On his radio program, Limbaugh called the student a "slut" and a "prostitute" for testifying before a congressional panel about what she felt was the need for contraception coverage in insurance.
"All decent folks can agree that the remarks that were made don't have any place in the public discourse," Obama said. But he refused to comment on the sincerity of Limbaugh's subsequent apology, which many have questioned.
The president said he called the student, Sandra Fluke, to say her parents should be proud of her.
"I thought about [daughters] Malia and Sasha, and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about," Obama said. "Even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind. ... And I don't want them attacked or ... called horrible names because they're being good citizens."