President Barack Obama on Tuesday said that conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s remarks about a Georgetown University law student “don’t have any place in the public discourse.”
Limbaugh recently apologized for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified before Congress about the need for contraception coverage at colleges and universities, even if they are owned by religious institutions.
“I don’ know what’s in Rush Limbaugh’s heart so I’m not going to comment on the sincerity of his apology,” the president told reporters during a Tuesday press conference. “All decent folks can agree that the remarks that were made don’t have any place in the public discourse.”
“The reason that I called Ms. Fluke is I thought about [my daughters] Malia and Sasha, and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil, thoughtful way. And I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they are being good citizens. And I wanted Sandra to know that I thought her parents should be proud of her.”
Obama added: “We want to send a message to all our young people that being part of democracy involves argument and disagreements and debate, and we want you to be engaged and there’s a way to do it that doesn’t involve you being demeaned and insulted, particularly when you’re a private citizen.”
For his part, Limbaugh seems to have learned little from the controversy that has cost him at least 26 advertisers.
“What is it with all these young, single, white women?” the conservative icon ranted during his show on Tuesday. “Overeducated doesn’t mean intelligent!”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast March. 6, 2012.