(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."
Limbaugh did not say anything any more crude or slanderous than what I'm reading here about Limbaugh and Republicans.
Put it another step further – to take one from the New Jersey Governor, Rush, shut up. If you think you are so damn smart, run for office. Put up or shut up. I'm tired of this blowhard hijacking the Republican party. It's time someone told this windbag to put up or shut up.
And to the station owners – how many times does this idiot have to insult someone and make an apology through crocodile tears before you man up and do something about it? He can say what he wants, but this consistent crossing the line is beyond any propriety and FCC and station owners should be ashamed for not taking more direct action. They have done it with others in the past, why is this windbag getting a free pass?
Don't set your post in the ground too deep there Ron. You bagless, nutless waste of air.
Limbaugh has offered a half-baked apology which still insults women and fails to show any humility or admittance of fault. I suspect he is only doing this as most of his sponsors are withdrawing support and he sees his income being threatened. There are many sites where you can find contact information and lists of his sponsors. Please go to one of them and personally put pressure via e-mails or phone messages on all of those that have not yet withdrawn their support for this hate-monger. Even your taxes are supporting him as the Department of Defense is a sponsor – is that how you want your taxes to be spent? The grass root campaign is definitely working – let's put this jerk out of business once and for all. A civil society can do without incivility from the likes of RL.
The GOP and Limbaugh can try to walk it back, but it won't work this time. The cat's out of the bag ... everyone can see the grotesque true colors of the Republican hierarchy that hates everyone except white, male rich old farts. Sheez, every one of the so-called GOP candidates spent *20* debates doing little more than competing to see which of them could most beat up on women. The reichwing American Taliban is in ruins, by its own small minded misogyny.
GOP/Tea Party conservative family values extremists should understand that Limbaugh is an ENTERTAINER and NOT a legitimate or credible political analyst. He adds nothing of value or importance to the political discourse.
The SILLINESS of a candidate HAVING to defend or reject a stance made by some irrelevant source should really stop. EVERY TIME they get chopped to bits for not making a PERFECT response in some subective minded person. Who cares what Limbaugh says? He is not relevant to serious Conservatives. It is just a political football that takes our minds off of serious issues.
Who really cares what Rush said? Aren't there WAY bigger issues at stake here? You whiny DEMS need to take a chill pill.
I wonder if Rush "Limpballs" would like if I called him an unflattering name...oh, wait...
The Republican Party could do with the use of more birth control if you ask me. The less Republicans breed, the better.
I mean really. Even Ron Paul is cautious with his condemnation of Rush. I can't believe how the entire Republican party is scared of a big loud mouth like Rush... Truely disturbing! Until the Republicans do some growing up and stop being the party of mean bullies and stupid policies they will just be more marginalized every year by rational voters...
Doug O – you are a fine American, sir. You make us all proud!
Crude?? Is that what you would call it if it were your daughter or the daughter of one of your family members?? I used to say that if I were forced to vote for anyone of the pathetic republican field of candidates it would be you Mr. Paul, but you can bet that after this weak response to mean and hateful statements made against an innocent young woman, you are not fit to be President either! Thank God we have an intelligent, compassionate, and caring President. I am sure that young woman really appreciated your call sir. Who is the adult in the room?????
Funny how Rush Limbaugh "decided" (forced to decide?) to apologize once advertisers started leaving....
Rush can't stand Ron Paul, so for anyone to say that Ron Paul is inclined to lean on whatever Rush says is just ill-informed.
"Fair Taxes" do your homework, Ron Paul disagrees with pretty much everything Rush says on almost all issues. Rush actually despises Paul because of that. Which is typical of Rush.
Hey there d-bag! Good to see you come out from under your rock. What's up? Had to stick your empty head out to spew some of your right-winger brand of hate?
Hmmmm. It would be nice if there was a link to the transcript of just what exactly it was that Rush said. I've seen differing accounts in several places. I hesitate to judge until I know facts. I do know the woman in question chose that law school knowing that birth control was not covered, with the intention of trying to make an issue of the coverage. I also know that birth control costs less than 10 bucks a month at Wal-Mart or Target. I wonder just how innocent this woman is......? Surely
@Doug O: you are a disgusting vile creature. Are you a blood relative of Truth and Nothing Butt????
Thank you boys...Rush, Romney, Boehner, Paul, Santorum, Gingrich – we have been waiting for something to energize the progressive female voters...lookout!
Gotta say I'm disappointed by Dr. Paul's comment. He should've been more forceful than that.
When is the Republican party going to stop elevating and celebrating raw ignorance and small mindedness?
Rush Limbaugh has a high school education, he has fried his brain with drugs and yet he is elevated to an unofficial position of master economist, law expert, cutting edge environmentalist and now, reproductive health expert. Rush never allows anyone to present conflicting information on his show, he makes a living being 'outraged' and outrageous, EVERYTHING that comes out of his mouth is motivated by his bank account. Yet GOP politicians are terrified of giving him anything more than a friendly wrist slap.
If the GOP is to restore any respect to the party politicians must loudly repeatedly and publicly tar and feather Rush Limbaugh. He is a cancer to the GOP.
Please. It was rude and crude and Mr. Limbaugh should be told so in no uncertain terms. The candidates are too meek to really speak out against Mr. Limbaugh. What does that tell you about his power! He has the Republican Party running with its tails between its legs.
Yuri, to denounce Limbaugh himself would be to engage in the same kind of behavior that he's being denounced for – attacking the person instead of the substance. You don't attack the person, you attack the ideas and the behavior that is the true problem.
Was his comment outlandish? You bet it was. It was a reprehensible personal attack. It was totally unacceptable tripe.
Adding more of the same won't make it better, though. I would have liked to see these people use much stronger language to denounce this behavior. It truly has no place in public discourse, but why should I really expect any different?
This is just the latest. Every candidate attacks all the others, personally as often as not. None of them are willing to stand on their own positions and stick to discussing issues on substance. None of them. Paul is the only one who does, out of the two major wings (Republican/Democrat) of the War Party that has a stranglehold on power.
So nice of Paul to join the conversation. Crude is what Limbaugh does so well. Why should he be anything else?