Rush Limbaugh's Sandra Fluke comments "absurd," says Rick Santorum

In this Jan. 30, 2008, file photo, radio personality Rush Limbaugh arrives for a screening of Bernard and Doris at the Time Warner Center in New York. AP Photo/Gary He

Rush Limbaugh
AP Photo/Gary He

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Friday dismissed radio host Rush Limbaugh's disparaging remarks about student activist Sandra Fluke as "absurd."

"He's being absurd, but that's you know, an entertainer can be absurd," Santorum said on CNN. "He's in a very different business than I am."

On his radio show, Limbaugh bashed Fluke as a "slut" and a "prostitute" because, in the context of President Obama's new health care rule calling for complete coverage of women's preventive health services, she has advocated for employers to pay for contraception.

Republicans have generally opposed the policy change, even after the administration modified it to address concerns about religious freedom. Santorum told CNN, "I'm concerned about the public policy of this president imposing his values on people, people of faith who morally object to the government telling them they have to do something, which they believe is a grave moral wrong."

The backlash against Limbaugh has been growing since he made the remarks on Wednesday, with Georgetown educators, women's organizations and politicians of all stripes decrying the language as inappropriate. President Obama even called Fluke directly today to offer her his support.

On his radio show on Friday, Limbaugh defend his comments, arguing that it was "insulting" that Fluke and other women's health advocates would ask taxpayers to fund for contraception for "people who want to have sex without consequences."

"All of the sudden we're told that people who want to have sex without consequences, we have to pay for it. And if we object, we're somehow Neanderthal," said Limbaugh. "Out of nowhere this comes up, and to me this is insulting."

Fluke became the subject of attention after Republicans turned her away from a House oversight hearing on the White House's contraception rule, where she had hoped to testify about a friend who lost an ovary due to lack of contraceptive care. Instead, she told her story in a mock congressional hearing later in the month.

In her testimony, Fluke largely discussed what she cast as the high cost of contraception and the important medical benefits it can offer women.

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