Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she is “very encouraged” at the public rebuke of radio host Rush Limbaugh for calling a university student a “prostitute” for saying she thought insurance companies should cover contraceptives.
“We need to call people out when they go over the line,” Clinton told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
“They’re entitled to their opinion but no one is entitled to engage in that kind of verbal assault. Let’s keep it to the issues,” Clinton added. “Whether it comes from the right, the left, up, down, wherever it comes from, let's all ask for a return to civility and the kind of debate that really enables citizens to make better decisions.”
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Advertisers deserted Limbaugh after he lambasted Georgetown student Sandra Fluke for three days for testimony she had given to a Democrat-called House committee.
As well as calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute,” he said that if Fluke wanted others to pay for her sex life she should post explicit tapes on the Internet so people could see if they were getting their money’s worth.
Clinton called Limbaugh’s remarks a “verbal assault” on Fluke.
Stressing she was speaking, not as a politician, but as “someone who can vaguely remember being a young woman and as a mother of a young woman of that age and generation,” she said, “I thought the response was very encouraging. The response from the public; the response, in particular, from women, cutting across all kinds of categories; the response from advertisers.
“We, as a nation, have every right to engage in the kind of debate and dialogue that is at the root of who we are as Americans,” Clinton added in a segment that aired Monday.
“But lets not turn it into personal attacks and insults. We’re beyond that. We’re better than that and people in the public eye have a particular responsibility to avoid it.”
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