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Jimmy Kimmel nixed Rick Santorum dead baby joke

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Jimmy Kimmel
Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images

Jimmy Kimmel didn’t spare many feelings at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last month. During his address, the late night host took aim at President Obama, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, attendee Lindsay Lohan, and Keith Olbermann, among others. But there’s one target who escaped Kimmel’s crosshairs: former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

During a visit to Howard Stern’s Sirius XM show this week, Kimmel revealed that he ultimately decided to nix a joke that referenced Santorum’s actions after the death of his infant son. The line: “Newt Gingrich’s campaign is so dead, Mitt Romney wants to baptize it and Rick Santorum wants to put it in a jar and show it to his kids.”

As Kimmel told EW after the event, the White House didn’t put restrictions on his jokes, and nobody asked to see his material ahead of time. However, Kimmel did run the Santorum line “by people who go to this thing,” such as ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper. Kimmel told Stern that when his sources suggested cutting the Santorum line, he took their advice.

Tapper confirmed his consultation to the Atlantic Wire. “I tried to help Jimmy with the temperature of the room and yes — I thought that joke would cause the room to turn against him, perhaps even causing a stampede, with the Hilton getting in on the tar-and-feather concession,” he told the website in an e-mail. Remind us to turn to Tapper when we need to be talked out of a bad idea.

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