Santorum says he 'misspoke' over CPR comments

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) says he "misspoke" when he said students protesting for gun control legislation would be better served by taking CPR classes and preparing for active shooter scenarios.

Posted: Mar 30, 2018 11:45 AM
Updated: Mar 30, 2018 11:59 AM

Former Sen. Rick Santorum said Wednesday he misspoke when suggesting earlier this week that students should learn CPR instead of advocating for gun control.

"I did misspeak in using the term CPR," the Pennsylvania Republican and CNN commentator told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day."

Santorum made headlines on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday when he made the CPR suggestion.

"How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that," Santorum said Sunday.

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is typically performed to keep blood and oxygen circulating throughout the body until further measures can be taken to restart the heart. A gunshot wound typically requires action to stanch bleeding.

He joked on Wednesday, "I think Sanjay Gupta's job here at CNN is probably safe as being the medical commentator on things."

Santorum went on to describe positives that have come out of gun control advocacy, like "organizations and people who have actually focused on what we can do ... to actually prevent these types of things."

Santorum's comments Sunday prompted a statement from Everytown for Gun Safety program manager Erica Lafferty, whose mother was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

"Rick Santorum's words are an insult to the kids of Parkland, my family and to the countless others who have had loved ones taken by gun violence," Lafferty said in a statement. "My mother was killed while protecting her students at Sandy Hook School. For anyone to suggest that the solution to gun violence is for kids to learn CPR is outrageous, and indicative of the NRA's desire to do or say anything except strengthen America's weak gun laws."

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