Paul calls Limbaugh comments 'crude'
March 3rd, 2012
01:41 PM ET
9 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. Belingo

    Ok, so even Ron Paul – who probably cares much less for Rush Limbaugh than some might actually think – has to sidestep those questions and leave it at a mild comment on the wording. The only reason I liked Ron Paul is because he used to call out nonsense like this. Sad.

    March 3, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Kana

    Don Imus's comments about the Rutger's girls Basket ball team and Rick Sanchez's comments lead to their removal from the airwaves as have others .
    I think it's time for Rush Limbaugh to be removed. But that probably won't happen because he allegedly controls the GOP.

    March 3, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Disgusted

    Litmus test! Any candidate or politician who does not REPUDIATE Limbaugh should be "fired" (neither elected, nor re-elected), as he/she shows no respect for 50% of the electorate. Wimpy statements, like those offered by the lackluster Republican candidates for President, are not enough. Epic fails for all of them.

    March 3, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. Winning

    I really would have expected more from Paul on this, so he's a coward just like the rest of his party. I am no longer fooled by his folksy speech.

    March 3, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. Dan

    Further proof that the GOP doesn't just listen to, but are in fact morphed into Santorum and Limbaugh. What happened to IKE?

    March 3, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Sadie

    Rush Limbaugh is a pig and should be called out for what he is. In addition considering that he's been married four times and still have not re-produced he has either practiced using contraceptives himself, or he's shooting blanks or maybe he's a Unick.

    March 3, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. Julie Damm

    I am more than disappointed that individuals can't make a statement without behaving like they do not have any gray matter between their ears! If you disagree with a point of view then it is your job to explain why you disagree. No matter what the issue you can make your point (I hope) by explaining why your view is different. I am a conservative female, mother, grandmother and educator. I am proud to be an American but I am not proud of any American who feels that their idea is the "only one"! Our country became a great country because many individulas were allowed to share their point of views without being treated with such ugly hostility. I think we need to wake up and start behaving with common courtesy especially with those we disagree with. Please both sides behave in a manner that will make your family and countrymen proud.. not emberassed!

    March 3, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. Babs in PA

    When will the media tell the truth about this "23-year-old co-ed victim", that she is a 30-year-old political activist who has admitted that she deliberately chose Georgetown Law because she did the research and found their student health insurance did not pay for contraception? Limbaugh was wrong, but it equally as wrong to portray this woman as a "victim" and this a fight about "womens' rights".

    March 3, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Chris

    So a girl who needs help paying for her contraception while she's in college; what's she studying to be?

    March 3, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. Teddyg

    I like Ron Paul, but his painter analogy is very wanting and surprising for an M.D. Does he think that women 'want' to spend big gobs of money on birth control? They would much rather have a simple 1x per month pill they could take or something like a temporary tubal ligation ... but neither exist.

    March 3, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. really now?

    It's insane how much attention this has even received! Why should ANYONE in political office have to even comment on this? Rush limbaugh is not a politician. He is not making policies in this country. To all those that are outraged and calling for the politicians to condemn rush for his comments: You're playing right into his hands. This is what he does. He makes outrageous comments for ratings. If this was someone in congress or the whitehouse who made this comment, then by all means condemn it and the whatnot. But it was someone in the media who does this on purpose. For goodness sake he even got the president of the united states in on it.

    March 3, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Just a "little" crude?

    I found a whole lot insulting! Why isn't the GOP outright condemning LImbaugh's words? Oh, right, they agree with him. After all, he is their mouthpiece.

    March 3, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. swanne

    Rush: 3 Divorces and counting....oh and he's for the "Defense of Marriage Act". Is there a special clause in there for him and the Gingrinch that stole Christmas. But seriously, I'm sure he really does respect women... Kind of funny that Clarence Thomas actually conducted one of his marriages. Wonder if Long Dong Silver was in attendance.

    March 3, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. cch

    Rush Limbaugh does not need pills to be stupid.

    March 3, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. DP

    I've heard a lot of Limbaugh and a lot of Paul. Trust me, the two have no love for each other. Paul's saying to ask Limbaugh as an objection to being asked about something that has nothing to do with him.

    As for Santorum, calling it "absurd" is code language. What Limbaugh does is say everything sarcastically, then when someone calls him on it, he chuckles with his listeners who are "in on" the sarcastic way he does it, even sometimes acting like it was all a con and they fell for it. (Yes, journalists do sometimes take what he says out of context, but he baits them to do it. It's like being amused by getting a crack addict to smoke crack.) Santorum's showing how he's "in on" Limbaugh's weird form of amusement by using the word "absurd".

    I'm just describing the game here. Feel free to note how abusive people cut on people, then claim to be "only joking" and also bait their targets into blow-up reactions so they can point out how unreasonable their target is. The analogy is either fair or too accurate to be an analogy at all.

    March 3, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. dave m

    When did it get back to 1964 again? Did I miss the memo?

    March 3, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. dudh

    A vote for a Republican in 2012 is a vote for Rush Limbaugh.

    March 3, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Visigoth

    Pregnancy is a disease ?

    well.., thus if this is the argument.., lets get the government to buy us more stuff ( after all someone else is paying.., right ? )

    Hmmm.., the sun causes skin cancer.., so the government has to buy us sunscreen.

    sugar causes tooth decay so the government has to buy us toothpaste

    walking can cause knee and hip joint problems so the government has to buy us insoles for our shoes know....., just being alive is problematic and is going to cause you some ailment sooner or later.., so perhaps the government should just buy us everything...

    that's better....

    March 3, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. Dave, Central Illinois

    I have an idea. This woman should pay for her own birth control. I pay for my own condoms. We need to start being responsible adults in this country again....

    March 3, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. Dagney

    Being a morbidly obese, nasty, angry, self-righteous drug abuser is against my religion. Let Rush pay for his own health care.

    March 3, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Jen

    Everyone, PLEASE, don't think that all republicans think, act or talk the same. To me a huge desire of the Republican party is smaller government. We do NOT agree and we DO condemn such horrible remarks as those by Limbaugh. That is TOTALLY unacceptable and I'm sure at least 99.9% of Republicans feel the same. Regarding the candidates remarks....everything they say gets taken the wrong way. They are just trying to keep afloat. I'm sure Romney would have really liked to sock it to him.

    And regarding this article....ya'll are so right. If Santorum can't manage to organize his team to registered him for each states contests, how would he manage dealing with the country on his shoulders. NOPE! Time to go home over!

    March 3, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  22. Solitaire

    Rush is paid to say controversial stuff. His ratings needed a boost. So he attacks a young woman verbally, abuses her in public. His sponsers will probably give him a raise.

    March 3, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. OrangeW3dge

    "latest presidential hopeful to weight in" – – –
    Sorry, I'm not trying to be picky, but I think it is important to note that even people that make a living in the United States using the English language on a daily basis are faltering in their ability to use the language correctly.
    If one were to wade into a swimming pool, it may appear the same as venturing into "uncharted waters". And, if one were to assess his worth, such as assaying a chunk of gold ore, then one may "weigh" himself, or, in this case, his opinion. But to weight himself down with weights would surely make him sink...

    March 3, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. Dagney

    and please, don't make me watch the tape.

    March 3, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Harry

    One good thing about all this is everyone under the sun is throwing him under the bus. I hope he gets fired IMHO.

    March 3, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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