Rush Limbaugh acknowledged his critics — and the advertisers bailing on his show — Saturday when he issued a rare public statement of apology to Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student he attacked last week as “a slut.”
“My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir,” Limbaugh said in the statement. “I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”
If Limbaugh thought his words would get his critics off his back, the early signs are he’s missed the mark.
Twitter blew up Saturday afternoon with comments on Rush’s statement, which Democrats seemed to view as disingenuous, insulting or both.
“Amazing what losing advertisers can do for one’s conscience,” tweeted DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse.
Democrats pointed to the long center section of Limbaugh’s statement, where he doubled down on his criticism of new rules aimed at increasing insurance coverage for contraception, which Limbaugh has characterized as forcing employers to pay to support an employee’s sexual habits.
Here’s that section of Limbaugh’s statement:
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a presidential level.
“In ‘apology,’ Rush compares birth control & women’s health to govt buying sneakers for workouts. Insulting?” tweeted Paul Begala, an adviser to the super PAC supporting President Obama. “Read Rush’s full statement. You tell me if it is contrition or continued derision toward women,” he also wrote.
If other tweets throughout the afternoon are any indication, the left is not about to let up on Limbaugh now that he’s issued an apology. Critics succeeded in getting several advertisers to drop their support for Limbaugh’s massively popular radio show. There were suggestions that Limbaugh had opened himself up to a slander suit. High-profile Republicans distanced themselves from Limbaugh, and the words “this is a Don Imus moment” were heard often among left-leaning activists behind closed doors last week.
The woman at the center of the story, Fluke, did not respond to a request for comment on the apology Saturday.
Prominent Republicans have so far been silent. The campaigns of both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum — who both criticized Limbaugh’s language Friday — did not respond to requests for comment on the apology, either.
Limbaugh’s statement came a day after President Obama called Fluke and offered her his support. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Obama reelection campaign did not offer an official response, though campaign adviser David Axelrod took to Twitter Friday to attack Romney for not directly condemning Limbaugh or his statements about Fluke.