May 28th, 2009
10:22 PM ET
6 years ago

Top Republican calls Limbaugh, Gingrich comments 'terrible'

Cornyn on Thursday said statements calling Sotomayor a racist are 'terrible.'
Cornyn on Thursday said statements calling Sotomayor a racist are 'terrible.'

(CNN) - A top Senate Republican is taking aim at recent statements from conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich suggesting Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a "racist."

"I think it's terrible," Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told NPR's "All Things Considered" Thursday. "This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent.”

Both the popular radio host and former GOP House Speaker have suggested Obama's pick for the high court is  a racist while referencing a 2001 speech at Berkeley during which Sotomayor said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Related: In her own words: Sotomayor's 'Latina' speech

"Imagine a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman.' new racism is no better than old racism," Gingrich wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

"Here you have a racist – you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist," Limbaugh said the day before on his radio program.

Senate Republicans meanwhile have largely withheld judgment on Sotomayor, though many - including Cornyn - have taken issue with some of her past statements and rulings.

"We are all a product of our upbringing and who we are and I think it’s a fact people do have different backgrounds, but I don't think those background ought to determine what the law is," Cornyn said to NPR of Sotomayor's Berkeley comments.

The NRSC chief also brushed off the Limbaugh and Gingrich statements while noting neither man holds an elected office.

"Neither one of these men are elected Republican officials. I just don't think it’s appropriate. I certainly don't endorse it. I think it’s wrong," he said.


Filed under: Extra • John Cornyn • Newt Gingrich • Rush Limbaugh • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. JR

    The article fails to mention that Newt published his talking point while he was visiting Auschwitz. His lack of intellectual depth is astounding.

    May 28, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  2. Mitchell from MS

    To all the liberal sheep here in this spin zone, she did make a racist comment that if the comment came from a republican the GOP canadite would have been torn to shreds in the media. I do not know what is in this womans heart but a great book has pointed out "Out of the mouth comes an overflow of the heart."

    It is time for you to put the kool aid down. Racist remarks are wrong no matter who makes the comments and the media should have enough integrety to be fair on this issue.

    And as far as the GOP driving members away the only thing I have seen in the polls is the GOP making a comeback all over the country.

    May 28, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  3. dave

    its misdirection... rush and newt say crazy things and the "moderates" decry it.... its all a plan to trick people back to the right... they dont care about anyone but themselves and power... trust me

    May 28, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  4. Dave

    I'll give Senator COrnyn 24 hours before he bends over backwards to apologize to Boss Limbaugh or Cornyn will be villified and his next re-election campaign will be dead in the water because The Bloated Boss will attack attack attack and Senator Cornyn will be the hated vermion that Limbaugh really is...The Boss never forgets...

    May 28, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  5. dave

    its called manipulating the masses

    May 28, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  6. fools, fooled by obama

    john cornyn is another cowering coward in the likes of McCain and Powell.

    May 28, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  7. Mitchell from MS

    To all the liberal sheep here in this spin zone, she did make a racist comment that if the comment came from a republican the GOP canadite would have been torn to shreds in the media. I do not know what is in this womans heart but a great book has pointed out "Out of the mouth comes an overflow of the heart."

    It is time for you to put the kool aid down. Racist remarks are wrong no matter who makes the comments and the media should have enough integrety to be fair on this issue.

    And as far as the GOP driving members away the only thing I have seen in the polls is the GOP making a comeback all over the country. You al will see the GOP picking up seats in the 2010 elections

    May 28, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  8. Alan

    good cop/bad cop - how convenient!

    notice that Cornyn is the only one that needs to worry about re-election

    May 28, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  9. dave

    republicans forgiven?... rushes ratings go up?.... newt goes back into retirement.... nice way to take one for the team... its a trick.... MISDIRECTION...plain and simple

    May 28, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  10. Paul

    Hurray for Senator Cronyn. It shows that he can be true to his principles, be it conservative. It is refreshing to hear something sensible out of a Republican Senator's mouth.

    May 28, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  11. Brian

    Sen. John Cornyn deserves credit here. I wish more republicans would speak up before the Republican party goes the way of the dodo.

    That sentence was badly worded but if you read her whole speech you would get her intention. She makes a similar case regarding sex.

    Democrats are no better, they would pounce on this kind of thing as well but they would probably be smarter by putting a better face on it. If you want to attack her put a female or latino in front of the camera. All these old white mem attacking a latino women is just reinforcing the republican stereotype.

    May 28, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  12. Laura S

    It's about time these Republicans stand up to Limbaugh's hate and destructive comments. He is succeeding in bringing this party down. They all need to publicly distance themselves from this man and repair their image.

    May 28, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  13. chuck from Tulsa

    Rush is an idiot.

    I am so glad that what he says is gospel to the Republicans. Rush is the biggest weapon the Democrats have in their arsenal.

    May 28, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  14. Sam

    Nothing either one of these 2 men said is even racist. Liberals have such thin skin its unbelievavble. I guess with the nomination of a Latin women we can cover all the colors of the fabric of America here legally or not. Within the last month within a hundred mile radius in Nebraska and Iowa 2 illegal immigrant males kill a 3 year old girl and a 4 year old girl. Both were American citizens but we have such a limp di** government that we wont close the borders to these snakes.

    May 28, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  15. mike

    A Republican with integrity. Who'd have quessed? Good for you Senator Cornyn.

    May 28, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  16. plyj

    Well, it's apparent most here are libs. Gingrich and Rush can say what ever they want. You guys just can't stand it that they have an opinion that doesn't equal yours. If a Dem said this about a Conserv judge it would just be fine with you, right? I don't know that she is a racist, but she's definitely made some statements that should raise some kind of flag.

    May 28, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  17. DJays

    Hey guys, where was Limbaugh and Gingrich when she was nominated and approved by the Republican President Bush and Republican Senate as a federal judge, this is a perfect example where partisan governs reasoning and logic, "what was good for H.W. Bush is bad for Obama" go figure.

    May 28, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  18. Oregon

    Ahhh....Limpy and Gingy are becoming irrelevant,,

    May 28, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  19. Atlanta

    Don, you should wait for 24 hours to see if he start apologizing to Rush before making any judgment.

    May 28, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  20. DJays

    I mean where partisan politics governs reasoning and logic

    May 28, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  21. Paul

    My Word – Once again the Republicans takes one line, totally out of context from a whole speach – and makes it their talking point. How dumb do you think we are??????

    May 28, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  22. Okon

    Senetor, when are you apologizing?

    May 28, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  23. Joe - Chicago

    How come its always the GOP who brings up the racist charge? Projection maybe?

    May 28, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  24. Jeff, TX

    Wow, a side of Cornyn we rarely see. He was a Bush water-carrier, and has been a pretty firm conservative. I do not consider this inconsistent with his previous comments, stances, votes, etc., but it is quite a thing to dare these days. Senator Cornyn is taking a leadership risk here...

    May 28, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  25. windfall

    As a very liberal democrat, it's actually nice to see good old fashioned republicans speaking out against the far right nuts. Colin Powell on Sunday morning, and now Sen. Cornyn, are reminders of what the party actually stands for.
    Why they ever let the extremists run away with their party is a mystery to me.

    May 28, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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