Has Limbaugh flap hurt Santorum?

The controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh's recent remarks that a graduate student who testified before Congress in favor of President Obama's contraception mandate was a "slut" might have been more than a minor distraction for Rick Santorum, who needed to pivot away from social issues to focus on economic matters this week.

Professor Paul Beck of the Ohio State University told The Hill that Limbaugh's controversial remarks might have hampered Santorum, who hurt himself heading into last week's primary in Michigan by focusing too much on social issues.

"There is this perceived extremity from Santorum on some of the social-conservative issues, which may be more salient now because of the Limbaugh flap and how people have reacted to that," Beck said.

Santorum called Limbaugh's remarks "absurd," but said that "an entertainer can be absurd."

After Limbaugh initially defended his remarks, a number of companies pulled advertising from his show. He apologized for the comments over the weekend.