Rush Limbaugh 'Slut' Remarks Get Lame Response From GOP Candidates

mitt romneyThe Republican candidates only have a few hours left to make a big impression on Super Tuesday voters. You'd have thought they'd use this time to weigh in on the biggest issue of the week, the one that everyone's talking about -- Rush Limbaugh's rude comments about Georgetown student Sandra Fluke.

Instead, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich all failed to show any spine in addressing Rush's remarks, and, in effect, missed a giant opportunity to show some strength and integrity at a really crucial part of their respective campaigns. Let's look at how each candidate reacted to Rush calling Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute."


At first, Santorum called him "absurd," but then he immediately backtracked and, in a very bumbling way (if you read the exact quote), made excuses for Limbaugh by reasoning that he's an entertainer and entertainers are allowed to act that way. Gingrich avoided the question altogether by chiding the "elitist media" for avoiding real issues like gas prices and unemployment and suddenly deciding that Rush Limbaugh is a "great national crisis." The ever cautious Romney delivered the opposite of a blow with this lame comment, "I’ll just say this, which is, it’s not the language I would have used." Only Paul got a little feisty, saying that Rush used "crude language" and "gets over the top at times"; but even he was careful in his remarks.

Why aren't these candidates reacting more strongly? They don't have to oppose Rush; they could defend him for all I care. But they certainly should have compelling, assertive statements about the incident either way. Here's why: The birth control issue and whether Rush did or did not cross a line is something that voters in both parties have very passionate opinions about. Every single one of these candidates should be taking a position and speaking about these issues in a compelling way -- not getting away with careful, vanilla answers or trying to avoid the topic altogether.

It's difficult and risky to take a strong position on tough, divisive issues like this. But that's exactly what we need our leaders to do. Unfortunately, these guys in the GOP race are so concerned with getting votes that they seem to have forgotten how to have a strong opinion.

How would you have liked to see the GOP candidates react to Rush?


Image via roberthuffstutter/Flickr

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