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Santorum Denies Making Racially-Charged Claim After Apparently Acknowledging Saying It

By Alex Seitz-Wald on January 5, 2012 at 10:05 am

"Santorum Denies Making Racially-Charged Claim After Apparently Acknowledging Saying It"

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The NAACP and the Urban League have condemned GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum for reportedly saying in a rant against welfare this week, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.” The civil rights organizations called the statement “inaccurate and outrageous” and “deliberately fan[ning] the flames of racial divisiveness,” but now Santorum is claiming that he never said what people think he did.

In an interview with CNN’s John King last night, Santorum said, “I didn’t say black”:

SANOTURM: I’ve looked at that quote, in fact I looked at the video. In fact, I’m pretty confident I didn’t say black. I started to say is a word and then sort of changed and it sort of — blah — mumbled it and sort of changed my thought.

Watch it:

Santorum repeated the denial on Fox News later yesterday evening as well.

There’s ample video evidence suggesting that Santorum did, in fact, say “black,” but Santorum’s denial is especially surprising considering that he seemed to acknowledge making the comments earlier yesterday. When the AP asked Santorum about the statement, he replied, “If you look at what I’ve been saying, I’ve been pretty clear about my concern for dependency in this country and concern for people not being more dependent on our government, whatever their race or ethnicity is.”

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