White House refuses to repudiate controversial Limbaugh remarks

Following recent reports that radio host Rush Limbaugh compared the torture of Iraqi prisoners to a college fraternity prank and said the American guards were simply "having a good time," White House press secretary Scott McClellan was asked by a reporter about Limbaugh's comments -- and McClellan refused to repudiate them:

Q: Scott, there's a segment of society that differs with the White House as it relates to these pictures and the investigation of the U.S. soldiers' conduct to include Rush Limbaugh who, Tuesday, agreed with the caller, equating the pictures to a college fraternity prank, and said the U.S. soldiers should not be punished because it was an emotional release as they were letting off steam. What's the White House say about that?

MR. McCLELLAN: April, I think the White House says what we said yesterday and what the President has said over the last few days.

Q: No, but Scott -- no, seriously. This man is a conservative --

MR. McCLELLAN: And I actually got asked a question earlier today about that matter.

Q: But none --

MR. McCLELLAN: And I addressed it then.

Q: But if you stand out strongly trying to let the Arab world know that this is wrong and then you have the proverbial spokesperson for the conservative party saying this, doesn't that send a mixed message?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President's views have been very -- have been made very clear.

On March 22, Vice President Dick Cheney was a guest on Limbaugh's radio show. In 1992, Limbaugh was an overnight guest in the White House of then-President George H.W. Bush.

[Update: Center for American Progress has more. ]