Limbaugh Apologizes for "Slut" Comment

Radio host Rush Limbaugh has apologized to a Georgetown University law student for calling her insulting names.


Radio host Rush Limbaugh has apologized to a Georgetown University law student for calling her insulting names.

He had come under intense criticism from womens' groups, politicians from both political parties and some of the advertisers on his talk show.

Friday, President Obama joined the rising chorus of voices repudiating comments made by the conservative radio host, who asserted on air that a Georgetown University law student is a "slut" and a "prostitute" because she spoke out as a proponent of Obama's contraception mandate.

Obama called Sandra Fluke, 30, Friday to offer his support and "express his disappointment that she has been the subject of inappropriate personal attacks, and to thank her for exercising her rights as a citizen to speak out on an issue of public policy," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Limbaugh said Saturday on his website that he had chosen the wrong words in his comments about law student Sandra Fluke. He said he "did not intend a personal attack" on her.

Fluke told CBS that the president also wanted to make sure she was doing okay after having been degraded so publicly by Limbaugh, whose shows are heard by millions.

California Republican Carly Fiorina blasted Limbaugh's language as "insulting" and "incendiary."

House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement through his spokesman condemning the remarks.

"The speaker obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate," Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel said.

Boehner's statement came after 75 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the speaker urging House Republicans to speak out against the "atrocious and hurtful words spoken by Mr. Limbaugh."

Using the airwaves to launch a "direct attack on a private citizen is unacceptable," said the letter, written by New York Rep. Louise Slaughter and signed by her colleagues.

"Mr. Limbaugh repeatedly used sexually charged, patently offensive, and obscene language to malign the character of this courageous young woman who has chosen to be the voice for many of her peers," the letter said, referring to Sandra Fluke, the student activist.

GOP candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum soft-footed around Limbaugh's comments, both saying they disagreed with his language, but not elaborating beyond that.

"I'll just's not the language I would have used," Romney told a crowd in Ohio, before diving into a speech about jobs.

"He's being absurd, but that' entertainer can be absurd. He's in a very different business than I am," Santorum told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview Friday.

Fluke testified in a mock hearing in front of Democrats last week after she was not allowed to attend a Republican-run hearing on contraception the week prior. Republican Darrell Issa, who was in charge of the hearing, rejected Fluke as a witness on grounds that she wasn't qualified.

The lead panel included five men and no women. Two women, both favoring the GOP position, were allowed to testify in the second panel.

Fluke's testimony, first leaked after the Republican hearing, barely mentioned sex. She said a year's worth of contraception costs up to $3,000 over the course of law school, and for many women, birth control is used to treat medical issues, including polycystic ovary syndrome.

Limbaugh pounced on the dollar number Fluke used.

"That's a thousand dollars a year of sex -- and, she wants us to pay for it," Limbaugh said on his radio show Wednesday.

Limbaugh also said about Fluke: "What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her?"

"It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute."

"She wants to be paid to have sex," Limbaugh continued. "She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception."

He doubled down on the comments Thursday, saying he thought it was "hilarious" that the "left has been thrown into an outright conniption fit" as a result of the remarks.

"The reaction that they are having to what I said yesterday about Susan Fluke -- or Sandra Fluke, whatever her name is -- the Georgetown student who went before a congressional committee and said she's having so much sex, she's going broke buying contraceptives and wants us to buy them," Limbaugh said on his show. "I said, 'Well, what would you call someone who wants us to pay for her to have sex? What would you call that woman? You'd call 'em a slut, a prostitute or whatever.'"

Limbaugh then went even further, saying that if taxpayers were going to fund women's sexual activities, then women needed to provide a service in return, by posting videos of themselves having sex so that everyone can see.

Limbaugh's continuing insistence that it's the amount of sex Fluke is allegedly having that's making contraception so expensive for her--that if she had less sex, she would need less contraceptives--has led a number of people to wonder if Limbaugh actually understands how birth control works.

Despite the backlash, Limbaugh has refused to back down from his comments, laughing incredulously when he learned on air Friday about the president's phone call.

"Oh that's touching, Obama just called Sandra Fluke to make sure she's all right," Limbaugh said. "That is so compassionate, what a great guy."

He continued to defend his comments from Wednesday, arguing that it was "insulting" that Fluke and other women's health advocates would ask taxpayers to fund for contraception for "people who want to have sex without consequences."

"All of the sudden we're told that people who want to have sex without consequences, we have to pay for it. And if we object, we're somehow Neanderthal," Limbaugh said. "Out of nowhere this comes up, and to me this is insulting."

Fluke says she believes the radio star misunderstood her testimony.

"For starters, I didn't say that I should be paid for anything. What we were talking about is private insurance covering a medical need. It has nothing to do with the government paying for anything, or taxpayers, or anything like that," she told CNN.

Fluke argued that she would have been a legitimate witness had Republicans allowed her to testify in the original hearing.

"I'm an American woman who uses contraception, so let's start right there. That makes me qualified to talk to my elected officials about my health care needs," she said.

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  • by Fred on Mar 6, 2012 at 12:06 PM
    If I said something like this at work I'd be unemployed.
  • by In the mean time... on Mar 5, 2012 at 10:26 PM
    the country is going down the toilet. Yet idiots want to talk about this non-issue.
  • by Me Location: cs on Mar 5, 2012 at 05:00 PM
    sometimes the simple truth that so hard to understand?
  • by Colorado Springs on Mar 5, 2012 at 04:51 PM
    Rush needs to keep it real. He should be allowed to speak the truth without having to apologize for it. The truth is the only thing that will bring America back.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 5, 2012 at 12:22 PM
    @ me", You have NO clue what you are talking about. I would expect that a simple person such as yourself, would not be able to see past the 1 dimensional view you hold so dearly. I would attempt to explain this matter to you but I am sure it is over you head.
  • by Wondering Location: CS on Mar 5, 2012 at 08:09 AM
    Why is it, that when a comment from sportcasters gets misconstrued to a racial slur, people get fired. When RL attacks a person with libelous language, on an issue he apparently does not understand because he does not have any facts, he still has a job? How do so many people get the idea that she was wanting the government to pay for her birth control? She wanted it covered by insurance, like your acid-reducers, decongestants, and viagra. If you take the time to read her testimony, it is about birth control pills for their hormonal attributes, not conception prevention.
  • by Anonymous Location: C.S. on Mar 4, 2012 at 03:29 PM
    I hear abstinence is a really good birth control. I don't care if you're married or not, pay for your own birth control! If you have insurance..all the better. I am betting there is a Mom and Dad somewhere that are so proud of their daughter going before a handful of people in Congress about this.
  • by Robert C. on Mar 4, 2012 at 01:39 PM
    It's ironic that when I listened to Rush about 18 years ago, I remember his claim that it is liberals that call others "names" (resorting to childish name calling) to avoid answering the issues. Everything about this guy seems to be of a most hypocritical nature. Will he now make up some story and attempt to illustrate some other point he will claim he was really trying to make and claim his statements were taken out of context? Why would anyone with any moral compass listen to this fraud? I can only surmise it is that they too, have a personal and selfish motive for wanting to implement the policies this overweight man is proposing be sanctioned against the people of the world. How is this man relevant in any way?
  • by Me Location: cs on Mar 4, 2012 at 07:34 AM
    to liberal lefties: birth control & viagra are about 'sex'...and 'insurance' is you & me paying for it thru obamacare...that's the bottom line. seems everytime a debatable issue is raised, lefties only can resort to name-calling..but that's all they have are insults, sure don't have any progress w/the 'progressives'..hahaha
  • by Bron on Mar 4, 2012 at 06:07 AM
    Rush was wrong. When a women wants others to pay so that she can have sex, it's a different word...
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