McCain: Limbaugh comments "totally unacceptable"

Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., and radio talk show host and conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh.
Ethan Miller, Getty Images/Johannes Simon

Sen. John McCain added his voice to those of other top Republicans who have criticized conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh for calling a Georgetown student who advocated for insurance coverage of contraception for health and family planning reasons a "slut" and a "prostitute."

Appearing on "CBS This Morning," McCain acknowledged that Limbaugh continues to have influence within the Republican Party, but that his statements "were unacceptable in every way and should be condemned by everyone, no matter what their political leanings are."

After a firestorm of controversy from both Democrats and Republicans, the talk show host issued a statement on Saturday apologizing for his "choice of words," though he characterized them as an attempt at humor meant to highlight the "absurdity" of the issue.

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Limbaugh's remarks were also addressed by the GOP presidential candidates, who mildly criticized his attack on Sandra Fluke. Rick Santorum remarked that "He's being absurd, but that's you know, an entertainer can be absurd."

Mitt Romney said "It's not the language I would have used."

Newt Gingrich avoided criticizing Limbaugh's remarks specifically, and used the controversy as an avenue to attack President Obama over his health care proposals, but on "Meet the Press" Sunday Gingrich said he was glad Limbaugh apologized.

However, on "Face the Nation" Sunday, Ron Paul said Limbaugh's apology "was not sincere," and that he made the apology "because some people were taking their advertisements off of his program. It was his bottom line he was concerned about."

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On Monday Charlie Rose asked McCain, "So are you satisfied that those Republican officials have gone far enough in condemning these statements?"

"Oh, I leave that up to pundits like you, Charlie," McCain replied. "But it is totally unacceptable."

To watch Sen. McCain's comments click on the video player above.