Fox commentator apologizes for 'hurtful' remark on death of Santorum's son
January 2nd, 2012
08:53 PM ET
2 years ago

Fox commentator apologizes for 'hurtful' remark on death of Santorum's son

(CNN) - Fox News contributor Alan Colmes apologized Monday night for making "hurtful" comments about the events following the 1996 death of Rick Santorum's infant son.

Earlier in the day, Colmes claimed Santorum took the baby home, after living for only two hours, and "played with it for a couple of hours so his other children would know that the child was real."

His apology to the Santorum family followed a barrage of criticism on Twitter for much of the day.

"Just spoke to @ricksantorum. He and Karen graciously accepted my apology for a hurtful comment," Colmes wrote.

But Colmes' comments provoked an emotional response from the Republican presidential candidate and his wife earlier Monday.

Santorum choked up when asked to respond to the comments at a campaign event in Iowa. He described Colmes, who also hosts a show on Fox News Radio, as insensitive and gave a much different picture of the loss.

"We kept little Gabriel with us that night and we brought him home the next day," Santorum said at a campaign stop in Newton, Iowa. "We brought him home so our children could see him."

When asked to respond to the comments, Santorum's wife, Karen, began tearing up and offered to jump in to answer the question. Her daughter walked over to console her.

Santorum went on to tell the story about burying the child the following day, growing emotional as he spoke about the death and talked about Colmes' remarks.

"To some who don't recognize the dignity of all human life, who see it as a blob of tissue that should be discarded and disposed of, this is somehow weird. Recognizing the humanity of your son is somehow weird, somehow odd, and should be subject to ridicule," Santorum said.

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After the event Monday, Karen Santorum chided Colmes for making the comments, saying her son's death should be a private issue, not a campaign issue.

"I think it was very inappropriate of him to do that. I'm sad that he did that," she told CNN. "I pray he will never lose a child. He cannot begin to know the pain and the depth of the loss."

Santorum, who's surged in Iowa polls in the last week, is battling to finish in the top tier in Tuesday's caucuses.

The former senator frequently talks about his seven kids on the campaign trail. Gabriel would have been his fourth oldest child.

Also see:

Gingrich: Romney is lying

Bachmann looks ahead to South Carolina

Gingrich suggests a Tuesday win

Gingrich strives for 'great upset' in Iowa


Filed under: 2012 • Fox News • Iowa • Rick Santorum
soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. Pouncie

    Should have never come up!

    January 3, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. mark o. worrell

    Colmes should be fired. Period. The sick, twisted person in this story is himself. What kind of stupid person would say it, let alone think all is well because he eventually apologized?

    And what has this got to do with a Presidential campaign issue?

    Just obliviously ignorant.

    January 3, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. e

    the man brought a dead infant home to play "Weekend@ Bernie's"-Santorum style and everyone wants the guy who called him out on it to be silenced? HE BROUGHT A DEAD BODY HOME TO PLAY WITH AND HE'S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. get that into your heads.

    January 3, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Joseph Cotten

    What a major jerk! He should be fired, no ifs ands or buts.

    January 3, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. SPA Knight

    @Tim, your comment about Rick Santorum's family values is so misplaced. By your logic and world view, anyone that supports family values cannot possibly run for public office which is exactly why we have moral disintegration in this country to begin with.

    January 3, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. happynurse

    what a crazy story all the way around...wow

    January 3, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. M.K.

    Santorum and his wife are sick, sick, people. They should both be in a sanitarium for the mentally insane. Only ghouls would bring a fetus home after keeping it over night and letting the kids play with it. As for the Santorums claim to be grieving, there are many ways to grieve, but playing with dead fetuses is not a way most folks would classify as being normal. I certainly would not consider voting for a person with a warped mind. What would he do if faced with a world changing crisis? How did he manage to have the status of the fetus changed to a baby? All he is doing is vying for the sympathy votes. It is all right for Limbaugh and Beck and all the other right wing nuts to accuse the Democrats of all kinds of weird things, but is terrible when someone says something about the right. You right wingers should get a life. Coulter should be in love with Santorum, because she is his kind of people.

    January 3, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. ESGolus

    Consider the source. Alan Colmes is employed by Fox as a token "liberal" foil to the overwhelming Fox ideology. He is a straw man, meant to make liberals look bad so that the Fox commentators look better. Nothing that he says is anything but stagecraft. His job is to make nasty "liberal" remarks that conservatives can get indignant about and huff over the moral bankruptcy of the left. Alan Colmes (just like the rest of Fox) is all show. No substance.

    January 3, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Norm

    The Fake liberal working for Fox isn't fooling anyone.
    Fox's plan is call this guy a liberal and have him do something horribly offensive so they can continue call the left evil.
    Come on Rupert....is that all you got?
    This guy has the IQ of a third grader.
    Your tactics are so obvious.
    Maybe not to the dimwits over at Fox...but the rest of the world can see right through it.

    January 3, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. James

    What hospital lets you bring home a dead person? I couldnt even bring my cat home from the vet to bury it.

    January 3, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Brad

    Leave it to Santorum to make this a pro-choice/pro-life thing. Good grief.

    January 3, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Just another day at FOX News

    Move on to the next dumb comment of the day coming from this "news" channel.

    January 3, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Republican who supports President Obama

    As a father I am totally disgusted by the remark. This person should not only be fired but aslo not hired by any other media organization. We should not reward such careless behavior. While I do not support RS I have every respect for the situation he was in and I would never wish something unfortunate like that to be dragged into the media spotlight for a cheapshot.
    This is another reason why FOX News should be disbanded. First off – they mislead people and Second – they do not show any respect. All they care about is bashing.

    Boycott FOX

    January 3, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. TheNewsFix

    Was Mr. Colmes comment factually inaccurate? It doesn't appear so.

    January 3, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Lalalala

    I thought that mishandling the deceased was illegal.

    January 3, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. bilk7

    As odd as the whole situation was, Colmes shouldn't have said it as he did. I also find it odd that one of FOX's token Democrats apologizes for a hurtful comment while most other comments by their other personalities are cheered.

    January 3, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. N&W 1000

    Alan Colmes is a LIBERAL, GASP, on FOX??????
    FOX HAS A LIBERAL commentator?????? GASP!!@!!!!

    Colmes is also a boob. Just look in his beady eyes, you will see it too.

    January 3, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. danny

    just so we are all on the same page here... colmes is an actor, not a democrat. he is on fox's payroll to act like the 'horrible liberal' that they gain ratings and cut murdoch's taxes by fighting. nothing more, nothing less.

    January 3, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. N&W 1000

    Just take one look into Colmes beady eyed face, that weird way he looks, and you will see evil.

    Besides, what is a LIBERAL doing on Fox? What are they, Fair and Balanced???????

    January 3, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. paul

    This "question" ranks right up there with similar questions to their guests on the Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck, Limbaugh, Ingraham and many many others on the Fox station. The question should not have been asked AND it should not have been responded to. "Please respect the personal grieving of my family on this issue" would have ended the question.

    January 3, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. sal

    This issue speaks volumes to where our country is and how it got there. No matter what your views the media simply can't be left to character assasinate anyone, anytime they choose. What happened to civil discourse in our country? What happened to being professional in the media? I mean, the loss of a child is NOT off limits? What in the world are we coming to?

    January 3, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. kat

    Colmes is an idiot anyway. I don't know why Fox still has him on the air, it certainly isn't because of his looks.

    January 3, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Stuey

    What dignity? To take a dead infant home so that the other siblings can see that it is real is sick...Period. Of course this is nothing but a set up from FOX. To criticize Colmes and pretend that what Santorum did was perfectly normal is absurd.

    January 3, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. GBfromOhio

    Colmes should have worded it more tactfully. Santorum is a complete flake that has no business being in a position to affect public policy.

    January 3, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. lucky me

    alan colmes is not a libral in the sense that you will find on any other station. he is on fox to show unbiased. in my humble opinion. I can't see fox actually paying a dem for anything

    January 3, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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