NewsNation | March 06, 2012
>>> i don't know what's in rush limbaugh 's heart, so i'm not going to comment on the sincerity of his apology. what i can comment on is the fact that all decent folks can agree that the remarks that were made don't have any place in the public discourse .
>> that was the president responding to a question regarding rush limbaugh losing sponsors. he is bleeding companies by the day as a result of his controversial comments about sandra fluke and two stations have dropped his show altogether. four more sponsors pulled their advertising just today including sensa weight loss and bare essentials. the numbers keep changes very fast. there's reports that 28 businesses have pulled their spots. let ea let's bring in our "news nation" panel. before we start up again, i want to play what rush limbaugh said regarding this war on women some believe is happening. let's play it.
>> this whole motion of a war on women, it's so contrived. it's so forced. it feels so unnatural. there is no war on women. what there is, is war on freedom .
>> obviously, a.b., leading up to, i think what rush limbaugh is trying to present himself as a victim to his people, so they can come out on the other side and maybe counter the heat that he's getting from women and men regarding this remark. i want to be clear that a lot of people think it's just women and women organizations that are demanding that sponsors pull out. it's men as well here.
>> yes, it is. i think that rush limbaugh got caught in his apology by trying to isolate these two horrible names that he called mr eed miss fluke and he didn't apologize for the whole context of his remarks. the sentiment behind his remark, i think beyond those name, the worse thing he did was say that sandra fluke should take videos of herself engaged in sexual activity and post them online so that taxpayers can know what they were paying for. it wasn't just two words. it was everything he said. there are many people in this country who listen to relinquiush limbaugh in their kitchen and car with their children hearing as well. they love rush and they want their children to listen. there was a million things to apologize for. he just picked two words. he really extended this controversy and made it longer and more drawn out than he had to. i don't know, again, that the number of sponsors is enough for him to fold tent and really become more contrite and take the whole thing back. he has said a lot of things over the years and not had this reaction.
>> i think that's the key. we don't know if he will fold up tent and hit the road. we know he has never experienced this kind of heat before, and it's primarily for what the president said and many others have said. people think about their own daughter, niece, their mothers. when you hear the comments coming from a man, especially a powerful man. you heard the president bring up his daughters. this gets personal when you look at the facts and she's not a member of congress. she's not running for office. she's a woman who stood up and spoke out. that's the simple facts of it.
>> the other thing is too, you talk about, let's look at sandra fluke for a minute. she's a georgetown law student. in other words, the perfect innocent victim . in other words, here you have someone who has been depicted and that's when he has an been, he's bullied people over and over again on the air waves. he's called people out of their names, and now you take this young, innocent person, i mean it's scripted in heaven that you are going to have to take a hit on this. i want to throw one other thing in. we talk a lot about the sponsors and public reaction. we talk about stepping over the line . we talk about the repurr cushions for limbaugh and others, talk show jocks who use this language and they consistently use it, i think there's something else that i've kept my eye on which could be a bigger game changer not only for rush limbaugh but the republican party . if you notice one thing that instantly john mccain , george will , newt gingrich did not say anything. rick santorum has been silent on it. mitt romney has been silent but the others criticize rush limbaugh and the point being you have the gop establishment, they have been very uneasy over time with rush limbaugh and george will made a good point. he said he's been the boss of the republican party . in other words, you've u as you wered us. he's not another problem. he's also now got the gop mainstream.
>> romney and santorum did comment on it but they were lukewarm.
>> very lukewarm.
>> santorum said it was absurd and chuckled. we know romney said it was not the language he would use. a.b., in may, rush limbaugh is set to be inducted into the missouri hall of fame. some kind of bust of him is said to be unveiled. the house speaker raises the money for this golf tournament . is there pressure to not give this honor to rush limbaugh . he said he picked h eed him months ago. this is coming in a direction he's not used to. he's not used to this kind of push back.
>> no, he's not. i don't know that he's be upset if he doesn't get that award because i don't know if he sees himself in a leadership role. he's a businessman. he does well.
>> come on. really?
>> i'm asounded by that.
>> he's influential in the republican party but i don't think he seems himself as a civic leader.
>> you don't think he sees himself as a leader of the party? first of all --
>> i don't think he cares if people make a bust of him. i think he's a businessman. he doesn't want this controversy to continue. he doesn't want to lose his sponsors. he doesn't want this to stay in the news. that's why i wouldn't be surprised if we saw more of an apology to him.
>> part of his business is being perceived as a powerful man as the boss. when the boss gets shoved around it makes him a little weaker. it's kind of like people stand up to the bully. thank you. greatly appreciate it.