CNN severs ties with Santorum following comments about Native Americans

CNN severed its contract with senior political commentator Rick Santorum this week after comments he made about Native Americans and the influence of the Indigenous people's culture on the U.S.

The comments from the former Republican senator sparked outrage last month when he spoke about the history of the United States. 

"We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here," Santorum said at a Young America’s Foundation event. “I mean, yes, we have Native Americans, but, candidly, there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”

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A CNN senior executive first told HuffPost on Saturday that Santorum’s contract with CNN was quietly ended after the comments. The CNN executive spoke on the condition of anonymity, according to the news outlet. 

In a statement to The Hill, a spokesperson for CNN confirmed that the network and Santorum have "parted ways." 

“Leadership wasn’t particularly satisfied with that appearance. None of the anchors wanted to book him,” the CNN executive told HuffPost. “So he was essentially benched anyway.”

“I think after that appearance, it was pretty clear we couldn’t use him again,” the executive added.

Following the remarks, Santorum told CNN host Chris CuomoChris CuomoCNN's Cuomo tells restaurant owner: 'You sound like an idiot' for denying service to vaccinated customers Budowsky: How Biden can defeat COVID-19 for good Matt Schlapp spars with Chris Cuomo: 'I'm not welcome at CNN' MORE that the remarks were taken “out of context” and that he “misspoke”

However, some civil rights and Native American advocacy groups rebuked the former GOP presidential candidate. 

“Rick Santorum is an unhinged and embarrassing racist who disgraces CNN and any other media company that provides him a platform,” Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians, said at the time.