March 2nd, 2012
06:07 PM ET
3 years ago

Initially silent, Romney addresses Limbaugh ‘slut’ remarks

Cleveland, Ohio (CNN) - Mitt Romney steered clear of the Rush Limbaugh controversy until Friday evening, even avoiding a CNN reporter earlier in the day, when he addressed the issue after an event in Cleveland.

“I'll just say this which is it’s not the language I would have used," Romney said. "I’m focusing on the issues I think are significant in the country today and that’s why I’m here talking about jobs and Ohio.”

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

After an event in Bellevue, Washington, CNN asked Romney for a comment on Limbaugh who called Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" after she testified before Congress on the importance of insurance coverage of contraception.

The former Massachusetts governor was within a few feet of CNN's camera when he was asked the question. But Romney walked by without comment.

Limbaugh ignited a political firestorm Wednesday when he suggested Fluke's support of contraception coverage was an attempt to force Americans to pay for her sexual activities.

"It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex," Limbaugh said.

Romney's main rival for the GOP nomination, Rick Santorum called Limbaugh's comments "absurd" in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

- CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

Also see:

Seattle Times supports Romney as 'default choice' ahead of caucuses

Paul flier hits the other candidates

Gingrich robo call labels Santorum 'union bosses' pal'

Michigan results provoke accusations, ire


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. windrider2

    What a gutless wonder! But that should come as no surprise. Romney would be utterly spineless as President, afraid to say or do anything that might have any real consequences for his political career. Of course, you could say the same for what loosely passes for Republican leadership these days. The best 'rebuke' that Orange Man Boehner could come up with was "inappropriate".

    Rush Limbaugh is a bully, plain and simple. And in watching the non-reactions and non-condemnation of his peers, we can easily see how bullies can destroy their victims simply because no one has the courage to stand up to them.

    March 3, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  2. ei8htx

    Wow, so a news story is what you didn't say now?

    March 3, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  3. Liska

    Mitt has nothing inside of himself to draw on to address Rush. Nothing: He cannot even find it in himself to respond to this horrible denigration. He avoided CNN. Must he be thinking ..."Which way doI go? Which way do I go? If I agree with Spunkburger it may make me look bad; If I disagree with Spunkburger, they will not see me as being "Severely Conservative". Give it up GOPIGS !! It's called Triage for 2024. Obama 2012 Elizabeth Warren 2016-2024

    March 3, 2012 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  4. Tom

    It is time for Limbaugh to go. His right wing thugs will never do the decent thing and call out this very indecent man. The only thing that can stop him is YOU. If you have ever bought one of the products advertised on Limbaugh's show, or if you have become so disgusted by the way Limbaugh has personally attacked this young student, then use your voice to remove him from the airwaves. Call or email Clear.water and state your decision to never buy any product advertised on his show, and voice your demand that he be removed from the air. He is not sorry for this, as he has made plain–it is plain any apology now would be empty. How many people must he run over before we stop him? Everyone has an inherent right to hate, but nobody has the right to assault a weaker, vulnerable person that has no giant microphone to answer back with.

    March 3, 2012 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  5. CTYank

    Gotta wonder, Mitt. You just can't call it like it is, and want to allege framing the discussion.
    Like with your nonsensical tax structure to favor folks like yourself. Please get real or be silent.

    March 3, 2012 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  6. MoMo

    RUSH is a m0r0nic idi0t.

    March 3, 2012 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  7. rude

    The GOP and Taliban are soooo much alike. Both partys are fanatics and are merely doing God's work.

    March 3, 2012 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  8. Leif

    The gender gap will destroy the GOP's chances in 2012.

    March 3, 2012 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  9. OrangeW3dge

    Well who are the "snobs" now? Romney joins the elite gang of fraudsters that assault people for profit. Limbaugh is a smug backstabber that masquerades as a "conservative" freedom fighter. But the Republican party aligning themselves with the endless parade of hate mongers is so distasteful as to "make me vomit".

    March 3, 2012 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  10. sue

    Makes one wonder what kind of language Romney thinks would be acceptable...

    What a coward.

    March 3, 2012 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Is Mr Romney avoiding the issue because Bain Capital is Limbaugh's boss (BC is co-majority owner of Clear Channel Communications)

    March 3, 2012 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  12. girish

    They are hypocrites.Republican candidates have no courage to denounce such a indecent comments.How these people deserve to be president ?

    March 3, 2012 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  13. Bob Ramos

    When it came down to it, Milt is afraid of Rush but Santorum is not. Milt's failure to condem Rush will cost him heavily with women voters. With all of the money Milt pays consultants, you would think they would have advised Milt that this failure could cost him the nomination. Now if Rick has the smarts needed, he would hit Milt with this issue for the rest of the nomination campaign and win.

    March 3, 2012 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  14. ngc1300

    Rush, Rush, Rush. You want to get paid for taking dope, right?

    March 3, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  15. craig

    If he wants to be elected as a Leader, he should be willing to lead, and that includes taking a stance when something like this happens. It's pretty obvious that 1) he's not a Leader, and 2) he's afraid of being drawn into a public discussion where some Adult Leadership is appropriate. On the other hand, the President, who could have stayed out this legitimately, got in and did the right thing. A Leader should be willing to set the tone of a conversation, and pull things back on track. Romney failed on every element of this mess, yet he's running within the party that caused it.

    March 3, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  16. 240_Gordy

    They don't call him Flip Romney for nothing!

    March 3, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  17. AG

    "I’m focusing on the issues I think are significant in the country today and that’s why I’m here talking about jobs and Ohio.” So issues surrounding women's health is NOT significant....veeeeery interesting!

    March 3, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  18. DixonIV

    Don't we expect this kind of thing from the pill poppin fat boy. I'm not sure why anyone needs to be upset by this self serving wing nut. He has only limited knowledge but he knows his pharmaceuticals. It is to bad he was caught before he put himself to sleep. All he has ever done is spew hate from his cave about anything or anyone whos is different. He is an absolute waste of life.

    March 3, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  19. 40 acres

    It would seem either Romney is afraid of king Rush or he needed to wait until his handlers told him how he felt about it. Waddaguy.

    March 3, 2012 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  20. Jules

    It's not the language you would have used????? So, Mitt, what language would you have used? You are a wishy washy spineless man.

    March 3, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  21. sh4rkbyt3

    This bloated drug addict has the nerve to call out someone else's motivations? What about his viagra filled junkets to to Dominican Republic looking for boys that you enjoy Rush???

    March 3, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  22. sh4rkbyt3

    Romney like Santorum and Gingrich are so scared of this pumpkin headed turd smoker (Lintballs) it's hillarious! The cowering GOP in the face of a lame radio announcer hahahaha.

    March 3, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  23. sh4rkbyt3

    So this is what the party of Reagan morality has been reduced to? Using street slang names from women who have the guts to stand up for themselves? Wan't it you Rush who said "people who can't have civil language through discourse don't have the intelligence to even be an America"? Disgusting GOP, good example of why I no longer support the party!

    March 3, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  24. john

    His silence is deafing, shame on him

    March 3, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  25. Sid Prejean

    I am positive that Mitt Romney has deeply held, cherished beliefs. I just wish he had the courage to say them out loud. "Not the language I would have used", indeed.

    March 3, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
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