Rick Santorum credits CNN for keeping him as long as they did 'in spite of some of the things I said'

·2 min read

Former Republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared Monday on Hannity where he spoke about being fired from CNN late last week for disparaging remarks he made about Native Americans while delivering a speech in April. Santorum, who began at CNN as a political commentator in January 2017, said that “there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.” But Santorum did not take a combative stance against CNN. In fact, he gave the network credit.

“I was at CNN for four and a half years, and, you know, literally from the time I started, there were groups out there calling for me to be fired,” Santorum said. “So in some respects, I give CNN credit for holding on four-and-a-half years in spite of some of the things I said defending President Trump and saying other things about what conservatives believe, and they gave me the opportunity to say it.”

Santorum has repeatedly claimed to have misspoken during the speech, including in an interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN that quickly went off the rails. On Hannity, Santorum once again sought to clarify his comments.

“It's a little disappointing because, as you mentioned, what I said was not at all disparaging toward Native Americans,” Santorum said. “What I was talking about is the founding of the United States of America, and that Native Americans did not have a role in the founding of our country.”

Despite Republican Rep. Liz Cheney being voted out of her leadership role for refusing to go along with former President Trump’s claims that the election was stolen and blaming him for the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, and multiple Republican lawmakers being censured by their own party for voting to impeach the former president, Santorum pointed the finger at “the left” for its cancel culture, which he blamed for his firing.

“I think it does show that the left is intolerant,” Santorum said. “They are worried, I'm sure, that their viewership, which is very left, was — 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.”

But despite why he believes he was fired, Santorum does not hold it against CNN.

“By the way, CNN has a right to fire me,” Santorum said. “If they don't like what I'm saying or what I’m doing, they have a right to fire me. I have no animus at all toward CNN. Like I said, I appreciate the opportunity that they gave me.”

Hannity airs weeknights at 9 p.m. on Fox News Channel.

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