Paul calls Limbaugh comments 'crude'
March 3rd, 2012
01:41 PM ET
10 years ago

Paul calls Limbaugh comments 'crude'

(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."

Filed under: 2012 • Ron Paul • Washington
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Stephen in VA

    So there we have it. The former OB/GYN says birth control is like house painting.

    The guy makes a fruitcake look sane.

    March 3, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  2. john

    contraception is murder. Rush (as always) is 150% correct.

    March 3, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  3. Lilyrosalie

    Thank you Mr Obama for being a gentleman and defending the lady. Based on what I know about your relationship with your mother, your grandmother, your wife and your daughters, it is easy to see how much you respect women and we appreciate it. You have my vote based upon your manners alone.

    March 3, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  4. wittynotes

    Contraception pills are used for various medical reasons. Preventing pregnancy is only one of them. Paul should know better and condemn this kind of language.

    March 3, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  5. Dawn Tarr

    Let's face it either all of the Republican Candidates are cowards or they actually agree with Limbaugh.........either way they are unelectable. Real average, normal republicans.........I offer my deepest condolences..........your party is dead.

    March 3, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  6. selfDistruct

    I'm sure Ron Pauls comments pertained more to the government staying out of our lives and his commitment to our liberty. He is the real deal folks. A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for the government staying out of your life. Not just when you agree with it. And that includes insurance companies. You need to commit yourself to this cause if we are going to make difference. Any thing else is an offshoot the current system.

    March 4, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  7. selfDistruct

    And I also believe that his withholding attacks on Rush is an act of character that he displays is the same thing he displays in interview and debates by not personally attacking other candidates.

    March 4, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  8. ThinkAgain

    Ron Paul believes in freedom for everyone – except women, who he thinks shouldn't be able to make decisions about their own bodies.

    THIS is the real reason why his "condemnation" for Limbaugh's comment is so tepid: Paul actually agrees with Rush!

    March 4, 2012 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  9. ThinkAgain

    "I don't know why it has to be such a political football like this, so you have to ask him about his crudeness."

    Because, as you and everyone knows, Rush Limbaugh is the mouthpiece for the Republican party.

    If you're too dumb or naive to get this, then you obviously are unqualified to be POTUS.

    March 4, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  10. ThinkAgain

    The real response to ask of these GOP candidates is why do they all kow-tow to the 4-times-married addict, Limbaugh?

    If a Democrat had anywhere NEAR that history, the GOP field would be ripping him a new one; not so with Rush, the real spokesman for the republican party.

    March 4, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  11. canuck41

    what is it with democrats and bledding heart liberals all over, they are so self righteous and sanctimonius it is sickening. Left wing radicals can condemn anything and everything Republicans say, but when they have a verbal gaffe they feel this is just fine. Lets get Obama outta the White House asap!! Mitt Romney is rolling on to victory in GOP race and then come November!!!!! YESSS

    March 4, 2012 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  12. CORD

    Hey dougiiie o , and anyone else who supports that steamin pile limbutt, what would you say if iit was your daughter,mother,or sister that some punk said that to how would t feel

    March 4, 2012 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  13. MoonDawg

    I, for one, am happy to pay taxes for contra – ception so that people who know themselves, and understand their limitations/resources/desires, can refrain from having and raising kids or postpone it (to be clear, I'm not at all agreeing w #38's comment-phrases like "career welfare recipients" are insulting to poor people and ring dangerously close to forced sterilization programs in our country's past). I think the government should be too. And there's no doubt I would totally welcome the government paying for me and others to enjoy s e x and have lots of it; now that's a government this "s l u t" could adore! Aside: Why is anybody in an uproar or surprised that this man would make such a comment?

    March 4, 2012 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  14. MoonDawg

    Cowards, all of them. Pathetic.

    March 4, 2012 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  15. SOS

    Who put Fluke up to this act. Maybe David Axelrod? How did Fluke get to speak before Congress? The bait was thrown out and Russ took it hook line and sinker How many Condoms or Birth Control Pills will the reported $3000 buy in her life time.?
    And the Taxpayers thought they were the only ones getting SCREWED This situation reeks of "Chicago style Politics, any thing to stir the pot. No longer "Luck of the Irish"

    March 4, 2012 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  16. keithb

    Fair Taxes, tI agree it was not a "vigorous condemnation" but it was it was far more vigorous then the other chickens (republicans) would say!

    March 4, 2012 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  17. Jason

    The problem is that the government is forcing people who don't believe in things, be it wars or birth control, that the people forced to pay for them don't believe in. If you stop all of it we would be better off.

    March 4, 2012 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  18. steven harnack

    Well gee, those were a bunch of stinging rebukes weren't they! Now they will be the ones apologizing to Rush for such harsh language. You know, all of that "kind of crude" and "not what I would have said"! How could they be so mean?

    March 4, 2012 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  19. realist

    March 4, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  20. bennythecat

    the day rush limbaugh wake up with cramps, or wake up running to the bathroom to puke, or scream in pain while giving birth, then he can offer and opinion. until that happens he should just shut up.

    March 4, 2012 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  21. Jimmer


    March 4, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  22. Marlee

    Now Senator Al Franken said it best: "Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot."

    March 4, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  23. lindsey

    Just a reality check: I don't have insurance and I get birth control pills for only $9 a month from Walmart. Also, Limbaugh is an idiot.

    March 4, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  24. Jose Mora

    @nothing new here

    Your welcome to make your check out to "U S Treasury."

    Oh, and please keep your hired thugs out of my wallet.

    RON PAUL 2012

    March 4, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
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