March 2nd, 2012
06:07 PM ET
11 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.”

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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. mark

    As far as I am concerned his obvious evasion speaks to his lack of principles and makes him a coward – because he does not want to alienate the far right to whom Rush appeals. As well in saying he wouldn't have used that language, is he saying he would still agree in principle?

    March 3, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  2. Hussein Obama

    CNN headline – :Obama calls Fluke – asks for date".

    March 3, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  3. Hussein Obama

    Moderate this: Obama sucks.

    March 3, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  4. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Romney avoided commenting because he realizes that every time he opens his mouth to utter a non-scripted sentence he ends up with the bad taste of shoe leather.

    March 3, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  5. Jason F

    Not the language you would have used? No matter what name or phrase you may have used, the implication is the tone (underlying or overt) would have been the same. Please stop touting your service in MA; you didn't stand a chance of winning re-election, so you ran away. You're embarassing us.

    March 3, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  6. bill

    If Mitt doesn't have the guts to stand up for someone being libeled then he doesn't have the guts to be our President.

    March 3, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  7. WaltD

    Romney is not only a flip-flopper, he likes to play it safe too.

    March 3, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  8. Namejkane fl

    How can any sane person support or vote for these obsurd bafoon canadates that represent the republican party. Dem landslide coming in Nov.

    March 3, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  9. Johnson

    The CNN reporter should know old flipflop would not want to comment on Limbaugh. He has probably dined and wined Limbaugh to get his support. I don't know what Romney will have to say if the economy continues to improve. Rmemeber when he was Governor, Massachusetts was 47th in the country for job creation.

    March 3, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  10. kanoodle

    “I'll just say this which is it’s not the language I would have used," Romney said.

    What language would you have used Romney?
    The man who advised abused women to return to their abusers

    March 3, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  11. Coolheaded

    Romney said it all months ago, when he slammed the door on a rediculous debate question from DNC plant George Stephanopolis: Romney's not interested in limiting or restricting contraceptives. CNN is trying another run to try and create a wedge issue where none exists - at least with Romney. Romney's about the economy, jobs, and making government small, unobtrusive, and effective. Want a comment about contraceptives? Go talk to Santorum.

    March 3, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  12. bassman

    Why was our media silent after Mike Tyson's violence against women comments? Because they were about Sarah Palin. Who knew you could get away with wombshifting Sarah Palin. Double-standards are ugly.

    March 3, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  13. jim

    Strong words from a junkie!

    March 3, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. Dawn Tarr

    Do you know what the people of Ohio want Mitt? We want a potential Presidential candidate who has the conviction to call a spade and a spade and when someone in their party is acting like a complete ass to come out with it and tell them to act like a human being and apologize. This is just another sign that you DO NOT have what it takes to be President of this Country. As a matter of fact any Republican who has not spoke up and demanded Limbaugh to at the very least apologize does not deserve the position they have in our government. This is just another sign that the Republican Party indeed is DEAD.......No morals, No convictions, No ideas, No solutions, and No one leading.

    March 3, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  15. jay wright

    Wow! This is better than the super bowl.

    March 3, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  16. thereik1

    And what language would you have used? (Given the fact you seem to agree with the thrust of Mr. Limbaugh's argument.)

    March 3, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. DudeinGA

    Though I haven't seen the full context of the remarks, I find Romney's comments cowardly. Based on what he did say, he either believes some of the tone that Limbaugh said or he is uncomfortable with challenging Rush by saying something that might offend Rush. That's Mitt's problem – he has no backbone to do what's right. He rationalized that away a long time ago.

    March 3, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  18. Sara

    Limbaugh is the voice of the Republican party. That voice says: women are to be second class citizens, to not have equal rights, to be seen and not heard. Republican women – is this what you want? A woman should be able to testify before Congress without being so viciously disparaged.

    March 3, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  19. EBall

    Hi Ms. Mittens. What are u saying? Are there people who are not voting for economics?

    March 3, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  20. Pat , Maine

    Romney= coward

    March 3, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  21. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    That's probably very accurate, Mitt. Not the language you would have used, unless and until someone else told you to use it. Why don't you try thinking for yourself every once in a while?

    What an empty suit! A vote for this guy is a vote for Pinocchio, complete with strings!

    March 3, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  22. 21st Century Patriot

    Mitt, you're a cowardly weasel. No spine, no principles, no sense of shame. You're only where you are today because of the bigots, sore losers, and people who live in the right wing truth-free zone who have an unwarranted hate of Obama. If a grapefruit was running against Obama, they would vote for it, and the GOP would have a candidate with more personality.

    March 3, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  23. NoTags

    Willard is just afraid to say anthing against the Grand Poobah of the GOP.

    March 3, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
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