By Justin Sink
"No, and I do not every want to speak to Bill Maher," Palin said. "I would not demean myself or other women by engaging in a conversation with such a petty and small-minded man like Bill Maher."
The former Alaska governor also criticized President Obama for calling the Georgetown law student, Sandra Fluke, whom Limbaugh had called a "slut" and a prostitute."
"Please know that I neither desire nor do I deserve a call from the office of the presidency," Palin said. "And I wish that our President would save his phone calls for those who truly are deserving like Gold Star moms and others who will forever live with the memory of losing a loved one who would be fighting in a war zone in order to protect our freedoms, our freedom of press, our freedom of speech. Those who are most deserving should receive those phone calls from the office of the presidency."
White House spokesman Jay Carney has said Maher's remarks were inappropriate, but did not call on the president's super-PAC to return the money.
"We are not and cannot be the arbitrator of every statement that everybody makes in the policy and political arena," Carney said. "As a general matter, obviously language that denigrates women is inappropriate."
Bill Burton, the head of the Priorities USA super-PAC, said while Maher's comments "were vulgar and inappropriate" he did not believe they were similar in tone to controversial statements made by Limbaugh.
“First of all, obviously, some of those things were vulgar and inappropriate and said over the course of years of a comedian’s life. It’s not language I would use or language we would use at Priorities USA," Burton said. “But the notion that there is an equivalence between what a comedian has said over the course of his career and what the de facto leader of the Republican Party said to sexually degrade a woman who led in a political debate of our time, is crazy.”
“There’s no just similarity about what Rush Limbaugh said, lying about the argument that Ms. Fluke was making — a law student at Georgetown — and what a comedian has said in the past,” he added.
MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell noted that Burton's tone was remarkably similar to Mitt Romney’s response that Limbaugh's comments were "not the language I would have used." But the former Obama aide responded by noting the GOP presidential hopeful had sought the endorsement of musician Ted Nugent, who has also made controversial remarks.
"If we want to have this debate where we’re stacking up what supporters of candidates have said over time, you know Mitt Romney begged Ted Nugent for his endorsement, and he gave it to him, and he embraced it, and his campaign was bragging about it,” Burton said.