Romney: Limbaugh's 'slut' line is 'not the language' I'd use

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney weighed in on the Rush Limbaugh controversy in which he called a law school student a "slut," telling reporters at a campaign stop that it's "not the language" he would have used.

"I'll just say this, which is, it's not the language I would have used," Romney said, after appearing in a rally at Cleveland State University. "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."

ADVERTISEMENT
Romney had not mentioned the controversy surrounding Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke at events earlier in the day in Ohio or in Washington state.

Earlier in the week, Limbaugh called Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she appeared before Congress to testify in favor of employers covering birth control for all women, including those institutions who oppose it because of religion.

Romney's main GOP rival, Rick Santorum, used stronger terms about Limbaugh.

"He's being absurd, but that's, you know … an entertainer can be absurd," Santorum said Friday on CNN. "He's in a very different business than I am."

On Friday, even President Obama weighed in, calling Fluke to offer his support. 

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama felt that the "personal attacks that have been directed her way are inappropriate."

"The fact that our political discourse has become debased in many ways is bad enough," Carney said. "It's worse when it's directed at a private citizen who was simply expressing her views on a  matter of public policy."

The White House initially took political heat over a contraception mandate, under which employers' insurers provide birth control to their employees without a co-pay, from critics who said it was a violation of religious liberty. Under pressure, Obama announced an “accommodation” meant to allow exceptions from the mandate for Catholic hospitals and other religiously affiliated groups.

Critics said that accommodation didn’t go far enough, but the White House move made it more difficult for Republicans to frame the debate over religious freedom. Since then, missteps by Republicans and now Limbaugh’s comments have shifted the national debate into a fight about contraception and women’s rights.


More in House

Boehner: Clinton 'not telling the truth' on emails

Read more »