On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hinted that Republicans needed to go further in decrying Rush Limbaugh's slam of radical feminist and law student Sandra Fluke. Rose asked Senator John McCain, "Are you satisfied that those Republican officials have gone far enough in condemning these statements?" McCain replied, "Oh, I'll leave that up to pundits like you, Charlie" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast also highlighted how "seven companies have pulled commercials from Limbaugh's nationally syndicated show. Online data company Carbonite said the on-air attack crossed the line....Limbaugh had some defenders, but they were drowned out by those protests on the left, and critics on the right."
The anchor raised the controversy over Limbaugh's remark during the second half of his interview of McCain. He first asked the former Republican presidential candidate, "One question about Rush Limbaugh, who is, obviously, a prominent radio personality. Does he have some power within the Republican Party?"
The Arizona senator answered, in part, that "those statements were unacceptable in every way and should be condemned by everyone, no matter what their political leanings are." Rose followed up by asking his "condemning" question concerning the Republican leadership.
Near the end of the segment, the CBS journalist (whom McCain interestingly labeled a "pundit") raised the issue of the upcoming HBO feature about the 2008 presidential election. The Republican didn't mince words in his answer about "Game Change":
ROSE: Senator McCain, there's also a movie that's- this week. (McCain laughs) You're not going to look at it. Why are you not going to see a movie about your campaign?
MCCAIN: Because it's based on a book that is full of unattributed quotes- things that are- absolutely never happened- and if it's based on that book, which I was briefed on, then, of course, it can't be accurate.
Correspondent Jan Crawford filed a report on the current GOP presidential contenders' response to the Limbaugh controversy following the McCain interview. Co-anchor Erica Hill noted in her introduction that "some of Limbaugh's sponsors are dropping his show, and the Republican presidential candidates are now being drawn into the controversy." During her report, Crawford spotlighted how "Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney tried to distance themselves from the controversy," and that Ron Paul "questioned Limbaugh's apology." She also played a clip of Newt Gingrich attacking the media for making the story the "great national crisis of this week."
The transcript of the relevant portion of Charlie Rose's interview on Monday's CBS This Morning, starting at the 13 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour mark; along with the report from Jan Crawford, which immediately followed, is available at MRC.org.