(CNN) - While Republicans on Capitol Hill appear to be adopting a wait-and-see approach with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is taking direct aim at President Obama's choice for the high court.
Calling Sotomayor a "racist" and a "hack" on his radio show Tuesday, Limbaugh took particular issue with a 2001 speech at Berkeley during which she stated a "wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
"Here you have a racist – you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist," Limbaugh said of that comment.
"And the [liberals] of course say that minorities cannot be racists because they don't have the power to implement their racism," he continued. "Well, those days are gone because reverse racists certainly do have the power to implement their power. Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he's appointed one."
"She's not the brain that they're portraying her to be. She's not a constitutional jurist," Limbaugh also said, referencing a New Republic article last month in which Jeffrey Rosen, the magazines legal affairs editor, wrote that "her opinions, although competent, are viewed by former prosecutors as not especially clean or tight, and sometimes miss the forest for the trees."
"She is an affirmative action case extraordinaire, and she has put down white men in favor of Latina women," Limbaugh said.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs defended Sotomayor's Berkeley comments Tuesday. "If you look at the context of the longer speech that she makes, I think what she says is very much common sense in terms of different experiences, different people," he said.