Obama campaign: GOP ‘overshot the runway’ on contraception controversy

We see that Republicans have picked up this issue because they originally thought it would be politically advantageous to them, Stephanie Cutter said Friday morning on MSNBC. I think theyve overshot the runway, and I think theyve realized that.

Cutter conceded that the debate over birth control would have been nonexistent if the administration had made the decision earlier to allow contraception to be obtained from the employer’s insurer without involving the employer — an admission that echoed the sentiments of others in the Obama camp.

In an attempt to appease Catholic leaders, Vice President Biden said Thursday that the mandate change is where it should have been in the first place.

The conscience clause is being honored in its literal sense, Biden, a devout Catholic, said during a speech at Iowa State University. What is happening now is that we have been able to provide what was hard to set up — it got screwed up in the first iteration — in that any hospital, no matter where it is, no matter who runs it, profit or nonprofit, religious-based or otherwise, has to provide insurance to their employees like everybody else does.

While Cutter put partial blame on the Obama administration, she went after GOP opposition for taking its outrage too far. Citing radio host Rush Limbaugh’s comments to a Georgetown University law student — he called her a “slut” and a “prostitute — Cutter said it’s up to the Republican presidential candidates to put an end to hateful rhetoric.

“I think Rush Limbaugh owes her an apology, but I also think Republican candidates running for president who have been bowing at the alter of Rush Limbaugh should stand up and say he’s wrong, she said. “The rhetoric has gone over the top ... They should stand up for what’s right.

Cutter isn’t the only one calling for Republicans to condemn Limbaugh’s comments. Democratic lawmakers appealed to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday to admonish the talk show host for his speech.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to Boehner that was signed by more than 75 lawmakers, calling for Republicans to rebuke Limbaugh’s comments “in light of their recent refusal to allow [law student Sandra] Fluke — or any other women — to testify.”

“This kind of direct attack on a private citizen is unacceptable,” the Democrats’ wrote in their letter. “Mr. Limbaugh is as free as any American to speak his mind about the political and social issues of our time, but using his radio show as a means for blatantly insulting a hardworking American with obscene and indecent language because he disagrees with her personal choices is an abuse of the public airwaves.”