The Washington Post

Assignment desk

So the news is breaking now that President Obama personally called Sandra Fluke to offer support in the wake of the controversy that erupted after Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut” in front of millions of listeners:

Fluke was set to go on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports when the president rang her on her phone. She took the call while waiting in the green room.

“He encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of American women,” she told Mitchell, who received permission from the White House to discuss the exchange between Fluke and Obama. “What was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud. And that meant a lot because Rush Limbaugh questioned whether or not my family would be proud of me. So I just appreciated that very much.”

Fluke appeared to be choking up a bit while recalling the conversation. But she composed herself and went to discuss how surreal her experience has been...

“He did express his concern for me and wanted to make sure that I was ok, which I am,” she said. “I’m ok.”

A number of people on the Twitters are pointing out that this elevates the issue considerably. And that’s true. In fact, reporters now have just the hook they need to ask Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum for comment on Rush’s remarks. Indeed, Rush is apparently doubling down on them today — and the fact that this is now a full-fledged national controversy means it’s time to hear from the GOP candidates about it.

So let’s do this! Seems likely their answers will make news.

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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