NEWTON, Iowa — 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.
In a 2005 New York Times Magazine profile by writer Mike Sokolove described how the Santorum family reacted to the tragedy: “Rick and Karen Santorum would not let the morgue take the corpse of their newborn; they slept that night in the hospital with their lifeless baby between them.”
Karen Santorum also writes on the event in her book: “‘Letters to Gabriel: The True Story of Gabriel Michael Santorum.”