President Obama said that when he called Sandra Fluke to express support after the crude comments of Rush Limbaugh, he did so thinking of his own young daughters.
"One of the things I want them to do as they get older is engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don't want them attacked or called horrible names because they're being good citizens," he said at a White House news conference Tuesday.
"I wanted Sandra to know that I thought her parents should be proud of her, and that we want to send a message to all our young people that being part of a democracy involves argument and disagreements and debate. And we want you to be engaged, and there's a way to do it in a way that doesn't involve you being demeaned and insulted."
Obama, in his first solo news conference since November, was asked about the flap that began when Limbaugh referred to Fluke, a Georgetown University law student, as a "slut" and "prostitute" for advocating insurance coverage of contraceptives for women before a congressional panel.