GOP Candidates’ Reactions to the Rush Limbaugh Controversy

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That Rush Limbaugh apologized for his controversial statements about Sandra Fluke, whom he called a "slut" and a "prostitute" for discussing contraception, says that the rush of currently seven advertisers away from his show is having a real impact. There's also the effect on the GOP presidential candidates who had spent a great deal of time discussing contraception already, so much so that Karen Santorum urged husband Rick to stop answering questions about birth control. Naturally, the presidential hopefuls have now been asked to weigh in on Rush's remarks and apology. Here's where they stand:

Rick Santorum: "The issue is about whether the government can force you to do things that are against your conscience."

Two days earlier, he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "He's being absurd, but that's you know, an entertainer can be absurd. He's in a very different business than I am."

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

An aide of his said on Sunday that Mitt thought the the apology was appropriate.

Ron Paul: "I don't think he's very apologetic. He's doing it because some people were taking their advertisements off his program. It was his bottom line that he was concerned about."

Newt Gingrich: "He made a mistake, and I think he did the right thing." 

Asked by David Gregory of Meet the Press how much "damage" the controversy has done, Gingrich saved some of his trademark indignation:

“I am astonished at the desperation of the elite media to avoid rising gas prices, to avoid the president’s apology to religious fanatics in Afghanistan, to avoid a trillion-dollar deficit, to avoid the longest period of unemployment since the Great Depression, and to suddenly decide that Rush Limbaugh is the great national crisis of this week.”

Finally, here's what conservative columnist George Will thinks of the reactions: