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

Steele: No 'slammin and rammin' Sotomayor

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/13/republicans.family.feud/art.michaelsteelemd.gi.jpg 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. Clyde in Phoenix

    Wow, I never thought I would hear something intelligent out of Steele. I'm pleasantly surprised. Turning Point?!

    May 29, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. Peter E

    Yeah, and within 5 minutes he'll be cowtowing to Limbaugh again 'Oh, I didn't mean it, I meant to parrot your talking points, I'm sorry if I ever dared even think anything else than what you tell me to think!'

    May 29, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. David, Ashland, Oregon

    Oh, Mikey Steele...you know now you gonna hafta kneel on down and ask fogiveness from da real party boss, Rush. Oh, dear....oh, dear!

    May 29, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  4. marty

    Wow, moderation from the Republican Party. Thank you Mr. Steele.

    May 29, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  5. Notfooled

    What this woman Believes?? Steele is a joke!!

    You see, it not just the Old Scared White Male GOP that's making a fool of themselves, it doesn't matter what you skin color is, it ALL of the GOP!

    May 29, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  6. William Roman

    I am a registered Republican, voted Republican ticket the past 4 elections, and am retire military plus long-time listener to Rush. I was raised in the Catholic faith and thus consider myself a conservative. To keep my comment in perspective I must first say that I am an American of Puertorican descent, and had always struggle to explain to fellow Hispanics why I am Republican. The Republican Party is doing everything possible to distance themselves from the Latino community by attacking her nomination to the Supreme Court on the "racist" argument. We (Republicans) wondered how we lost the Hispanic vote in the last election. The "racism substance" is the answer. It greatly distanced the Party from the African American population and surely will with the Hispanic community. Not a smart move!

    May 29, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  7. Steve

    So what you are saying here is all Obama has to do is keep appointing minorities to every post and no one can speak out against them ever?

    This woman has no right being a judge, much less being on the supreme court.

    I don't care if "she would have restated" what she said. The fact is she did say it and she meant it, restating it doesn't change how she feels.

    May 29, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  8. kathy lattanzi

    Rush loves to lead people to believe he is color blind like only he can see just the issues without prejudice of skin color, race , religion... everyone else is racists, doesnt he get tired of being the only intelligent voice speaking????????

    May 29, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  9. stan Pollock, Renton, Washington

    The Republican Party could not sink any lower. I have never seen such a hateful, mean spirited, disgusting group that claims to be Christians. If these people represent Christian thinking and behavior, I would become an agnostic! Their leadership wants Obama to fail so badly that they are willing to take the entire country and economy down. Dick Cheney, Rush Lindbag, and Michael Steele will guarantee the failure of this sick, sick Party. They are truly the Party of obstructionism. I am an Independent, and I would not vote for a Republican if my life depended on it.

    May 29, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. Rich

    Steele has a vocabulary all to his own. Who speaks like this: "slamming" & "ramming"? Sounds like something a sodomite would say. This is certainly not hip hop or the queens english.

    May 29, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  11. Jeff

    Rush's audience is that 20% of Americans who still approved of GWB right to the end of his Presidency. Unfortunately, he's somehow become the defacto spokesperson for the Republican party – and 20% isn't enough to win any elections.

    May 29, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  12. proudleftie

    So how long before Steele will have to apologize to Limbaugh ? Every time I think the Far Right has stooped to it's lowest...they remind me there's always room for a larger gutter. I am realizing now that the biggest fear the GOP has is an educated minority class. Not all of us are sneaking in the back door folks. Many of us are third generation AMERICANS, proud and determined. We are educated, we vote and you wouldn't convince me in a million years that I would want to belong to this party of bigots. Your great icon Reagan was a gentleman and I truly believe he would never want to be associated with this type of hatred. Shame on all of you.

    May 29, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  13. jayjayaye Utah

    There will always be a goodly number of demented minds around who will believe - indeed, WANT to believe - what is said by someone like Limbaugh. Hitler, too, found a ready audience for his ranting and raving. And wasn't it his henchman, Goebels, who siad something to the effect that "the bigger the lie, the more likely it is to be believed"? Good going, Rush! You're really playing in the Big Leagues now!

    May 29, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  14. Dee, NJ

    Mr. Steele, Good call. Thank U, your Nut's are not gooding to STOP Sostmayor!

    May 29, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. Pat, CA

    Bush Defends Clinton's Record on Genocide in Rwanda
    ________________

    Bush and Clinton know how to respect the office of the president - Obama does NOT! But, then, Obama doesn't respect ANYTHING other than his own ego!

    May 29, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  16. landandairtravel

    I think the ultra right are doing a fine job of unhinging ,just fine. Sotomayor should be drilled and grilled until tensions are so high that we we have another long hot summer.

    May 29, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  17. New Day

    heheheh Steele reminds me of one of those parents that try to relate with their kids by using their slang and can never seem to get it down quite right. 😀

    May 29, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  18. Closely Watching

    Ya' know, as a moderate Democrat I would hate to see this man run against President Obama in 2012...he is the only visible Republican figure who seems to get it and to see the big picture of the direction our country is yearning to travel. This is proven out by the fact that every time he makes a statement the ultra-right-wing-ding-a-lings jump out and are ready to rake him across the coals. Mr. Steele, I may not agree with the values of the people you represent, but I do respect your true 'maverikness' as you flail out against those who make up your core coalition.

    May 29, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  19. Growaspine

    1. 2. 3 4. michael will be issuing an apology to LIMPBAUGH shortly.
    I would lend him my ovaries but he wouldn't make good use of them either.
    He is a total wuss.

    May 29, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  20. Shawn

    Well done Mr. Steele. If you have a problem with her decisions that's one thing but all this other GOP bull has got to go.

    May 29, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  21. Joe

    Sound like Limbaugh's still on drugs. The man's ranting gets crazier by the day.

    May 29, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  22. Mike

    Would somebody please give Rush Limbaugh a drug test? I think all the oxy-cotin he took in the past has affected his brain...or whatever brain he had. Who knows, he's probably still on the oxy.

    What a loser. If the Repbulicans really think he's on to something, let him run for office and stop spewing his hatred on the airwaves. Good luck to those of you that think he represents the GOP.

    Real American's should be offended by his remarks, especially when he puts himself out to be a "true American". He is a bitter old man whose 15 minutes of fame should have been over long ago.

    May 29, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  23. Steven Richards

    Limbaugh is a bigot. Always has been and always will be. He appeals to the lowest and worst instincts of people. The fact that he has any defenders is a testament to just how irrational his supportors are. He knows that many people are fearful of all minorities and he will exploit those fears for power and profit. How cynical.

    Steven Richards

    May 29, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  24. mistabigg

    Rush, his ditto heads and the obvious undercover racism are the 3 reason why I am an independent now after decades of voting almost exclusively Republican.. I am sorry to say that I now hesitate to vote Republican at all anymore. I can't be the only one. Look at the numbers. It's a sad day when I would rather side with a tree hugging liberal than just about any conservative out there associated with the Republican party. GOP please wake up and stop listening to El Rushbo!!!!!!

    May 29, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  25. Darrell

    PLEASE.....give me a break, if anyone other than a hispanic female had made the comment she had would be gone. But lets look past that...this woman is NOT the most qualified candidate out there that is available or deserving of this honor! She has nothing on her resume other than one ruling on the baseball strike back in like 95...Even if she didnt have a racist attitude she wouldnt be the most QUALIFIED candidate.

    One last note I am sorry but Obama is wrong in wanting a Supreme Court Judge to have EMPATHY!

    May 29, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
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