Rush Limbaugh apologizes for ‘slut’ comment

Sandra Fluke testifies before a House panel on contraception coverage.
White House Press discuss "supportive" call

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 4:38 am

WASHINGTON – Rush Limbaugh has apologized for calling a Georgetown Law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his national talk show.

The often salacious radio personality said he “did not mean a personal attack” on Sandra Fluke, whose stand on birth control coverage prompted him to say that she couldn’t pay for contraception because she was “having so much sex.”

“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week,” Limbaugh said in a statement. “In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation.

Read the full statement here.

President Barack Obama stepped in Friday and reached out to Fluke, expressing disappointment in Limbaugh’s comments.

Fluke made a round of television appearances on Thursday and Friday in response to the verbal attack — which some have called hate speech — saying she was stunned by the remarks.

A third year student, Fluke was thrust to the center of the birth control debate last month after she was rejected from testifying before a House committee in favor of the contraceptive mandate in the nation’s health-care law.

Georgetown, a Jesuit institution, does not offer contraception coverage in its health care for students.

This week, Fluke spoke before a House Democratic panel on the cost of birth control to female students.

That’s when Limbaugh got involved and assailed her.

“If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it,” Limbaugh said. “We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

“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 them a ‘slut, a prostitute’ or whatever.”

White House spokesman Jay says Obama believes Limbaugh’s comments were “unfortunate attacks.” Carney calls the comments “reprehensible.”

An outpouring of fierce, bipartisan condemnation of Limbaugh’s comments capped the week.

House Speaker John Boehner denounced the comments on Friday after House Democrats sent a letter on Thursday urging House Republicans to speak up.

“The speaker obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate, as is trying to raise money off the situation,” said Micheal Steel, Boehner’s spokesman, in a statement.

The Huffington Post reports the mattress store Sleep Train, one of the biggest mattress retailers in the country, pulled its advertising after being bombarded on Twitter.

Other advertisers were bombarded with tweets regarding the matter, including ProFlowers and eHarmony, Huffington reports.

Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia released a statement in support of Fluke on Friday and expressed disapproval of the way Limbaugh, and other media channels, have responded to her.

“One need not agree with her substantive position to support her right to respectful free expression,” he wrote. “And yet, some of those who disagreed with her position – including Rush Limbaugh and commentators throughout the blogosphere and in various other media channels – responded with behavior that can only be described as misogynistic, vitriolic, and a misrepresentation of the position of our student.

“The values that hold us together as a people require nothing less than eternal vigilance. This is our moment to stand for the values of civility in our engagement with one another.”

When speaking with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Fluke said DeGioia’s comments were a model of how national discourse should be conducted, “because clearly the president of the university and I disagree about the issues, but we’re both able to handle this in a civil manner.”

Watch Fluke’s conversation with Andrea Mitchell:

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WTOP’s Amy Hunter and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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