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Barack Obama condemns US radio host for 'slut' comments

Rush Limbaugh said a law student who called for contraception to be state-funded was a “slut” and a “prostitute”.

Limbaugh pictured in 2001
Limbaugh pictured in 2001
Image: ERIC RISBERG/AP/Press Association Images

BARACK OBAMA HAS condemned a right-wing radio host in the US who branded a female law student a “slut” and a “prostitute”.

The White House yesterday said the comments from political commentator Rush Limbaugh were “reprehensible”, and Obama called the student in question to express support.

Sandra Fluke had addressed Congress several days ago, saying that contraception should be covered as part of health insurance plans. She spoke of a friend who had an ovary removed because the insurance company wouldn’t cover the prescription birth control she needed to stop the growth of cysts.

On Wednesday, Limbaugh unleashed a lengthy and often savage verbal assault on Fluke, saying:

What does it say about the college coed … who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.

His comments immediately came under fire from Democratic members of Congress, women’s groups, and the administration and faculty at Georgetown University, the Roman Catholic school in Washington that Fluke attends.

Obama reached Fluke by phone as she was waiting to go on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports.

“He’s really a very a kind man,” Fluke later told The Associated Press. “He just called to express concern for me and to make sure I was OK and to say that he supported me and to thank me for speaking out about something that’s so important to so many women.”

As for Limbaugh’s remarks, Fluke said, “I just thought that they were really outside the bounds of civil discourse.”

This video shows Limbaugh making his comments:

YouTube/TrollsInParis

Rick Santorum, one of the Republican presidential contenders seeking to oppose Obama, commented to CNN about Limbaugh’s remarks.

“He’s being absurd,” Santorum said. “But that’s, you know, an entertainer can be absurd.”

While campaigning in Ohio for the Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney was asked about Limbaugh’s comments and steered his answer away from the uproar. ”It’s not the language I would have used,” Romney said.

Limbaugh went on to suggest that Fluke should distribute sex tapes of herself.

He went on to suggest that Fluke distribute sex tapes of herself. ”If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it,” he said. “We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

On Thursday, aware of the firestorm he had ignited, Limbaugh was unapologetic.

“I think this is hilarious, absolutely hilarious,” he said on his show. “The left has been thrown into an outright conniption fit!”

- Additional reporting by Michael Freeman

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