President Obama strongly defended Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke at a press conference on Tuesday, saying that he would not want his own daughters attacked with the kind of harsh language talk show host Rush Limbaugh used against Fluke last week.
Asked about the controversy in which Limbaugh dubbed Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute,” the president refused to specifically attack the talk show host, instead simply saying that “the remarks that were made don’t have any place in the public discourse.” Referring to Limbaugh’s apology, Obama says he doesn’t know “what’s in Rush Limbaugh’s heart.”
WATCH THE PRESIDENT’S REMARKS ON THE LIMBAUGH CONTROVERSY HERE:
But added, “I thought about Malia and Sasha and one of the things that I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about…. And I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens.”
Last week, Obama personally called Fluke, who testified in front of Congress last month about the importance of health insurance policies covering abortions. The president said he called to reassure her that parents should be proud of her even if Limbaugh had suggested the opposite.
In the news conference, the first Obama has held this year, he also detailed his rationale for not yet supporting military action against Iran, which is thought to be developing a nuclear weapon, or for Syria, where the ruling regime is killing rebels.
Despite the push from Israel for an attack on Iran, Obama defended his approach as a “careful, thoughtful, sober” group of tactics.
“At this stage, it is my belief that we have a window of opportunity where this can still be resolved diplomatically. That’s not just my view. That’s the view of our top intelligence officials. It’s the view of top Israeli intelligence officials,” Obama said.
Follow Perry Bacon Jr. on Twitter at @perrybaconjr