As far-right attacks against Sandra Fluke intensify, President Obama called the Georgetown Law student this afternoon to express his support. She was at msnbc at the time, and talked to Andrea Mitchell moments after speaking to the president.
Fluke, talking about her conversation with Obama, said, "He encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of American women, and 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."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that Obama reached out because of the president's "disappointment with the fact that she has been the subject of inappropriate personal attacks."
Presumably, Obama's direct outreach to Fluke takes the story to a level that the Republican presidential candidates can and should be asked about Limbaugh's attacks.
For his part, the right-wing host isn't backing down -- he delivered another harangue today -- and conservatives are rallying behind him, but Limbaugh is driving away advertisers. A second sponsor, Sleep Number, pulled out today.
Meanwhile, Georgetown University is also coming to the defense of Fluke. John DeGioia, president of Georgetown, said Limbaugh's tirades "can only be described as misogynistic, vitriolic, and a misrepresentation of the position of our student."