(CNN) – Ron Paul became the latest presidential hopeful to weigh in on controversial and incendiary language used by radio commentator Rush Limbaugh to describe a college student, telling reporters Friday the remarks were in poor taste.
"It sounded a little crude the way it came across to me," Paul said. "I don't know why it has to be such a political football like this, so you have to ask him about his crudeness."
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The Texas representative - who spoke after an event in Seattle, Washington – was the latest in a series of both Republicans and Democrats uncomfortable with the comments made by the conservative radio show host, who on Wednesday said a college student who spoke out in favor of insurance coverage for contraception was a "prostitute" and a "slut."
After ignoring a question on the matter earlier in the day, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Limbaugh's words were "not the language I would have used." Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Limbaugh was being "absurd." A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the comments were "inappropriate."
President Barack Obama phoned the student, Sandra Fluke, to express "his support for her and his disappointment in the kind of attacks that have been leveled at her and to her and his appreciation for her willingness to stand tall and express her opinion," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday.
Democratic members of Congress – including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who organized the Capitol Hill event that raised the Georgetown Law student to prominence – released a statement on Wednesday calling the comments "vicious attacks," and on Thursday called on Boehner to "repudiate" Limbaugh.
Paul, who practiced obstetric medicine before and between his terms in Congress, told reporters in Seattle that contraception "would be a decision between doctor and patient." He likened the issue to a homeowner wanting repairs and painting to be covered by his insurance company.
"If you were going to buy house insurance and then somebody comes along and says, 'Oh, OK, what I want is the insurance company to paint my house … So I'm going to dictate to the insurance company that every two years when I need paint they're going to pay for painting my house in order to keep it from falling apart.
"No," Paul continued, "The government shouldn't be in there saying, 'You have to pay out [and] you have to pay for birth control pills."
Fluke told CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash on Friday that the Limbaugh comments "upset" and "outraged" her.
"I felt probably the way many women do when they are called those types of names," Fluke told CNN. "Initially hurt and then very quickly upset and outraged because somebody is trying to silence you."