Gov. Rick Perry thinks Rush Limbaugh should watch his mouth, but he said Thursday that the conservative talk show host is being unfairly attacked by liberal hypocrites.
Limbaugh stirred up a political firestorm after calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” because she advocated policies requiring insurers to pay for birth control. Limbaugh later apologized, but many high-profile advertisers on his show — targeted by critics using social media — announced they were pulling out as sponsors of his popular radio program.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Perry said that people who call others names need to “grow up and use appropriate language.” But he said liberals don’t express outrage when one of their own uses similar insults. Perry cited in particular the case of MSNBC liberal host Ed Schultz, who last year called conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut” on his radio program.
“I think it’s the height of hypocrisy for those on the left to criticize Rush Limbaugh for using the term 'slut' when Ed Schultz and a vast group of other people that represent the left have used those terms,” Perry said. “And we never heard a peep of anyone coming to MSNBC saying you need to pull your advertisement and what have you.”
MSNBC suspended Schultz for a week after the incident, and he apologized for his “vile” comments.
Perry made the comments about Limbaugh after being asked in a news conference Thursday about an anti-Limbaugh effort being waged by Progress Texas, a liberal Texas group. Citing the tirade against Fluke, the group has called on Perry to revoke Limbaugh's status as “honorary Texan,” which the governor bestowed upon the famous broadcaster in 2009.
Perry ignored the question.
Matt Glazer, director of Progress Texas, said Texas should not associate itself with Limbaugh, and he renewed the group's call on Perry to take it back the honorary citizenship.
"It's what any good Texan would do," Glazer said.