March 5th, 2012
10:46 AM ET
11 years ago

McCain: Limbaugh remarks 'totally unacceptable'

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain became the latest Republican Monday to chastise talk radio host Rush Limbaugh for using incendiary language to describe a law student who advocated health insurance coverage of contraception at a Democratic hearing on Capitol Hill.

Speaking on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," the Arizona lawmaker and 2008 GOP presidential nominee said Limbaugh was an "entertainer," but that the remarks were "totally unacceptable, totally and completely unacceptable, and there's no place for it."

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Limbaugh made the original comments Wednesday, in which he also suggested the student, Sandra Fluke, wanted taxpayers to pay for her to have sex.

Other Republicans have also weighed in to condemn the remarks. Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator running for the GOP presidential nomination, called the remarks "absurd" in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer Friday.

Fellow candidate Mitt Romney wasn't as critical, saying only "it's not the language I would have used."

Also on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner said through a spokesperson that Limbaugh's statement was "inappropriate."

In his interview Monday, McCain also weighed in on "Game Change," the movie set to air on HBO that's based on his 2008 presidential campaign.

"It's based on a book that was innuendo, unsubstantiated remarks," McCain said. "It was a great piece for the re-election of President Obama by authors who were obviously committed to it. And of course I wouldn't watch such a thing. I have better use for my time."

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Filed under: 2012 • John McCain
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Careful John, Bain Capital owns part of Rush's radio station.

    March 5, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Marty, FL

    Romney does not have the courage or conviction to say anything more critical of Rush.

    Clear Channel = Bain Capital = Romney

    March 5, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Shouldn't all these GOPers be lining up SUPPORTING Rush and his mouth farts? Or at the very least look the other way like they did when he talked all that trash about the President and his family? Oh, wait, I forgot, it is an election year. There just isn't enough time for the American public to forget this one, is there?

    March 5, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Debbie

    1) Day late dollar short McCain, 2) Rush's comments were inappropriate as were Romney's "they were the words I would have used," and Romney's comment that Limbaughs apology was appropriate. In essence Romney would have also called the young lady a slut and protitute but used nicer language. It still would be demeaning to women, defamation of character, slander and bearing false witness but Romney would have used nicer language. Apparently posting a quasi-apology on a website is how Romney makes an apology. As a Christian I learned differently. You must face the person you offended, make resitution, and not do the action again. Limbaugh, Romney and McCain are all off the track as far as I'm concerned.

    March 5, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. d

    Too late mr sad. you used to stand up for not so much.

    March 5, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. cjg

    Funny , how they see the fury of women , these politians come out and say what they should have several days ago. makes me sick to hear them say things like it was Rush's idea of humor. I wrote Clear Cannel Communications and got an answer about his humor was not to everyone;s liking , and they considered him a talent and yada yada yada. Just made me more angry! I would like him to be fired!!! I vowed that I will not buy a product from his advertisers.

    March 5, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. thomas mc

    Of course, McCain waited until he was sure which way the wind was blowing before he formed an opinion.

    March 5, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. Bob 3243

    Hang in there Rush- let all the mndless hysterical lefties have they're say in the end your truth will be standing. No reasonable person who listened to what you said thinks you called her anything personally- it was about the concept- everyone knows it. They're trick isn't going to work-

    March 5, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Pitbull

    Too little too late...Nobody said squat until he apologized...Rush has the GOP by the balls...

    March 5, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. skalamba

    I agree with Senator McCain, Limbaugh's remark is unacceptable!!!!.

    March 5, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. grif99999

    It is sad the media and the Dems keep focusing on this stuff instead of the economy. Im guessing BO doesnt want to try to defend his dismal record yet.

    March 5, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Lionel

    Too little too late John. How easy it is say that it is inappropriate now. I hope the republican party takes a beating in Nov so that we can rid us of the vile. The discourse in this country is just disgusting.

    I am an independent and i will be voting democrat this cycle.

    March 5, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    For those of you who think Rush Limbaugh should finally be thrown off the air, forget about it. We have seen this move coming out of the conservative playbook before. The name of the play is, "Sweep Right." It works like this.

    1. Conservative politician commits some controversial act.
    2. Liberal outcry is deafening, while the conservative outcry is even more deafening.
    3. Not until public opinion polls show they are losing, will conservative politician show some limited remorse.
    4. Many leading conservative politicians join in expressing varying degrees condemnation.
    5. Shortly thereafter, conservative politicians and guilty party act like nothing ever happened clailming, "Let's move on."

    Sorry, Limbaugh haters. He ain't going anywhere over this episode.

    March 5, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Ray E. (Georgia)

    What's really unacceptable is the over 15 Trillion dollar debt, 47 million on food stamps millions of people with morgages under water and the country running on fumes. After this all dies down all the nation's problems will still be here.

    March 5, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. The REAL Truth

    @grif99999 – "Im guessing BO doesnt want to try to defend his dismal record yet."
    It's no less dismal (in fact BETTER) than the previous occupant whose wars and selling out who got us to need a bailout in the first place. You can't fix broke overnight, and had we gone into another major recession (like 70 yrs ago) by tightening our belts, BO would still be vilified as is is now for spending our way out. Only time will tell, but honestly, what is a GOP POTUS going to accomplish if the tables are reversed and the Dem's become the "Party of NO" for the next 4 yrs. We need a Congress that WORKS FOR THE GOOd OF THE COUNTRY, not an I'm right and you're not attitude!!!

    March 5, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Data Driven

    So what ARE the words Romney would've used, I wonder?

    March 5, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rmoney is stepping lightly around Rush's faux pas. I guess he's waiting to be told by his handlers how to react to this.
    This is who you're going to nominate, the perfect puppet soldier.

    March 5, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Bob

    "What's really unacceptable is the over 15 Trillion dollar debt, 47 million on food stamps millions of people with morgages under water and the country running on fumes"

    That's what happens when you let Repukes run the joint for 10 years.

    March 5, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. cali girl

    To all you men out there in support of what Rush said, re-examine his words if that was being directed at your Mother, Sister, Daughter, or Wife. How would you feel then?
    There is no apology acceptable to call a woman a slut, prostitute or promiscuous. A man makes her that way. But no one dares to call you all sluts.

    March 5, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Lynn

    Palin was not born with enough smarts to just shut up and disappear after her class act since senile Mc Cain annointed her, but Mc Cain, seasoned politician that he is, should have known to exit gracefully or at least, do some constructive work in Washington without trying to promote wars with his Mickey Mouse comments or half-hearted attempts to cheer for Mitt.

    March 5, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    grif99999 wrote:

    It is sad the media and the Dems keep focusing on this stuff instead of the economy.
    Meanwhile, right wing is still focused on "Fast and Furious", birth certificates, abortion, contraceptives, ACORN, medical death panels, and at least a dozen other *manufactured* issues. At least Limbaugh actually exists, and actually said all of the stuff. Right wing media just makes stuff up, distorts the facts, and generally blows stuff way out of proportion to reality.

    March 5, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Bob wrote:

    "What's really unacceptable is the over 15 Trillion dollar debt, 47 million on food stamps millions of people with morgages under water and the country running on fumes"

    That's what happens when you let Repukes run the joint for 10 years.
    Nomination for best comeback of the day award, goes to Bob.

    March 5, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. Pam from Iowa

    Getting slow in your old age John?
    Too little and way too late for damage control!!!

    March 5, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. GetReal

    John McLame duck needs to butt out of 1st Adm rights to Free Speech.

    What part of this left wing activest do you support? Abortion?

    Absentance is free. Try promoting that.

    You need to switch parties along with Mitt if you don't support Repulican core values.

    March 5, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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