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Santorum: 'There Was Nothing Here' When Settlers Arrived

'There isn't much Native American culture in American culture'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2021 2:56 PM CDT

(Newser) – Native Americans aren't the only people angry at Rick Santorum over remarks belittling their contribution to American culture—and their very existence before the arrival of European settlers. The former Republican senator told a conservative youth group Friday that in contrast to countries like Italy or China, American culture had started with a "blank slate." "We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here," he told the Young America's Foundation group, per Business Insider. "I mean, yes we have Native Americans but candidly there isn't much Native American culture in American culture." America, he said, is unique because it was "born of the people who came here pursuing religious liberty to practice their faith."

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Critics denounced Santorum's comments and urged CNN to fire him from his role as a senior political commentator, reports the Hill. Santorum's critics included fellow conservative Meghan McCain, Deadline reports. "You should really educate yourself Rick—go visit the incredible Navajo nation in Arizona," the View co-host tweeted. "You also owe every Native American in this country a sincere apology for this garbage." There has been no comment yet from CNN or from Santorum's Patriot Voices organization. (Read more Rick Santorum stories.)

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