Rick Santorum claims he ‘misspoke’ after saying ‘there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture’

cnn chris cuomo rick santorum

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Former Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Rick Santorum in an interview on Monday walked back widely-criticized comments he made last month about Native American culture in the United States.

“We birthed a nation from nothing,” Santorum said on April 23. “I mean, there was nothing here. I mean, yes, we have Native Americans but candidly there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”

CNN host Chris Cuomo gave Santorum the floor to explain himself during a segment of “Cuomo Prime Time.”

“This seemed like you were trying to erase diversity in the interest of some white Christian right,” Cuomo told Santorum.

“I misspoke,” said Santorum, a political commentator for CNN. “What I was talking about is, as you can see from the run-up, I was talking about the founding of our country. I had given a long talk about the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the ideas behind those, and that I was saying we sort of created that anew, if you will.”

He went on to say: “I was not trying to dismiss Native Americans. In fact, I mentioned them because yes, they were here, and they did have an impact, in fact, in this country … I misspoke in this respect — I was talking about the founding and the principles embodied in the founding.”

“I wanted to give you a chance to explain yourself, because that’s what this show is about.”

Tonight @ChrisCuomo asked Rick Santorum about Santorum’s widely-condemned comments on Native American culture – here’s the entire clip pic.twitter.com/yXZeIsGnpd

— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 4, 2021

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Santorum made the controversial remarks during a speech at a conservative youth organization, and critics accused him of overlooking the role of Native Americans in the US and downplaying the atrocities committed against them. 

On Monday, Santorum tried to distance himself from his previous statements and told Cuomo that “the way we treated Native Americans was horrific.”

Cuomo confronted Santorum over his comments, telling him: “You’re like me. You’re a mutt, who came here a couple of generations ago, Rick. You ain’t no pilgrim, OK?”

“Yep,” Santorum replied.

Shortly after the interview, CNN anchor Don Lemon said he was “furious” with Santorum’s explanation.

“I cannot believe the first words out of his mouth weren’t: ‘I’m sorry, I said something ignorant,'” Lemon said. “Did he actually think it was a good idea for him to come on television and try to whitewash the whitewash that he whitewashed? It was horrible.”

“It was so egregious and insulting,” he added.

Don Lemon tears into Rick Santorum for not apologizing for his Native American remarks on CNN tonight.

“Did he actually think it is a good idea for him to come on television to whitewash the whitewash that he whitewashed? It was horrible! It was horrible and insulting!” pic.twitter.com/vLndQKE66A

— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 4, 2021

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Source:: Businessinsider – Politics

      

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