2012 Election | Bill Maher | Dan Savage | News | Rick Santorum

Dan Savage and Rick Santorum Go Another Round


Some conservatives are not happy with columnist Dan Savage over remarks about Republicans and Rick Santorum he made on his Friday night appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher. Santorum has been angry at Savage for years over the Spreading Santorum website he created over the then Pennsylvania Senator's remarks comparing same-sex marriage to man-on-dog sex.

Dan Savage apologized for the remarks shortly after his appearance.

I was on Real Time with Bill Maher tonight. I was talking to someone at the party after the show, and they asked me how I thought it went. Okay, I said—and then I told them that I said something really, really stupid, half under my breath, and I was relieved that Bill and the rest of the panel didn't hear it. But folks watching the show at home might have heard it... so... I want to apologize for... um... wishing all Republicans dead.

I don't feel that way. My dad is a Republican. (Well, he says he's an independent, but he hasn't voted for a Democrat since JFK. My dad is a Republican.)

It was a stupid, rude, thoughtless remark. I regret it and I retract it and I apologize to anyone watching at home—particularly my father (!)—who may have heard me say it. I had a drink before the show—first and last time I've ever done that—but this wasn't a case of, "In vino, veritas."

This was a case of, "In vino, stupidtas."

Santorum seized on the Maher appearance to try to discredit Savage:

"It’s filth. It’s, you know, this man has, has gone out there and tried to destroy my integrity. I mean, you’ve heard the whole issue of the Google issue. That’s Dan Savage. You know, it’s, it’s the lowest, you know, debasement of public discourse. It’s, it’s offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it. They, they, they kid about it. They write about it. They say, “Oh, Santorum’s got a Google problem.”

As you may recall, Santorum has compared same-sex marriage to sex with dogs, has said that it's "common sense" to keep gays from marrying and adopting children, wants to reinstate the ban on gays in the military, and has said that gays shouldn't have the "privilege of government benefits" offered to heterosexual couples, yet Santorum claims he's not a homophobe.

Watch part of Savage's Maher appearance and Santorum's reaction, AFTER THE JUMP...

Santorum's reaction:

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  1. oh PLEASE. the harm Santorum has inflicted on LGBT Youth is legit. his "fight" with Savage is ridiculous.

    Santorum is basically saying "it all started when dan savage hit me back!"

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 19, 2011 11:05:22 AM

  2. leberals are so quick to apologize. Santorum is scum who benefits from the misery of others. Let the comment stand Dan!

    Posted by: StevenElliot | Jul 19, 2011 11:08:53 AM

  3. I could care less if Rick Santorum's feelings got hurt.

    Posted by: homer | Jul 19, 2011 11:15:16 AM

  4. Dan, Mark and Bill really put a good show and boy, it was fantastic!!
    Odd, Santorum hits gays, gays hit back and now he doesn't know what to say.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jul 19, 2011 11:17:32 AM

  5. "it's the lowest...debasement of public discourse"

    You mean like equating gay relations as man-on-dog sex?

    "and the mainstream media laughs about it"

    Actually, they're laughing AT you... in fact, we ALL are laughing AT you.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Jul 19, 2011 11:21:22 AM

  6. If Santorum had said all gays should die we'd be on him like ugly on an ape, justifiably. Savage was right to apologize for that particular remark -- it was over the top. Otherwise, he was right on, as he usually is. @LITTLE KIWI nailed it -- Santorum sounds like whiny conservative weenie who can't take it when he gets hit back.

    Posted by: MikeMick | Jul 19, 2011 11:21:46 AM

  7. Santorum is a waste of human existence.

    Posted by: FernLaPlante | Jul 19, 2011 11:22:23 AM

  8. Dan's got the PR problem of now being well known. When you end up a de facto spokesman, you can't be mean, you have to be nice, because it's not just your own opinion, but that of others and reflects back on them.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 19, 2011 11:23:30 AM

  9. Actually -- I DID hear the under-his-breath remark wishing Republicans death (it came-through loud-and-clear over the air) and I was appalled. I have a great deal of respect for Mr Savage and his work and I think that particular remark was beneath him. As far as his remarks concerning Santorum -- he couldn't be more correct. He does not owe any apology for what he said about Santorum or the Bachmans. One need not apologize for speaking the truth. Keep speaking the truth Mr. Savage.

    Posted by: alex Parrish | Jul 19, 2011 11:26:33 AM

  10. Santorum really is the lowest kind of scum, using religion to justify his own bigotry and hatred. Well, right back at ya Frothy Rick.

    Posted by: ant | Jul 19, 2011 11:28:34 AM

  11. Dan Savage needs to realize there are more and more Republicans especially younger ones who support full equality for gay and lesbians. The NY gay marriage law was passed by a Republican controlled Senate.
    Rick Santorum doesn't represent the mainstream of his own party anymore. By talking about him, we are just giving him publicity when his campaign is a failure and he's seen as a joke within his own party.

    Posted by: Tommy | Jul 19, 2011 11:29:36 AM

  12. So Santorum can dish out evil, hate-filled, not worthy of public discourse comments, but he can't take it when others take aim at him. Boo hoo.

    Savage created a huge problem for Santorum, and for that deserves huge credit and gratitude. Santorum is a hateful, despicable hypocrite, and that's the nicest way I can think of to describe him.

    Though it's BS that Dan has never had a drink before being on TV or other public appearances! Unless he was talking solely about Real Time, in which case he's parsing words in a hypocritical way.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 19, 2011 11:37:20 AM

  13. If you're a public figure and you make ignorant remarks like that, you've got to be a big boy and take the criticism. Go Dan Savage!

    Posted by: Jack M | Jul 19, 2011 11:42:55 AM

  14. Dan Savage is probably the most intelligent progressive out there today. Of course, the media limelight does mean that he has to consider his words more carefully, but he's a quick learner. We desperately need someone to expose the hate and lies of the fundie Xtians, and Dan does a superlative job.

    Posted by: Anthony-S | Jul 19, 2011 11:58:02 AM

  15. Dan Savage is a foul-mouthed clown. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. As he himself constantly points out, he has no qualifications for anything he does. Good for him that his famewhoredom turned out so well.

    Bad for us, unfortunately. Thinking people know not to take anything he says seriously. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of thinking people left in this country. So every time Dan Savage offers a political opinion -- and he is, possibly, the bigget political idiot this country has ever known -- we get to have our civil rights movement distracted by his stupidity.

    He praised the illegal invasion of Iraq, made a point to state he was all for the death of innocents, spent weeks blaming black people (a minority of Californians) for passing Prop 8, and on and on and on. If a friend of yours held any one of those views, you'd cross the street to avoid him.

    Unfortunately, he's found his niche as the go-to foul-mouthed clown, so we're stuck with him until he himself, ironically, is dead. He's milking this election season for every penny it can give him, so be prepared for a lot worse to come. We'll survive Dan Savage, but he'll do his best to slow down our progress every second he's alive until then.

    Posted by: ohplease | Jul 19, 2011 11:58:22 AM

  16. @TOMMY -- I came of voting age at Nixon's accession to the White House. You've heard of the Southern Strategy? Nixon was mainstream, Reagan was mainstream, George W. Bush was mainstream. You can divert the stream as often as you like, but with respect to you, the Republican Party has a great deal of plain evil to live down. Frankly, I think that reparations would be in order.

    In fact, IMO the Tea Party, which is now a wing of the mainstream Republican Party, is a variant on the Southern Strategy. Until the Republicans publicly, explicitly, and meaningfully disown the Tea Party, the Religious Dominionists, Santorum, Bachmann, and many others, they OWN IT.

    Posted by: Russell | Jul 19, 2011 12:02:09 PM

  17. Hey OhPlease...........OH Please Mary give it a rest......was Dann a tad over the TOP - Yes, I saw the show...but its HBO...NOT CNN, or MSNBC....he's apologized ,and now- we move on.....now if you can get your panties out of the twist there are in....

    Posted by: Gay American | Jul 19, 2011 12:05:25 PM

  18. Yes, a slip of the lip and not a wise choice of words for Dan but when have you ever heard a republican apologize for something mean spirited and hateful? In fact, they get their followers to rally around it. Kudos to Dan for apologizing as he of all people know that the best way to take these people down is to expose their bigotry and hypocrisy without having to succumb to their level

    Posted by: cf511 | Jul 19, 2011 12:09:32 PM

  19. OHPLEASE, take your Uncle Tom attitude elsewhere.

    We're not slowed down by the Dan Savages of the world, we're slowed down by the Uncle Tom cowards who crawl on their bellies begging for acceptance like little worms.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 19, 2011 12:10:29 PM

  20. Still waiting for Santorum's frothy apology to the LGBT community...and waiting...and waiting...

    Posted by: Bruno | Jul 19, 2011 12:12:32 PM

  21. "It’s, you know, this man has, has gone out there and tried to destroy my integrity."

    One cannot destroy something that does not exist, Frothy.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Jul 19, 2011 12:17:02 PM

  22. the repuks say the same thing every day and nobody apologizes for it. he said it so what. it is not like he is going out and killing repuks but some of the comments of the repuks have lead to the death of gays. they don't apologize. time for the repuks to accept responsibility for a lot of things the economy, the war in iraq and the toxic mood of injustice going on in this country.

    Posted by: walter | Jul 19, 2011 12:17:52 PM

  23. Arrogance and Intolerance are best defeated by Ridicule, as Mr. Savage knows.

    Posted by: trees | Jul 19, 2011 12:25:52 PM

  24. he should be apologizing for fantasizing about santorumizing in santorum...

    Posted by: r | Jul 19, 2011 12:53:35 PM

  25. equating man/man sex to bestiality is much, much more deplorable than anything dan savage said. santorum has a lot of shootspa (as michelle bachmann says).

    Posted by: nic | Jul 19, 2011 12:54:01 PM

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