June 13th, 2009
09:14 AM ET
5 years ago

Former President GHW Bush stands up for Sotomayor

Former President George H.W. Bush stood up for his former judicial nominee Sonia Sotomayor Friday.
Former President George H.W. Bush stood up for his former judicial nominee Sonia Sotomayor Friday.

(CNN)–Former President George H.W. Bush stood up for his former judicial nominee Sonia Sotomayor Friday, telling HLN Anchor Robin Meade that GOP critics who called President Obama's Supreme Court pick a racist were off-base, and unfair.

"I don't know her that well but I think she's had a distinguished record on the bench and she should be entitled to fair hearings. Not – [it's] like the senator John Cornyn said it," he told CNN. "He may vote for it, he may not. But he's been backing away from these...backing off from those radical statements to describe her, to attribute things to her that may or may not be true.

"And she was called by somebody a racist once. That's not right. I mean that's not fair. It doesn't help the process. You're out there name-calling. So let them decide who they want to vote for and get on with it."

High-profile Republican voices like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh had both accused the judge of racism for her past comment that a "wise Latina" might make more informed judicial decisions than a white male. Gingrich later backed away from that assessment.

Cornyn had urged Republicans to avoid labeling Sotomayor a racist, calling that brand of criticism unhelpful to the process.

Related: President Bush weighs in this afternoon on his legacy — and why he won’t be writing a tell-all


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. Shadysider

    Bush I/Meghan McCain 2012??? We need a decent second party. This would be a lot more palatable than any of the so called 'leaders' of the current Republican Party.

    June 12, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Peter V

    Thank you, Mr. Bush. I'm sorry to inform you that you will now be excommunicated by High Inquisitor Limbaugh.

    June 12, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. shaiiwn hoover

    honestly radio host?
    america, this limbaught just making millions , and more
    he is just pretending to care
    he doesnt, can u feel that?
    can look hes life style
    Gingricht at least is a politician, but the other limbaught, he is not a politician
    he is far from politik, too far to understant
    its sound unreal really
    limbaught show hahahaha

    June 12, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. Kelby In Houston, TX

    GHW Bush: "And she was called by somebody a racist once. That's not right. I mean that's not fair. It doesn't help the process. You're out there name-calling. So let them decide who they want to vote for and get on with it."
    _____________________________

    This kind of maturity is now absent from the Republican party. It has been replaced with the childish divisive tactics that the GOP is known for today. I am a shiny blue liberal Democrat and let me tell you that I, moderate republicans and yes, even some our most die hard Democrats miss the old Republican party. The party we could reaon with whose rhetoric did not denigrate its opposition or reduce its opponents to caricature. I and others believe in the 2 party system, but the Republicans are destroying themselves with issues like the SCOTUS pick.
    The Republicans are destroying themselves and there is nothing we can do but stand by and watch

    June 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. rob crawford

    It is simply amazing to see this second rate politician stand up for what he thinks is right. He was such a joke as president, but now the GOP appears like a race of pygmies nest to mediocrities like this. I respect this man more and more, even given the riseability of his spawn.

    June 12, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Hal

    Nice to see that the GOP still has some men of character and intelligence in it's ranks.

    June 12, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Tulsa

    To Steve(the real one)
    It was Bush 43 that screwed the country up dummy. Get your Bushes straight.

    June 12, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. Mandy

    If there is any hope for the Republican party, it is in such voices of sanity and utter decency.

    June 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Howie

    George Hush now. It is the right thing to say but the scarier the GOP makes themselves to independents the bigger the super majority will become for the Democrats in 2010. Stop trying to be the voice of reason or to help your party. I don't like it one bit!

    June 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Jeni

    It is refreshing to see a Bush do something right...even if it is HW!

    June 12, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. The Original No Incumbents 2010

    I agree with the former president. It is unbecoming of the conservatives to be reduced to name calling. Name calling and degrading is straight from Sal Alinsky, to reduce your opponent. I.E. Right Wing Extremist, Racist, Republican Nut Job, War Criminals, Old White Men, Fascists, Nazis etc.
    This is not the avenue, respectable people like conservatives should take.

    June 12, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Karl

    ABMiller...There's nothing classy about your mockery and name calling, though.

    June 12, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. ABMiller

    Laughing and shaking my head reading liberals comment on hate and vitriol - it's what you dined on for years, and now even in victory can't let it go. Perfect example of your hypocritical "Do as I say, not as I do" liberalism.

    June 12, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Leah

    So will Limbaugh call for his expulsion from the Republican Party?

    June 12, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. KMAN

    Didn't think much of the HWB presidency ... well, honestly I hated it, but at least he still has the capacity to be adult-like which unlike far too many of his fellow republicans (that is IF Rush says he's still a republican).

    June 12, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. a president to be proud of

    'W', your father is what I thought we were getting

    you were a disappointment

    June 12, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Dennis

    Why does anyone listen to two of the biggest losers in recent history, i.e., Gingrich and Limbaugh? They offer nothing but pain and more pain and are two of the most devisive the world has known since McCarthy.

    June 12, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. KMAN

    @ABMIller

    And is it your opinion that all republicans are always loving, thoughtful human beings without fault??? I'm trying to figure out just how delusional you actually are.

    June 12, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. lovable liberal

    The real problem of Sotomayor is that she's clearly a moderate, and the court could really use a liberal.

    June 12, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    He will apologise to Limbaugh.

    June 12, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Lynn

    Rush, New and The Dick are gonna get you old man!!!

    Happy Birthday anyway..and many more.

    June 12, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. War_boi

    Why are the Grand Ol' Party, even giving Rush the time of day. I have always despised Mr. Limbaugh. Someone should knock some sense into that boy before he finishes bringing down the Party. Hush now Rush...

    June 12, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Vivian

    I'm not a republican, but I love this man. My upmost repect for GHWB!

    June 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Jill in Cali

    Poppy has always been the better Bush. Congrats on your 85th, keep them coming.

    June 12, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  25. RR

    Bush Sr stand up for Sotomayor, and I bet the left wing hate machine that trolls the political ticker will find hatefull things to say about him.

    June 12, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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