March 5th, 2012
10:46 AM ET
8 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. Larry L

    Republicans pile on... They hate to look at what's become of conservatism in America – all about hate, fear, greed and bigotry.

    March 5, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. texan

    Oops !!!!! Rush said EXACTLY what his Ditto heads think. Sadly, most Republicans nowdays think alike. That`s why I am more Democrat than Republican nowdays.

    March 5, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. Sorensen

    Some responsible newsorganization should publish the name, address, telephone, website and brands of all the
    advertiser on Limbaughs perverse show. Further the private name, address, teleohone of all the CEO's of those
    advertisers. Public humiliation always works.

    March 5, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    thanks John. So you won't watch a depiction of the human e-bola that you unleashed on us? I guess I wouldn't either if I did that to the american people. As for fatty, I am sure he is just shaking in his EEEE size shoes and size XXL shirts worrying about what you think. To him and the other "purity" mongers, you are a RINO that doesn't belong. Just like the GOP hero R Reagan would not but since they still regard him as some kind of diety, they have no credibility whatsoever

    March 5, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. Todd M

    Too late to the party. Where were you before he apologized? Everyone sees your denunciation as a faint ploy to act tough on personal attacks. That's why you lost in 2008.

    March 5, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Ferret out the BS

    Rush was just speaking his mind, what little he has and truth has never been a strong point with him. It's always interesting to see the rats that jump ship when the radio guy GOP philosophical leadership dude just spells out what all the GOP is thinking. After all Rush has his fingers on the pulse of the party....when he's not in a drug induced coma.

    March 5, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. arale norimaki

    Let's all boycott any advertisers that remain. It's a free country. So Rush is free to be an idiot. We are free to avoid those who fund him to spew his filth, hate, and degradation.

    March 5, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |

    It's about time you establishment republicans stand up to Rush. He's going to take down the entire republican party of no one stands up to him. And I can't wait to see Game Change this Saturday. What a perfect portrayal of that dingbat from Wasilla.

    March 5, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. John

    Tired of the religious right and the GOP talking about family values and then when it is

    time for them to act like in this case with Limbaugh they either have a very timid or weak

    response or are nowhere to be found. Where is the outrage. Where are our religious leaders

    to condemn this.....Their silence is deafening....

    March 5, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. Max


    We ALL know that Limbaugh remarks are not just totally unacceptable, but showed lack of respect for our wives, mothers and daughters...ALL women of every age.

    Can anyone ever imagine the pompous and irreverent Rush Limbaugh even making a 'sincere' apology to anyone? If he is really sincere in making an apology to Sandra, then he owes so many others of us so many apologies over these many years.

    One so-called 'apology' is not enough coming from Rush Limbaugh. He is innately ill-mannered, rude and disrespectful. Knowing the kind of person he is, like other republican, no one should NOT apologize to another even though they find themselves in the wrong.

    Our soldiers did wrong, according to them , by mistake. It is just RIGHT for the head of the army to apologize to the afghan president and people. This is exactly what president Obama did. A genuine apology takes strength and courage and this is what our president showed. Rush is just TOO WEAK to issues a genuine apology...he will never issue one.

    Apologize???????? who?...Rush Limbaugh???? NO WAY will he genuinely apologize!

    March 5, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. Nellie Bly

    The fall of the GOP is so complete that even as a Democrat, I can't quite relish in its' demise.

    March 5, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. Jules

    How about this all you GOP so called leaders: "Rush Limbaugh does not speak for the Republican Party and anything he says should not be construed as coming from anyone in the Republican Party. PERIOD – Repeated over and over. What a gutless bunch the GOP is and people think that one of these 4 still standing candidates can be president. REALLY?

    March 5, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. fred doerrie

    No matter what the Republican pary relay's to the media, Rush Limbaugh is a leading voice within the party. Why are the same canidates that have wanted the public backing of Limbaugh, all of a sudden are slamming him?? Limbaugh, does represent the pary!! No matter what is said verbally, all the canidates running share Limbaugh's view's.. Thank you Mr. Limbaugh for helping Obama sure up another 4 yrs in office.. Please continue to discrace your party and let Limbaugh "the voice" of the repubican party continue to ruin any chance of a run in the 2012 general election !!

    March 5, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Mario

    whats sad is that many people that listen to him are probably upset about his "apology" over the weekend.

    March 5, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. stevorino1

    Clear Channel will not pull the plug. Their stations have wiped out entire genres (non-white) of the music we are able to listen to. BOYCOTT all of Clear Channel stations. I have been tracking changes in format since Bain (Romney was there) and now that Rush has made it all public, the Bain-ClearChannel-Murdoch-Fox – Republican-White Power scheme is complete.

    March 5, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. Jules

    To Sorensen – you can google Rush Limbaugh sponsors and get the list, but the list is outdated because 7 of them have withdrawn their sponsorship, the latest being ProFlowers.

    March 5, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. GI Joe.

    hmmm – seems Rush WAS pushing the republican agenda (in a disgusting way).

    March 5, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. lookindown

    I suspect the GOP is finding Limbaugh to be a real problem to the party, not only because of this kind of behaviour, but also because he has the power of the media to influence party politics in ways the leaders do not welcome and can not control.

    March 5, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. annie s

    The only Republicans to have chastised Limbaugh are Ron Paul, and now McCain. The others have either ignored it, approved it (it was absurd but entertainers can be absurd) or tried to use it (it was inappropriate but so were the Dems). If Limbaugh had been a liberal commentator, the GOTP would be screaming for him to be fired.

    March 5, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. Peace

    Rush has never filtered his words if one listens to him carefully. He always has verbal diarrhoea.

    March 5, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    looks like the inner maverick of Sen McCain is coming out and I have always liked and respected him for that. Much better than the person he chose as a running mate who so far has been silent on this matter. But I am not surprised at that, she once attacked a Democrat for using the word "retard" but when Rush used the same word she said he was just doing SATIRE. uh yeah, right!

    March 5, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    Where the hell was he last week? Sticking his finger in the air, waiting to see if it was safe for him to comment? Why is John McCain afraid of this drug-addicted monument to self-indulgence?

    March 5, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. Jon

    McCain is just another liberal and we've already heard from the whole hypocritical mess of libs

    March 5, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    "After all Rush has his fingers on the pulse of the party"
    Not really. Most Republicans know he's an entertainer and thus says some outrageous things. Democrats, on the other hand. are the ones who seem to take him seriously.

    March 5, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. BLKMANinAmerica

    JUST notice how triflin and disgusting repuks are.................look at who they choose to "have the pulse of the GOP" a total junkie on his "patti-roll"................DISGUSTING!

    March 5, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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