Obama: Limbaugh's Name Calling Is 'Reprehensible'

2:06 PM, Mar 2, 2012   |    comments
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Washington, DC -- President Obama today telephoned the Georgetown University law student who was called a "slut" and "prostitute" by Rush Limbaugh, who is getting hit from all sides.

Obama called to express his "disappointmnent" that Fluke has been subjected to "inappropriate personal attacks," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The president found Limbaugh's comments "reprehensible" and "crude," Carney said.

Limbaugh took fire from Republicans as well: House Speaker John Boehner said the comments are "inappropriate." Ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, a former Senate candidate, said the words were "insulting" and "incendiary." Democrats want an apology.

And an advertiser pulled its commercials off Limbaugh's radio show.

Limbaugh spoke about Fluke, who gained notoriety because Republicans blocked her from testifying at a hearing on Obama's rule on contraceptives, during his syndicated show Wednesday. She later testified about the benefits of contraceptives on women's health at a hearing called by Democrats.

Here's what Limbaugh said:

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. 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.

"The speaker obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate, as is trying to raise money off the situation," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner.

Carney said Obama thanked Fluke for speaking out on issues. "He felt the kinds of personal attacks that have been directed at her are inappropriate," Carney said.

The Obama rule requires most employers to offer health insurance that includes coverage for contraceptives without any co-payment. It was amended after heavy criticism from Catholic groups. Now, religious schools, hospitals and charities can avoid paying for contraceptives as long as their insurance carriers do.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out an e-mail titled "Rush is reading this," seeking 250,000 signatures on a petition asking House GOP leaders to denounce Limbaugh's remarks.

The Sleep Train Mattress company announced on its Twitter account today that it would pull advertising from Limbaugh's show because "we don't condone negative comments directed toward any group."

Fiorina made her comments during an interview on CBS News.

USA Today

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