Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich on Sunday blasted the media for zeroing in on radio host Rush Limbaugh's comments about a Georgetown law student this week rather than focusing on President Barack Obama's job performance.
"I am astonished at the desperation of the elite media to avoid rising gas prices, to avoid the president's apology to religious fanatics in Afghanistan, to avoid a trillion dollar deficit, to avoid the longest period of unemployment since the great depression, and to suddenly decide that Rush Limbaugh is the great national crisis of this week," Gingrich said when asked about the controversy by NBC's David Gregory on "Meet the Press."
Saying there is "no debate about access to contraception," Gingrich said there is instead "this weird situation where President Obama apologizes to Islamic extremists while waging war against the Catholic Church."
"You have an issue here of whether the government can coerce the Catholic Church, not just into contraception, but into sterilization and abortion, something I don't find any reporter wants to talk about," he said.
Pressed on whether Limbaugh was right to apologize, Gingrich acknowledged he was, but countered by saying: "Do you think the president owes an apology to all the men and women in uniform who he frankly abandoned when he apologized to religious fanatics in Afghanistan?
Gregory asked whether Gingrich could "appreciate the view of those" who see the situation as "some sort of war on women."
"Nobody's blocking anyone from having access to contraception," Gingrich said again. "No one. The young lady who testified can get access to contraception. Nobody said she couldn't. The question is should a Catholic institution, or for that matter, the Ohio Christian University which is a Protestant institution, which is a very pro-life institution, which is now being told it will have to pay for abortion pills....This is the most fundamental assault on religious liberty in American history despite every effort by the elite media to distort what it's about."
Watch below, via NBC: