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. Fla.

    Who is Steele kidding? His own slammin & rammin [sic] words two weeks ago were "abrasive" and "not distinguished."

    Steele and his ridiculous GOP cohorts continue to step in it. All of their outrageous nonsense is on tape, unfortunately revealing their hypocrisy.

    Judge Sotomayor is well-qualified and deserves a fair confirmation.

    May 29, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  2. sue

    I am tired of all the historic talk! I do not think it was a big deal that Obama was elected. This is America in the year 2009. Anyone can achieve in this country. The only thing I'm surprised about is that someone so unqualified was elected.
    Now we have to hear all about everyone's diversity! Is she qualified? Will she follow the Constitution? I don't care if she's from Jupiter! Will she do the job the way it should be done? Answers to all-probably not.
    Just don't bore me, Michael, with being excited about the historic aspect of this. Who cares about her story? Everyone has a story, no matter if you're white, black, brown, red, or neon green!
    What happened to judging people on their character?!!!!

    May 29, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  3. roger

    When you play nice to democrats especially left wing you get your b-s cut off and stuck up your A–! This woman would not even make the jury pool! Remember Hillary every american has the right to speak up to all adminstrations Speak up if not one will become a sheep and you will want to drink the KOOL AID

    May 29, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  4. Dale

    Here's the question I want answered. Is BO racist? Apparently you have to be from any origin other than a white American to get a place at the table with him. He's a socialist, people are comparing him to Jimmy Carter.... Yeah right. We should be so lucky, by the time this guy is done he will add up to Jimmy Carter to the 10th power. Get ready folks and I don't want to hear one word from the lib's that support him and are brainwashed by him.

    Where is his "GAS" CZAR????? Why don't he appoint someone to watch over that? Oh! never mind I already know. He cannot push his GREEN energy policy nd break all Americans if gas prices are cheap.

    Has anyone realized that gas was $3.90 per gallon when oil was $147 per barrel and now gas is $2.78 per gallon while oil is onlt $64 per barrel???? Do the math, at this rate if it goes back to even $100 per barrel yu'll be paying $5 per gallon. Why isn't anyone talking about this? Watch out for those food prices.

    This government is a huge joke and we are a joke as American people for tolerating them.

    May 29, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  5. Happy Dem!

    Crappy reporting, ticker. If you're going to quote the LEADER of the Pachyderms (a fitting role for Rush), at least give us all of it. The quotes in the article don't even read properly. They're clearly out of context.

    It doesn't matter, though – Rush is still wrecking the the "conservative movement" (to my utter delight). Don't bother asking what that is – it's blind leading the blind now. THEY don't even know where they're going!

    So Ticker, help us document the Pachyderm King's destructive behavior properly! Give Conan some fresh material!

    May 29, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  6. Bill in Ct.

    Get a back bone Steele, be a real brother and stop letting Rush run all over you. Rush is a joke and a bigot, you run that party be strong.

    May 29, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  7. Dan

    As I used to say as a kid "takes one to know one" Rush. Talk about a racist.

    May 29, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  8. annick

    The problem with you Mr Steele , is that you are too thoughtful and logical. That's not what a good republican is...

    May 29, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  9. BeefMasterX

    Steele is not worthy of his job.

    May 29, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. Lorne

    I'm a Republican, and not a very proud one. While Steele is quite right he's backed down to Limbaugh to many times to have his opinions matter. Limbaugh leads the party by virtue of his volume, and we are doomed because of it...

    May 29, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  11. Texan in Oklahoma

    Steele sounds like the rarest of all things. A Republican that is willing to actually discuss a nominee on the basis of bher qualifications. Most seem to be like Limbaugh. Accepting distortions as fact without any questions. Distorting the truth and outright lying seems to be the only thing Republicans can do any more.
    Democrats don't have to try to beat the GOP. The party is committing suicide as a group.
    Go team, go.

    May 29, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  12. ThinkAboutIt

    What's with the slammin' and rammin' from Steele? Sounds pretty violent – I thought the Senate Confirmation hearings were to be conducted by civilized, elected officials.

    Regarding Rush Limbaugh: Included among the many side-effects of long-term use of narcotics such as Oxycodone are paranoia, psychosis, and hallucinations.

    If Rush has ever gone through withdrawal from Oxycodone (which I doubt; he certainly doesn't act like he's in recovery from anything), side-effects include Psychosis.

    May 29, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  13. Nini

    This kind of a nominee could jeopardize the foundation of our democracy and I am suppose to say nothing!!!

    This exactly how some republicans walk all over principal and they are in this bad political position because of it.

    Oh, and I am registered independent voter.

    May 29, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  14. yom

    Finally, Steele has realised that he was elected to bring people to a bigger tent and get republican candidates elected. With their harsh and often racial rhetoric( Rush and Newt) they have been unable to mobilize the electorate to buy their jaundiced vision of the world.
    When a minority comes on the scene, Rush/Newt see them as either racist or "elitist". Sure minority that attended Columbia and Harvard is an elitist and another minority that attended Yale and Princeton and happens to be someone with the best judicial experience is racist .SNAP OUT OF IT. THE WORLD IS MOVING ON WITHOUT YOU.

    May 29, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. steve

    So what else is new. Oh wait Rush slamming another nonwhite, nonwealthy nonanglo human being. Boy am I glad I'm not one of them. Thanks Rush, I feel so much better and safer now being a moderate republican. God, get a life!

    May 29, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  16. Leif Ryan

    What a bunch of crap. It's time to state the obvious: she is openly racist, much like the benediction at the Dali Bama's inauguration was openly racist. If mainstream white conservatives had even hinted around the edges of the language these liberal bottom feeders had used, the whiny onslaught of the press would have been endless.

    May 29, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  17. Lee

    Thank you, Michael Steele, for finally sounding logical. Limbaugh and everything about him is offensive. He loves to hate. He loves dittoheads who are in fact quite stupid, believing his multimillion dollar entertainment show actually deals with fact. Limbaugh, aka Slimebaugh, has become a caricature of himself, and truly is worse than a 650-pound gorilla.

    May 29, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  18. mike

    Rush....I used to subscribe to his banter when I was younger. He is such an out of touch fool today. His rhetoric is so ridiculous. He's the buffoon that he's tried to make so many other out of over the past 20 years. I hate him. Actually, he's the only person that I can say I truly hate. And... 20 or so years ago, he used to be the paid spokesperson for my business. Over time, though, he's just proven himself to be so out of touch with the needs of America. I'm sooooo sick of his bs. Makes me puke, without putting my fingers through my throat! Rush! Suck You!

    May 29, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  19. phoenix86

    And, you be quiet! People like you are the ones who are driving me away from republican party, even I was there almost 50 years.

    May 29, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  20. Charlie

    Michael Steele has finally said something that makes sense. This is a historical moment and should recognized as such.

    May 29, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  21. renobill

    This guy Steele is looking pretty smart for a Repuke. At least a lot smarter than Limbaugh.

    May 29, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  22. jerry

    When is the media going to get it that giving this serious racist and liar a platform to vent his disgusting spleen is collaborating with him. He'd fit on Queen Elizabeth's list of unwelcome visitors to Britain. If this were sixty years ago you know he's have been right there in the Nazi crowd.

    May 29, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  23. Barbara

    And how long will it be before Mr. Steele apologizes to Rush again?

    May 29, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  24. storms

    Rush is a voice that's out there. I wish he were just a little bit farther away so that i wouldn't have to here him. he is inappropriate.

    May 29, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  25. duke

    why does Rush Limbaugh get to comment on racism at all? Wasnt he fired from a job or 2 for racist remarks?

    May 29, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
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