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. robert

    Why is it that [with pain killer addicts & a few others] it's ALWAYS about trashing the other person? I will tell you the simple truth,...because it makes THEM feel better than they can believe in themselves to be. Ponderious...

    May 29, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  2. Ryan Wing

    Oh noooo!!! Republicans can't unleash the hounds!! Whatever will they do?!?

    How about talking unceasingly about what they would be doing, were they to unleash the hounds ....

    May 29, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  3. Shaft

    you are a poet and from the poems you shall be the music to the final curtain of the GOP

    of your ashes shall rise the independant party

    long live the independants

    bye bye GOP

    May 29, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  4. Laurens R. Hunt

    I have mixed opinions of Michael Steele because I have genuine disagreements with some of his policy objectives. I appreciate that Mr. Steele is at least committed to respecting Sonia Sotomayor. As far as Rush Limbaugh is concerned I could just ramble on endlessly. I just wish that Mr. Limbaugh would go away and find something better to do. In summary I am looking forward to the successful nomination of Ms. Sotomayor. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah whom I rarely agree with has one the best track records for supporting a wide range of nominees he is ideologically at odds with. I am awaiting the good news and this pending day of triumph for our US Supreme Court.

    May 29, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  5. providence,ri

    Sorry, but where does Steele mention Limbaugh? What a biased, misleading headline, CNN.

    May 29, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  6. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    Taking bets on how long it'll take Michael Steele to renege on his statement and apologize to Head Rush!

    May 29, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  7. TommyJ

    What a major dissapointment...I am now officially ashamed that I voted for this clown for Senator.

    Just another panzi showboat more interested in "historic perception" than in what is good for the country.

    What a joke..God save the Republican Party. Better yet, let the true Republicans break and form a new Party of pricnciple and backbone.

    May 29, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  8. Matthew Huntington

    Terrible title. It can be interpreted as "Steele says do not slam and ram Sotomayor", or it can be interpreted as "Steele says that the slammin' and rammin' Sotomayor should not be allowed a seat on the Supreme Court".

    When you read the article it becomes clear, but when you just read the ticker, if you don't click on the article, you could get a very false impression of Mr. Steele.

    May 29, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  9. Gambi

    Careful Steele don't challenge Rush or he'll be throwing you out of the Republican Party for not being in agreement with him. He'll even lump you in with Colin Powell.........You only wish it could be that easy to distance yourself from Rush.
    Question: If Rush thinks Sotomayor is a racist is it fair to say Rush is a white supremist?

    May 29, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  10. Eileen

    Michael Steele is a joke. A bad joke.

    May 29, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  11. Dorothy

    Mr Steele, you are the first Republican that I have agreed with in a long time. I tip my hat to you sir, I think you are exactly right.
    We need to listen to and get to know more about Sotomayor before we can make an educated judgement about her. I guess that is unless your name is Rush Limbaugh who likes to shoot his mouth off just to hear the sound of it.
    Why people take him seriously is beyond me. Actually, why anyone would even listen to him is way beyond me.
    He is more what is wrong with this country with his spewing hate.
    Surely there must be something more constructive to do with our time than listen to his rants.

    May 29, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  12. Chris

    Wow ,Limbaugh saying " The way to get promoted in the Barack Obama administration" is "by hating white people." The hate is fostered by Limbaugh not the administration. These disgusting distortions are so outragous that only the loony fringe right would believe it. More and more of the republicans I know are viewing Limbaugh as an idiot, an embarrasment to the republican party

    May 29, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  13. Patsy Hodges

    For the sake of America, PLEASE quit giving Limbaugh, and all
    who tout his nasty rhetoric your air time. He does nothing to promote
    the welfare of America. He is so full of hate he doesn't even know
    how un- American, un- Christrian, and so totally inept he is. If
    the money he is paid is the criteria for his importance, then those
    who agree, promote and repeart his venom are no better than he
    is. When I hear EX VP Cheney say he would choose Limbaugh
    over Gen, Powell, this answers all questions as to how we got
    in the mess we are in. Cheney's values are in the garbage with
    Limbaugh, and I AM SICK OF HEARING FROM THEM~
    Your repeated reference to these people, is not news. They
    are done. Erase them from your agenda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. Independent-ex republican

    Eh, it looks to me that what ever this President does, those right wings are against. Fine. After reading all this comments, I just think that there are a handfull hardcore neocons who just don't see that our country is going in direction which is far better for most people, not just for few "chosen" ones (white, old, rich, etc.). They are against any changes (banks, auto industry, health reform, oil industry, etc.). They must have had very good life in last 15-20 years, and now they hate our President. I have seen comments where somebody (phoenix86) is telling us that he is not POTUS, but POS! And, those people think that they are "Real American"? I didn't vote for President Obama (now I am sorry), I didn' t vote for President Bush either, I am totaly against all what President Bush did to us, but I newer could call him POS!
    Now, here is small game! After reading all comments posted by those neocons, lets go and post comments in their name, but with totaly oposit meaning! They are already fighting between them, and this will get us some laughing. Lets get some fun from all this blogs.
    Ofcourse, if CNN moderator posts this! But, lets have fun, life is short, especialy for neocons and right wings republicans!

    May 29, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  15. RC

    Rush go back to your hillbilly heroin,Your such a jerk! Viagra and the Virgin islands and a girlfriend 25 yrs your jr.Keep on leading the white trash to hell.plus you give your radio show away for free in most markets.

    May 29, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  16. Marv

    Come on Rush, tell us.. tell us the only reason the Chairman of YOUR party is saying that he's "excited" about this choice is because he's black. Come on Rush.. tell us.... tell us that he's another bigot, because God knows that everybody else that's a bigot... it certainly isn't you, right?

    May 29, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  17. Jon Anderson

    Why do you people like to make Rush Limbaugh into your punching bag? Have you still not noticed that the man is not running for public office? If you don't like what he says, turn off your radios. Then, you don't have to listen to it. It really is that simple!

    May 29, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  18. suzyku

    How quickly will he apologize?!

    May 29, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  19. bill

    theres no place for someone with her views on the supreme court,i took offence to her comments

    May 29, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  20. Aron

    No, I think the GOP should continue just what they've been doing with Sotomayor and in fact for the last eight years. Let them bury themselves completely so that there's room for a new opposition party that's living in 2009 rather than the same "old party" of today that's clearly living in 1809.

    The country can see the GOP for what it is: an ethically bankrupt, ideologically lost, decaying collection of angry old wealthy white men whose unfair privilege can't be passed down to their white grandsons, making them tremendously and embarrassingly upset in the process.

    May 29, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  21. norm

    Wow only in the USA can a drug addicted nut bar radio host get so much attention with his BS anti everything unless it's a republican from the far right shooting his lips off!

    May 29, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  22. Marie

    Let's watch the response to this to see who really controls the GOP. I suspect it's Rush.

    May 29, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  23. mimi

    Sotomayor is not hHspanic. Just her hair is black, and speake spanish, this is not "latina woman"
    She is from Puerto Rico. the Caribe!
    She has nothing about this culture1
    That is way American have so much problems around the world!
    Mixing cultures! That is an insult to the people of other countires.

    r

    May 29, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  24. John Q. Public

    Better watch out Mr. Steele, you might have to apologize to Rush for those comments...

    May 29, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  25. dibick99

    wonder what this moron has up his sleeve

    May 29, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
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