Warren Mayor Jim Fouts mocked the disabled daughter of former presidential candidate Rick Santorum as a “mongoloid baby” who’s “got her tongue hanging out the side and all kinds of shit,” according to another audio recording obtained exclusively by Motor City Muckraker.
Fouts was chatting with an employee in 2015 about Santorum’s presidential run and how the Pennsylvania Republican was “praying” for his 5-year-old daughter, Bella, who was born with a rare and life-threatening genetic condition.
“I’ve heard pro-life people say, ‘Isn’t that nice?’” Fouts, who is running for his fourth term this year, said. “He could have, you know, aborted her.”
The recording, like others obtained by Motor City Muckraker, reveal a crude, creepy side of Fouts, a 76-year-old former school teacher who projects a pro-life, Christian persona. In 2014, the former Republican who says he’s now politically independent, led a battle to preserve a prayer station in city hall, while denying atheists the right to set up an adjacent “reason station.” The city lost a lawsuit against the atheists, costing taxpayers $100,000.
In private conversations with employees, Fouts has compared black people to “chimps,” called old women “dried-up cunts” and disparaged disabled people as “dysfunctional human beings,” according to previous audio recordings revealed by Motor City Muckraker. Last week, we released another audio recording in which Fouts boasted about the ease of picking up prostitutes in Amsterdam, saying “You could get a 16-year-old if you wanted one.”
In the latest recording, Fouts bemoans the direction of the Republican Party, which he said was “hijacked” by “social conservatives” who are obsessed with “Jesus and, you know, birth control, abortion, prayer – all that kind of stuff.”
Fouts then said, “All of the studies have shown that pornography does nothing, doesn’t cause anything.”
After we publicized the audio about his Amsterdam trip, Fouts declared he was “bored” with the recordings and that “Warren residents are tired of them, and I’m tired of them.”
Fouts is hosting the sixth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at noon Monday at the city hall atrium, at One City Square, beginning at noon. The public is invited.
It’s unclear what, if any, impact the recordings will have on Fouts’ reelection bid. While Warren is primarily a democratic city, it became a hotbed of Trump supporters, many of whom have dismissed the recordings as “fake news.”
While Fouts continues to say the recordings are manufactured by political opponents, he declined to take that position when asked under oath whether the audio was authentic. During the deposition in a racism case against the city, Fouts invoked his fifth amendment right against self-incrementation, saying he would not answer the question.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.