the idea that all Dreamers are, quote ‘Dreamers,’ is ridiculous,” he said. “There are Dreamers who are not dreamers. There are Dreamers who are not doing well. There are Dreamers who are criminals.”

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