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. Sarah H

    Disgusting that he's silent. I've lost all respect for him. I'm Republican, I'm also Catholic and I vote. As a woman I know access to contraception is important. It should be my choice to have as many or as few children as I feel I can take care of well, provide for and raise to be productive citizens. I don't want to be forced into having "19 children and counting ....".

    March 2, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  2. Ron

    Just another lost opportunity to show leadership. When he's vacationing in the Caymans next year, he'll reflect on this moment and know that he blew his chance.

    March 2, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. Bigereads

    Romney a coward on everything indecent that he and members of his party do and say. No morals, no patriotism, no defense of American women. Republikkklan Cowards Political Party. They'd mess their diapers before daring to go after the fattest coward, Rusty Limpballs.

    March 2, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  4. Nathan

    What did you expect from a "man" with no spine?

    March 2, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. kayla

    the stiff is a coward

    March 2, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  6. Voltaire

    Cheer up mitt because ann just announced that so many struggling women are coming up to her a la michelle bachmann style and just begging dear ann to have you fix the economy. heck they don t care about womens rights because thats an issue for republican men to decide on.

    March 2, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. BunnyBunny

    This is what the Republicans get by letting these hate mongers be their mouthpiece. Romney is scared to say anything bad about Limbaugh because he knows Rush would make it his mission to take him down.

    March 2, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. sanda s

    why on earth does anyone vote republican?

    March 2, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. bilk7

    Romney needs to ask his handlers how he should answer any question. We've seen what happens when he speaks off the cuff. No matter how he'd answer, he'd flip a short time later.

    March 2, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Randoms

    Limbaugh deserves a whooping. I know if he said that about my sister, I'd go after him.
    (I'm sure this will open the door for the anonymously safe keyboard tuff-guys to chime in...)

    March 2, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Romney is a spineless POS.

    March 2, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. GaryB

    Is this really a surprise? Romney can't even tell you what he thinks about the weather without consulting his handlers. Whenever he tried to speak "off the cuff" he just looks stupid. I guess this proves that you don't have to be smart or have a backbone to be rich; you just have to be born rich.

    March 2, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. Ed Fl

    Perfect example of what Romney would do in a crisis. this guy will never be in the position that he would have to determine the validity or action in a crisis.He wouldn't stop counting his money for anyone or anything. IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN, keep your present job.

    March 2, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    There aren't too many GOP/Tea Party politicians with the courage and sense of justice to criticize Limbaugh. Many of them without honor or character take their marching orders and talking points from Limbaugh. Do not expect Flip Flopper Romney to be a critic.

    March 2, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. terry

    Rush is a PERVERT! he wants to watch her do it. He is a disgusting , fat slob stuck on drugs. He is jealous he is getting none. Only a desperate woman would want to do it with Rush

    March 2, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. Peter Zheutlin

    If Romney has an ounce of courage and decency he'll condemn Limbaugh's remarks. Silence in the face of this kind of public bullying and disgraceful discourse is not an option.

    March 2, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Mitzie

    Will this man take a principled stand on any issue? Sad to see a man who feels he is able to lead the "free world" not be able to take a stand against a polarizing figure like Rush Limbaugh. How sad is that? I will not vote for Romney. I would not vote for any Republican at this point. Romney was supposed to exempify the moderate position within the Republican party. Frankly, I don't see him doing anything other than pandering to whomever sits in front of him at any one moment in time.

    March 2, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. 60's survivor

    Down with limbaugh his time is past. Hateful thing he is. He glorifies in hisself. He has no scruples .

    March 2, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Rob

    And this guy makes millions a year. A voice of America that is a total embarrassment.

    March 2, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. JFritz

    When will decent Republicans stop being such cowards in face of these Fox news blowhards? As right-wing evangelicals have hijacked religion, right-wing zealots have hijacked the Republican party. Bullies, all. Fox news is owned by the same people who give you Fox entertainment. The blowhard with the golden mike is a nobody, an entertainer. He has never led anything nor created anything positive. Why listen at all?

    March 2, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  21. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Romney silent to CNN on Limbaugh◄
    That's because he's afraid of the Grand Poo-Bah!
    Or maybe it's because he's thinking of his FLOP before he FLIPS
    You know, he does not want to continue sinking his ship!!!

    What a LOSER!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    March 2, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  22. JazzyGirl

    Why is this not a no-brainer for Mit Romney? His position on this should not require deep thinking. Here is a private citizen, a 24-year old student, being verbally bullied by a broadcaster whose tag line is "Excellence in Broadcasting." If this is complicated for Mitt Romney, then he is not ready to lead the greatest nation on earth. Relative to the other truly complex issues that he will face as president, this should be a no brainer.

    March 2, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. Darron R. Brown, M.D.

    Staying silent on such comments from a right wing radio entertainer is no different than staying silent on racist comments. It shows a lack of back-bone, a lack of courage.

    March 2, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  24. 60's survivor

    Wake up Romney have an opinion. Oh that's right that's not your forte

    March 2, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  25. larry

    By Romney staying silent says everything I need to know.By the republican party not slamming Rush also lets us know how they feel.Saying I don't agree isn't quite enough.We view Rush's statement seriously we also realize he speaks for a large section of the GOP.You cant deny him he's all yours.All the party caters to Rush,They seek sheriff Joe's Approval.,and kiss Trumps ring.What in gods name is wrong with your party.These are the types of people you allow have any say in your party.No wonder President Obama and the democratic party are going to blow you away.

    March 2, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
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