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California Republican Party spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns suggested on Twitter on Friday that a pundit who criticized Rush Limbaugh for calling a law school student a "slut" is herself one, touching off a flood of criticism on the social networking site.

"Stripper, or strategist?" said Kerns, who posts on Twitter as @CAPartyGirl. "Democratic strategist on MSNBC raging against Limbaugh, her name is supposedly 'Krystal Ball.' Speaking of #sluts ..."

Ball, an MSNBC contributor, was a failed congressional candidate in 2010, in an election in which suggestive photographs of her at a party years earlier surfaced.

On Twitter, Democrats criticized Kerns for her remark and moved swiftly to capitalize on it.

"Wow," wrote Gov. Jerry Brown's press secretary, Gil Duran. "Sure seems like one of those 'apologize or resign' moments to me."

Kerns wrote, "C'mon, it is a sense of humor. Woman to woman, I've never called anyone that. If I offended Krystal in any way, that was not my intention."

California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro called the Tweet a "mistake" but came to Kerns' defense.

"She knows she made a mistake," he said this morning. "She apologized for it."

Kerns' Tweet came the same day President Barack Obama made a supportive telephone call to the Georgetown law school student Limbaugh criticized on his radio show. The student, Sandra Fluke, had testified before Congress in favor of birth control coverage.

On Twitter later Friday, Ball addressed Kerns' Tweet.

"I call Rush out for slut-shaming and in response, CA GOP spokesperson @capartygirl calls me a #slut," she wrote. "Ah the irony."



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