It was sparked by an attack by liberal commenter Alan Colmes on Fox. Details:
During the question and answer portion of Rick Santorum’s second to last campaign event of the day, a voter brought up a painful memory from the former Pennsylvania senator’s past.
At a Pizza Ranch restaurant in Newton, Iowa, a member of the audience asked Santorum to react to a controversial attack leveled by liberal Fox News contributor Alan Colmes, who called the Santorum family’s approach to grieving for their dead baby boy, who lived for only two hours after his birth in 1996, “crazy.”
In a Fox News interview on Monday, Colmes characterized Santorum’s decision to bring the deceased child home an example of “some of the crazy things he’s said and done.”
But in Iowa this afternoon, Santorum explained that it was important for his other children to “know they had a brother.”
Santorum’s wife, Karen, who was at the event and listened to her husband talk about the experience, began to weep.
“It’s just so inappropriate,” she said as tears streamed from her eyes.
Earlier on Monday, Colmes criticized Santorum’s handling of the death of the child, Gabriel Michael Santorum.
“Get a load of some of the crazy things he’s said and done, like taking his two-hour-old baby when it died right after child birth home and played with it so that his other children would know that the child was real,” the liberal pundit said in a Fox News interview.
CNN had more details of the exchange with the voter:
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.
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.”
Colmes later apologized:
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.