Limbaugh Sorry For “Slut” Comment

Rush Limbaugh

Conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh has issued an apology for calling a Georgetown University student a “slut” and “prostitute” for testifying before Congress in favor of contraceptive rights.

“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week,” Limbaugh said in a press statement. “In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

“My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Sandra Fluke

The woman, Sandra Fluke, was barred from testifying last month at a congressional hearing on the Obamacare mandate requiring religious institutions to pay for contraception for their employees. Rep. Darrell Issa, the committee chair at the faith-based hearing on Capitol Hill, banned her because the panel’s focus was on religious freedom and Fluke is not a member of any clergy.

Fluke eventually spoke to a Democratic hearing spearheaded by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on February 23, where she talked about the need for birth control coverage. The third-year student spoke of one friend in particular who needed contraception to prevent ovarian cysts.

Limbaugh stepped into the fray by calling Fluke a “slut” on his radio show last Wednesday.

“What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke, who goes before a congressional hearing and essentially says  that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her?,” Rush rhetorically asked his audience. “It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.”

Condemnation was fast and heavy by Democrats and progressives for the comment, who saw it as a wedge issue to put the GOP in a negative light with female voters. The congressional hearing on contraception chaired by Rep. Issa, they noted, featured only male testimony. Limbaugh, a defacto voice for the Republican Party, only added fuel to the fire.

But Limbaugh did not back down.

“So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal,” Limbaugh said on his show the next day. “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

The comments were eventually blasted by House Speaker John Boehner as “inappropriate” after more than 75 Democratic House Members signed a letter to him asking for a condemnation. Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum both made comments distancing themselves from the talker. Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, facing a tough re-election campaign this year, called on Limbaugh to apologize.

The final straw that probably forced Limbaugh to apologize came after advertisers started pulling their spots on his nationally-syndicated radio show on Friday. Mattress retailer Select Comfort, Quicken Loans, and Citrix computer systems all stopped sponsoring the program. Pro Flowers said they would “reevaluate our marketing plan,” while Carbonite CEO David Friend issued a statement saying he would confront Limbaugh directly on the matter.

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