President invokes his daughters in response to Limbaugh controversy

President Obama said he called Sandra Fluke, the college student at the center of the latest Rush Limbaugh controversy, after thinking about how his own daughters would have handled the criticism.

“I thought about Malia and Sasha,” Obama said Tuesday at a news conference. “And one of the things I want them … to be able to do is speak their minds in a civil and thoughtful way, and I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names when they’re being good citizens.

{mosads}“I wanted Sandra to know that her parents ought to be proud of her.”

Last week, Limbaugh called Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his radio show after the Georgetown University law student testified in support of Obama’s contraception mandate.

Limbaugh issued a statement Saturday apologizing for using those terms and has lost a steady stream of advertisers over the remarks.

Obama called Fluke on Friday to express support in the face of the controversy, a move many Republicans said was driven by politics.

Democrats have launched an aggressive push against Limbaugh, calling on GOP leaders to publicly disavow his comments.

“I don’t know what’s in Rush Limbaugh’s heart, so I can’t comment on the sincerity of his apology,” the president said. “All decent folks can agree that the remarks that were made don’t have any place in public discourse.”

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