Alan Colmes remarks about Rick Santorum’s child; Santorum’s remarks about marriage

I watched a segment on Hannity’s show tonight (between plays) and candidate Rick Santorum was on. He explained the death of his newborn child, which became a point of – I am not making this up – mockery from liberal pundit Alan Colmes.

Karen & Rick Santorum had a baby who lived for only a couple hours. Karen, who had been a neo-natal intensive care nurse, and Rick kept the baby with them and brought their deceased child home so that their other children could know they had another sibling and so that they could all say goodbye. Then they had a proper and dignified burial. In other words, they treated their dead child with dignity as a human being and member of a family.

This is what Colmes said in a segment on Fox News in a box across from Rich Lowry.

[The embedded video was causing some problems for the page. Click HERE.]

Later, Alan Colmes called Santorum and apologized.

Apology accepted by Santorum.

Nevertheless, Colmes remarks reveal the attitude of his sort of liberal about pregnancy, birth, babies, children, (natural) sexuality, family over and opposed to the beliefs, thoughts, even feelings of those who defend the dignity of human life.

Meanwhile, I picked this up from my friend Fr. John Boyle’s blog, Caritas in Veritate. Aside from the fact that Rick Santorum is a candidate, he has great comments about marriage in this video clip. I wasn’t going to post this until after the Iowa Caucuses but, in light of the other news today about Santorum’s family, this video clip reveals something about what men ought to think about families.

It is helpful to see these videos back to back.

Have a look. You can see why a liberal such as Alan Colmes would ridicule Rick Santorum and try to label him as an extremist.

[The embedded video was causing some problems for the page. Click HERE.]

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Centristian says:

    The thing that I find most galling about the whole exchange is the way Alan Colmes actually has the nerve to become indignant over the fact that the other guy (sorry, I’ve misplaced his name) called him on the inappropriateness of his remark. “I’m sorry, you’re right; that was beyond the pale and I shouldn’t have mentioned that,” would have been the right response, not, “I didn’t interrupt you…I didn’t interrupt you…are you gonna let me speak? Let me know when you want to include me in this segment.”

  2. Pater OSB says:

    Lord, have mercy on us all! I think that is one of the most foul things I’ve seen or heard – and Colmes on and on trying to defend his attitudes and words!? At least he apologized, but this seems to be the constant ‘lib’ m.o. – say something about a conservative in such a way as to smear the, whether the statement be true or false… and do all of this publicly, then [perhaps] apologize privately behind the scenes. If ‘libs’ were truly for justice as they claim to be, they would realize that such a public rant warrants, by justice, a public apology and admission of fault.

  3. Pingback: Alan Colmes remarks about Rick Santorum’s child; Santorum’s remarks about marriage | Fr. Z’s Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say? | The Average Catholic

  4. Navy Jeff says:

    Woof. Colmes sure comes off as a jerk in that video. Wow.
    There are some things I like about Santorum, but I think his rise has to do more with him being a flavor of the week than any real policy strengths. I like his pro-life stances, but I strongly dislike his contempt for Iran and his big government spending record. Plus, he seems to have no problem growing our government’s power, which is a big issue considering the NDAA that was just passed.
    The guy is GW Bush redux, which may make for a decent man, but not who I want for president. For the record, I want Ron Paul. :-)

  5. NoTambourines says:

    I’ve noticed that the most vicious, most personal, mean-spirited venom I’ve seen spewed, “liked” and “shared” over politics among my Facebook “friends” (usually colleagues and co-workers) comes from left of center.

    You know, the people who take such pride in their tolerance (of the things they like and agree with). This is par for the course.

    So many substantive social issues to discuss, and Colmes goes after how the Santorums grieved over the loss of a child. Colmes tried to be cute, and it backfired terribly. I’m glad Lowry pounced.

  6. SemiSpook says:

    Ah, yes. The “Gabriel Incident”. I remember being told about this by the brother of Lara Jakes Jordan, the AP reporter that had written a hit piece about this back in 2003. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that Ms. Jordan’s brother is openly and unrepentantly homosexual, and also happens to be a middle school teacher. Now, I won’t into further details or sully this blog further with any more background (sorry for that, Father Z), but what I can tell you from that conversation was that Mrs. Jordan’s brother looked at me like I had grown a third head when I said that I admired Senator Santorum, especially with regards to his Catholic faith (though the PA connection doesn’t hurt, either).

    I agree with your assessment that the situation the Santorum family went through was tragic, and it was handled with dignity and respect, especially because the family was able to say goodbye to Gabriel. The parents of my godchild went through a similar situation many years ago, and while this situation was during their first pregnancy, they still commemorate the child’s birth every year. The father told me there may not have been much of anything, even at that point, but it was unmistakably a child. It’s heartbreaking, but it happens, as much as those of us looking forward to meeting the new ones hate to admit it.

  7. Kerry says:

    Don’t these people ever weary of being cynical about everything?

  8. Legisperitus says:

    Wow, I guess Colmes doesn’t even think a wanted child born alive should be thought of as a human being if it has only hours to live. That says quite a lot about him.

  9. sullibe says:

    I am flabbergasted with Colmes; that is simply shameful.
    And at the same time I am heartwarmed with Santorum’s discussion on Marriage in the second video. I JUST wrote a blog post myself on that exact topic. I’ve got goosebumps. I’m finally beginning to feel better about this year’s political landscape.

  10. trad catholic mom says:

    A new low for Colmes. I’m disgusted by his comments.

    I’ve supported Santorum for awhile now and I’m looking forward to tomorrows caucus.

  11. avecrux says:

    Alan Colmes is just completely out of touch with what normalcy is…
    Parents and children need to grieve the loss of a child in a family. Any woman who has had a miscarriage, stillbirth or other tragic outcome to a pregnancy (as with the Santorums – death soon after birth) is encouraged to grieve in these very healthy and normal ways.
    Colmes is really, shockingly out of touch with what is considered normal today. I hope this video gets very wide airplay. I think it will play very favorably in Santorum’s favor.

  12. cgriffin says:

    Santorum is awesome. The second half of his clip that Fr. Z posted is right on point. This guy gets it and he “walks the walk.” Imagine him in the White House. Wow!

  13. frjim4321 says:

    I think Colmes was right to apologize. He did go over the line. I imagine all the years of being with Hannity left him a bit calloused. Generally speaking I think Colmes is on target most of the time, but he went too far this time, and he realized it and apologized. I give him credit for that.

    This was an issue that Colmes should have left alone. The loss of a child through stillbirth should be treated like any other death. I have witnessed many parents who just don’t know what to do in a case like that. Sometimes the hospital “takes care of” the remains, sometimes the remains are released to a funeral director.

    I suspect state law governs the way in which the remains of a newborn are to be handled. I am personally aware of parents to whom the remains were released who then went home and did a respectful burial. I have also conducted full-fledged funerals with all the “trimmings” for newborns.

    Politically some of Santorum’s views are indeed extreme, including some of the comments about the Supreme Court. Also his support of creationism is an extreme position. So, I think the theory that Santorum is an extremist can be supported, but this was not a good way to do it.

  14. Johnno says:

    Ah yes, the ol’ ‘That stuff will never happen, its too far fetched, too non-mainstream’ argument. So what happens when it does become mainstream? Does that then make it alright all of a sudden? Problem is the inconsistency of folks like Colmes’ statements which they miss. If you argue that any consensual sex is fine, then that makes incest, and even pedophilia possible. However, if you are going to say there are restrictions about what consensual sex should be, then that means that religious people have every right to state and make a case that homosexuality and sex outside of marriage should also be disallowed and immoral. Right now the focus on ‘consent’ is generating the idea that once children are educated about sex (which many are attempting to do for ‘safe sex’ and ‘health’ reasons), then they can knowledgeably consent. And consenting makes everything okey-dokey. The same crowd also encourages parents to engage in sexual experiences in a safe environment in their home. This is where the slippery slope lies, and it’s damned near an inevitability at the rate things are going…

  15. anilwang says:

    Unfortunately this isn’t a new attitude.

    It was common in several pre-Christian countries. For instance, historians have a letter from a roman soldier instructing his pregnant wife, that if their baby is a boy to keep it, but if their baby is a girl to leave her in the river to die. I remember reading in some of Francis Schaeffer’s accounts of his mission to China that he and his wife would regularly save infants abandoned on the shore.

    Expect this degradation of human life to continue unless we can win back society away from the culture of death as our ancestors did.

  16. I’m convinced that the only reason Colmes has kept his job on Fox is that they like having a resident-liberal who is easy to beat in debates and is eager to sound like a fool on air. I mean, really. He doesn’t represent liberal points of view well. It’s like he’s hired to be a foil. And he’s such a lightweight that he’s practically tinfoil.

    But this crack should cost him his job. Fox can find a liberal punching bag who has a little class.

  17. Cathy says:

    Isn’t the whole homosexual agenda outcry that everybody wants a say about what they do in “privacy” far-fetched? They don’t want it private, they want it paraded and practiced, taught to little children, on our television, in the movie theaters, in the military, in the adoption agencies in the churches and upheld in public as so-called marriage. Give me a break, they don’t want their “lifestyle” private, they want it promoted and publicly applauded.

  18. That Mr. Santorum accepted the apology is the proof of his character in an age where character has been sold for very little. God bless him.

  19. Supertradmum says:

    Colmes comments are part of the larger society’s hatred of life. This is not new; it started in 1973. Why is anyone surprised by this hatred of normal family life. Thankfully, there was an apology.

    Of course, no one can judge anything now, such as consensual sex or homosexuality.

    And, one cannot discredit Rick Santorum. I like him so much, he is smart and politically astute. However, he would never be voted in for president and we NEED to vote out the Obama administration joke.

  20. Supertradmum says:


    The child was not stillborn, but was born live and died. The entire funeral preparation was so good. In the old days, the dead were waked in the home. My mother remembers her grandparents waked in the home in St. Louis. Why is this such a big deal? We have lost natural, older European customs which helped us all deal with death more realistically and with dignity. Americans are out of touch with death, as many are with life. The connection is clear. If we do not honor the living, why should we honor the dead? Sadly, only faith in Christ and His Resurrection through the teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church can restore this dignity for the human person, alive or dead.

  21. Supertradmum says:

    “Good to see santorum surging in Iowa. Regardless of policies, all debates showed principles, consistency and humility like no other,” the international media mogul tweeted from @rupertmurdoch, the Twitter account he opened on the last day of 2011. Newsmax

  22. PostCatholic says:

    “Santorum surging from behind in Iowa” is likely a double entendre.

    And I second “WhollyRoaminCatholic” when he said “I’m convinced that the only reason Colmes has kept his job on Fox is that they like having a resident-liberal who is easy to beat in debates and is eager to sound like a fool on air. I mean, really. He doesn’t represent liberal points of view well. It’s like he’s hired to be a foil. And he’s such a lightweight that he’s practically tinfoil.” I’m a liberal and I can’t stand to watch him at all. So much so, I didn’t even play the video above.

  23. rob_p says:

    It appears that all Colmes wanted to do was to distort the picture the public has of Rick Santorum as a human being. The second half of the video was despicable as well because it was a half truth from beginning to end. I remember Rick Santorum saying what he did in regards to “consensual sex” Colmes is very conveniently avoiding the fact that the remarks were in relation to Lawrence v. Texas and the “consensual sex” was in fact sodomy.

    Colmes couldn’t have the whole truth being told.

  24. Iowander says:

    I agree with WRC. Alan Colmes is a living straw man.

  25. tealady24 says:

    So where do we go to get this sub-human FIRED? He needs to go.
    NPR had no problem ditching Juan Williams for merely speaking his mind; this cretan seems to think his cheap shots are greatly appreciated by the “rabble” that he think make up FNC.
    He needs to go.

  26. Peggy R says:

    Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Colmes flop back in his chair so adamantly and defensively. He’s used to being the liberal whipping boy and taking it on Fox (not that I ever agree with him). That’s his job. But this demeanor reveals such a real sense of his own sentiments toward Santorum and Santorum’s views on life. This wasn’t just Colmes taking the liberal side as per his contract. This was personal. Oh, don’t forget Santorum was on the Fox payroll too until he announced for the presidency. Maybe they didn’t get on well in the studios. And I saw on Drudge that Rupert Murdoch issued a favorable ‘tweet’ on Santorum….hmmm…

    Rich Lowry’s defense was excellent. He doesnt’ always come off so strongly. Kudos to him.

  27. aladextra says:

    Colmes is obviously a jerk.

    This does raise an academic question though. I am not addressing this to Mr. Santorum and have absolutely no desire to question his or his family’s actions in the slightest.

    However, in general, if a baby is born alive, baptized, and then dies shortly after, doesn’t the Church assure us of the baby’s salvation? I have been under the impression that funeral Masses, whose purpose is of course to pray of the dead, are prohibited for babies who die in infancy having been validly baptized, as they are cleansed of all sin and incapable as yet of committing any personal sins. What in fact would be the traditional, Catholic way to morn this kind of tragic death given the certitude of salvation? Is a wake appropriate? Do we say “wake” here to describe something different than what a Catholic usually thinks of as a wake?

  28. Enoch the Sleestak says:

    Truly vile, but hardly liberal. Liberals have hated the guy for years; maybe now there’s consensus on him. His actions say a lot more about the worth of the opinion of a person who would make a career of hanging around a place like FOX to be occasionally trotted out as the resident or favorite liberal/Democrat/whatever.
    That Colmes’ criticism of the Santorums is being seen by some as typical of liberals is laughable. One can quite easily imagine a liberal family doing the same thing with their child. Maybe not a mainstream consumer yuppie liberal, but then neither are the Santorums mainstream consumer yuppie conservatives.

  29. anilwang says:

    Peggy R,

    I disagree WRT firing him. While he does not represent mainstream liberalism (at least mainstream liberalism of 2011), he does represent a mainstream thought of academic liberalism. Listen to Peter Singer. If the full impact of his ideology comes to pass, Mr. Colmes will seem like a moderate. The main difference between Mr. Colmes and Mr. Singer is that Mr. Singer is genuinely a pleasant person that is easy to listen to, and thus is being listened to by policy makes and scholars. Mr. Colmes is just plain vulgar, so no-one will listen to him. Without people like Mr. Colmes, we might slip into Mr. Singer’s “new utopia” might slowly come to pass without the the average man even knowing what is happening, as have several other movements in the past.

  30. Supertradmum says:


    My sister died in 1956 and she had a funeral Mass of the Angels. She also had a wake for three days to allow time for relatives from all over the Midwest. This was and should be normal. Waking is not just for dead, but for the living to get together and grieve and accept God’s Will. Funerals are a way for the family to give the person back to God. These things are appropriate for babies who go straight to heaven, like my sister who was one year old.

  31. Charles E Flynn says:

    Workers of the World, Unite!, by David Brooks.

  32. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    Rick Santorum is quite magnificent in this clip, I have heard bishops less unequivocal. Brilliant.

    Colmes – what a tragic and pathetic figure. I am sure however that Santorum defends the right of liberal pundits to dye their hair, though he would not presumably do it himself or teach his children that it was right!

  33. Peggy R says:


    I said nothing about firing Alan Colmes. I do not recommend that action. I don’t care, in fact, whether he is at Fox or not. He plays a role. He went too far this time. He seemed to make it personal, it seemed to me.

  34. Dismas says:

    My God, my God how I long to see the Santorums in the White House. Give us not what we deserve, I humbly implore you, but in your great mercy restore us.

    [9] But you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people: that you may declare his virtues, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: [1 Peter 2:9]

  35. Brad says:

    Fire Colmes if you want but is he “sub-human”? GROSS. He is a man made in the image and likeness of God and our Lord hung like meat on a hook for Colmes, just like he did for you.

    But regarding the baby, nothing has changed from the days of Romans. Christians used to go out to the dung heap and collect abandoned babies, living and dead. This is what set(s) them apart from the pagan world a la Mt 5:46. Thank God we have the light of Christ within us that softens our hearts. Otherwise they are lumps of stone. Actually, a stone would shatter if thrown against a hard human heart.

  36. DaveM says:

    I agree with everything Navy Jeff says. I respect Santorum and his personal life immensely, but he’s still a warhawking big-government hack. He’s also made some terrible political judgments, as when he supported pro-abort Arlen Specter (who later left the party)

    So I’m not on board with Santorum politically, but I do think he’s a good man. I’m supporting Ron Paul. If it becomes apparent that Paul can’t win the nomination, I’ll support Santorum. If I have to vote for a warhawking big-government hack, I’ll at least make sure he’s a strong pro-life version.

    That said, I think that Santorum is probably just the flavor of the week, and he too will sink after he becomes more well known.

  37. JuliB says:

    There is a deep hatred of Santorum on the hard left (I won’t blame middle of the road liberal voters for this). If you don’t believe me, google ‘Santorum’, or just take my word for it. A colleague (left wing) on Facebook made a joke about what you’d find when you googled his name, and she thought it was incredibly funny. She self-identifies as a ‘progressive’.

    Once I saw it, I couldn’t believe that any educated or half-way caring person could see ANY humor in it. It’s quite vile. Nonetheless, I mention this so that all can know we are dealing with a shocking , evil hatred here.

  38. Girgadis says:

    There is a little more to the story about the child the Santorums lost that makes this even more compelling. I don’t recall what was wrong with Gabriel, but a major problem was detected by ultrasound and the baby underwent in-utero surgery with Dr. Scott Adzick at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Karen Santorum developed a life-threatening uterine infection and went into premature labor at 20 weeks. Not only did she give her baby a dignified funeral, she also went through great lengths to try to save his life. Alan Colmes should have done his homework instead of repeating hateful talking points.

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