May 29th, 2009
08:40 PM ET
14 years ago

Steele: No 'slammin and rammin' Sotomayor

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="RNC Chairman Michael Steele said Friday that the GOP should recognize the 'historic aspect' of Sonia Sotomayor's nomination."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele suggested Friday that Republicans hold off on "slammin' and rammin'" Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and instead recognize the "historic aspect" of her nomination.

While guest hosting the Bill Bennett radio show on Friday morning, Steele said he was "excited" to see a Hispanic woman in this position.

"The trap here for the GOP I think is enormous," Steele said. "And I know that a lot of folks want to do the knee jerk you know let's start slammin' and rammin', but I think we really need to take a step back from this and deal with two things, one, the historic aspect of it, acknowledge it, but then move on to the substance of the conversation about what this woman believes."

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh took an opposite turn from the party chairman, saying that the "way get promoted in the Barack Obama administration" is "by hating white people." Limbaugh also suggested that her nomination would be like picking former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke for the position.

"I think she's disqualified herself. Not only does she lack the often-discussed appropriate judicial temperament, it's worse than that. She brings a form of bigotry or racism to the court," Limbaugh said. He added, "How can a president nominate such a candidate? And how can a party get behind such a candidate? That's what would be asked if somebody were foolish enough to nominate David Duke or pick somebody even less offensive."

During his daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called Limbaugh's comments "offensive."

soundoff (341 Responses)
  1. Dimslie

    Republicans must learn to attack, attack, attack. It doesn't matter if they momentarily seem to lose ground. This is what the Dims do and it works. For eight years they attacked George Bush. Hell, make that 9 years. They're still attacking him. It doesn't matter if what you say makes sense, just attack. The body blows add up and take a toll. Republicans need to toughen up and they need to learn how to lie.

    May 30, 2009 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  2. Jim Wisley

    generally, Steele is a mindless, lock-step party hack seeking to advance his personal goals at the expense of of the community of folks who are non-white. In this particular case, he has shown that he places American values above those of his party (at least the recent values of the GOP). Perhaps there is hope for the middle-ground in this country! Its the only way we will, all, ever, move ahead! Michael, if that's your position... I hope you stick to it! Congrats!

    May 30, 2009 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  3. michael

    The headline of this story was about Steele ripping Limbaugh. However, that is not part of the story at all. Steele says something sensible, and Limbaugh says something... well, let's just say unrelated to reality. But Steele rips Limbaugh? That is not only misleading, it is giving Mr. Steele credit for a bravery he has not shown, and credit for a spine he is not due.

    May 30, 2009 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  4. Chaz

    I do not care what Limbaugh or Steele's positions are.
    Limbaugh is irrelevant, except to the ditto-heads.
    Steele is spineless and will just parrot the party line.

    The GOP itself is becoming increasingly irrelevant.
    Until they ditch Cheney, Rove, Bush, Palin, Limbaugh and Hannity, the GOP will just become more and more removed from the bulk of American citizens.

    It is simply amazing how they just don't see the train coming.

    May 30, 2009 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  5. used2bdemocrat

    its past time that white people stop being afraid of calling a spade a spade. This woman is a racist, her record reaks of racism. Weak and apologetic white people are a scourge of the white race. The day is coming when this country is going to explode from within.

    May 30, 2009 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  6. Molly Weasley

    It would do the country such good if there could be civil debate between opposite political viewpoints. Sadly, that's impossible when demagogues like Rush Limbaugh are around.

    You people who listen to him - why don't you wake up? There are adults who take a conservative viewpoint but who still deal in facts and civil discourse instead of mindless mudslinging. Listen to them instead.

    May 30, 2009 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  7. Where's the balance?

    Come on CNN... Where's the balance? EVERY DAY you headline supposed turmoil as though there's nothing but bickering in the GOP.

    When are you going to talk about things like Burris (D) caught lying on FBI tapes, or how the nation now is more supportive of Pro-Life than for abortions, or how N Korea is snubbing obama right in his face and he doesn't see it, anything that will show THE OTHER side of the equation.

    CNN continues to divide the country by only showing ONE side of debates.


    May 30, 2009 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  8. dick izinya

    Steele better watch out, he's gonna have to apologize to Limbo again!

    May 30, 2009 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  9. davet

    The way too get promoted in any party is by having Rush say something bad about you. Rush, I got news for you: YOU DON'T MATTER!!

    May 30, 2009 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  10. Alicia

    Good for him!

    May 30, 2009 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  11. Markets Up

    The GOP is moderating? Shocker! Steele, your pink socks are wearing out. All can see through the weak strategy you have been handed out by Republican leadership. Order another pair and make it a Rush delivery.

    Slammin' slang doesn't get you votes.

    Try again.

    May 30, 2009 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  12. rob

    He's right... and and Repub's like Ginggrinch, Dxck Cheney, Limbbad, and Miffed Romney should all listen to his advice.

    May 30, 2009 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  13. Bill

    It seems the more intelligent Republicans may finally be getting a backbone. Once Colin Powell took a shot at Limbaugh without later apologizing (like Steele and others did previously), you could see more moderates showing some courage against the divisive pundit.

    Let's hope it's the beginning of the end of these shrill and insulting propagandists,

    May 30, 2009 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  14. Proud American

    Wow, looks like the Idiots have run out of targets now their going after each other..

    May 30, 2009 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  15. Mike

    At least Steele is talking some sense. Of course, the wrecking crew (Limbaugh, Cheney, "They turned me into a Newt" Gingrich, etc.) won't listen to him. As a die hard Dem, I love it! The GOP are killing themselves. I do believe a thorough vetting should happen in the Senate. But attacking based on statements taken out of context isn't fooling anyone – except the right wing Republican base.

    May 30, 2009 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
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