At the end of the day, Barack Obama is not only the President, but he’s also the father of two young girls. It is this reason, he says, that he called Georgetown law school student Sandra Fluke soon after she was called a “slut” by Rush Limbaugh for speaking up on contraception funding.
When posed with a question regarding Limbaugh’s remarks and subsequent apology at a Tuesday (March 6) press conference, Obama says, “I don’t know what’s in Rush Limbaugh’s heart, so I’m not going to comment on the sincerity of his apology. What I can comment on is the fact that all decent folks can agree on, that the remarks that were made don’t have any place in the public discourse.”
Obama continues, “The reason I called [Fluke] is because I thought about 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 and thoughtful way, and I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they are being good citizens.”
During an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Fluke said Obama offered encouragement as well words of gratitude.
“He encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of American women,” Fluke says. “What was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud. And that meant a lot because Rush Limbaugh questioned whether or not my family would be proud of me. So I just appreciated that very much.”
Limbaugh has been getting the worst of this whole controversy. In addition to the verbal lashing, the syndicated radio host has lost a number of big-name advertisers.