Alan Colmes, a political contributor and host on Fox News Radio, apologized to GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Monday night after he chastised the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania for the way he and his wife handled the 1996 death of their infant son, Gabriel.
Colmes's controversial comments were made in an on-air debate with Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, on Fox News. The two debaters were discussing Santorum's recent success in the polls when Colmes brought up Santorum's infant son, who died just a few hours after his birth.
Once [voters] get a load of some of the crazy things he's said and done, like taking his two-hour-old baby who died right after childbirth home and played with it for a couple of hours so his other children would know that the child was real--
At that point, Lowry interrupted Colmes and called his remark a cheap shot.
It's not, it's not a cheap shot, Colmes said.
Lowry cut off Colmes again:
To say it's 'crazy,' something that's that personal and harmful as losing a child, and to mock it, to mock him like that, is really beyond the pale and beneath you, Lowry said. He added that his commentary was contemptible.
They lost a child, Alan. That's very serious. That's not something you should be mocking on national TV, Lowry said.
At that point, Colmes decided to backpedal.
I'm not mocking the losing of the child, but what I'm saying is I think it shows a certain unusual attitude to take a two-hour baby home that died to play with his other children.
Santorum addressed Colmes's comments on Monday evening in Iowa, in front of a crowd of about 150 people who attended the Pizza Ranch restaurant in Newton to hear the former lawyer, who is also a contributor to Fox News.
We tried everything we could to save his life and we failed, Santorum said, blinking back tears. He was delivered and he lived about two hours. He was delivered at about 3 o'clock in the morning and he lived and he died in our arms.
Santorum's wife Karen stood at her husband's side, and grew visibly emotional as well.
We brought Gabriel home to bury him and we brought him home so our children could see him. [Karen] told all of us that it was so important to recognize -- for the family to recognize -- the life of that child and for all the children to know that they had a brother.
When Santorum finished his speech, the crowd burst into applause. That night, Colmes issued an apology via Twitter.
Just spoke to @ricksantorum. He and Karen graciously accepted my apology for a hurtful comment, he said.
Santorum told Sean Hannity of Fox News that he had accepted Colmes's apology.
I know Alan is a very good person at heart, Santorum said. He made a mistake, he admitted the mistake... we all say things and do stupid things. They do say those things, but please, don't repeat them.
Santorum's wife Karen also talked to reporters from CNN about the incident.
I think it was very inappropriate of him to do that. I'm sad that he did that, she said. I pray he will never lose a child. He cannot begin to know the pain and the depth of the loss.
Santorum has seven children; Gabriel would've been his fourth oldest child.
Watch the clip below. Colmes makes his comments after the 0:55 mark.