In the newest tape of Jim Fouts’ private comments, the Warren mayor suggested that former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum should have had his daughter aborted, calling her a dysfunctional “mongoloid baby.”
As reported today by the Motor City Muckraker news site, in a phone conversation with a city employee Fouts expressed disgust with the child who’s “got her tongue hanging out the side and all kinds of shit.”
Five-year-old Bella Santorum was born with a rare and life-threatening genetic condition. Responding to 2015 news reports that Rick Santorum, who was then a presidential candidate, was praying for his daughter’s survival, Fouts said this on the recording, which was made without his knowledge:
“I’ve heard pro-life people say, ‘Isn’t that nice? He could have, you know, aborted her.”
Though Fouts has portrayed himself publicly as a devout, pro-life Christian, on the recording obtained by the Motor City Muckraker the mayor complained that the Republican Party had been “hijacked” by social conservatives who are obsessed with “Jesus and, you know, birth control, abortion, prayer – all that kind of stuff.”
The revelation represents the latest example of numerous audio recordings dating back several years which have found Fouts engaged in crude and bigoted comments. The mayor of Michigan’s third-largest city, Fouts has claimed that the many recordings are fake or doctored, though a voice-recognition expert said in 2017 that the tapes matched the mayor’s distinctive voice.
On one recording, the mayor said that blacks resemble chimpanzees in their appearance and demeanor. On another tape, he used the N-word.
Fouts was recorded saying mentally and developmentally disabled children should be put in cages, or euthanized, or at least kept out of sight. He said he loathes being around “retards.”
Regarding his views on women: “They are pussies when they are young, and when they get older, they’re just mean, hateful, dried-up cunts.”
The first recording that emerged, in 2013, had Fouts caught on tape in a mafia-style rant, expressing his urge to violently murder two of his persistent political critics. At one point in the profanity-laced outburst, the mayor described how he wanted to viciously beat to death a former aide with a baseball bat.
In December, a new recording surfaced in which Fouts referred to homosexuals as “fags.” He also complained that media efforts in 2011 to expose the 76-year-old mayor’s extraordinary efforts to lie about his age was like being a rape victim.
Earlier this month, the Motor City Muckraker came forward with a recording in which the mayor, who has demonstrated a preference toward dating much younger women, commented on the loose moral standards he encountered on a trip to the Netherlands.
Referring to the “red light” prostitution district in Amsterdam, Fouts is heard commenting, in a nonjudgmental tone, that “You could get a 16-year-old if you wanted one.”
After those remarks became public, Fouts went beyond his past denials and said he was “bored” with the series of leaked recordings. “Warren residents are tired of them, and I’m tired of them,” he said.
As Fouts gears up for re-election to a fourth term as mayor in November, his top political aide, Richard Sabaugh, insisted the public does not attribute the vile recorded comments to Fouts. Sabaugh, the city’s public services director and a longtime political consultant, offered this dismissal of the many tapes:
“I think the people believe him.”
UPDATE: Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has told The Macomb Daily that he denies the voice on the tape heard disparaging former Sen. Santorum’s daughter is his.
In addition, The Detroit News has reported that, according to a court deposition, Fouts allegedly referred to former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick using the N-word. Political consultant Joe DiSano said in the deposition that the incident occurred on Election Night in November 2007, when Fouts was first elected mayor.
Warren city attorney Raechel Badalamenti told the News in an email that Fouts never used that language.
“He does not use that word,” she wrote. “He is a trailblazer for equality and diversity, period.”