Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod said Bill Maher's rhetoric is not the same as Rush Limbaugh's. In an interview set to air on CNN, Axelrod said he doesn't excuse Maher's harsh words against Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann, but that they are public figures in a way that Georgetown University Law student Sandra Fluke -- whom Limbaugh maligned -- is not.
Maher also doesn't play the same role in the Democratic Party that Limbaugh plays in the Republican party, Axelrod added. Rush is the "de facto boss" of the GOP, he said.
Watch a preview of the interview: