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. windfall

    Well, Rush Limbaugh certainly knows a thing or two about racism.

    This whole thing is a ridiculous myth created for ratings on Rush's show. His advertisers should be ashamed of themselves for cashing in on this garbage spewed from Rush's you-know-what.

    May 29, 2009 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  2. Barry in Maryland

    If Michael Steele isn't careful about what he says he will probably have to apologize to Rush Limbaugh again.

    May 29, 2009 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  3. Cheryl

    How can anyone take this guy seriously?

    May 29, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  4. Gop

    I just cannot agree that a liberal activist judge should be called historic.

    Stop looking at her gender or her race and start looking at her record. This person is a bad choice and even Obama knows it.

    He put her up here because we have weak kneed Republicans that don’t want to be seen as racist if they bring the house down on her.

    Why do Democrats get a pass when they call a Republican nominee racist and everything else in the book?

    This person is a bigot by her own words. And she has no problem pointing out her job as a judge is to make policy rather then enforce our Constitution.

    I would not call this historic but a tragedy waiting to happen to us all!

    May 29, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  5. california democrat

    mushman strikes again. go republicans!

    May 29, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  6. cm

    I am a Hispanic Woman and we know Judge Sotomayor has the credentials to be the next Justice of the Supreme Court, let me tell you all these racist attacks from Republicans like Rush Limbaugh and Tom Tancredo are resonating in the Hispanic Community and not precisely with a good outcome for Republicans we will take in consideration and we will look closely the way Sotomayor will be treated by the Senate, next year is election year and these people are offending our entire community with their rant. The Republican Party needs to remember California GOP history since Pete Wilson ; the problem for them is this time will be in the entire country. They can go out and say all that nonsense now and let’s see what happens in 2010 and 2012. Enough is Enough.
    ( I hope CNN will post this)

    May 29, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  7. GOP=Grumpy Old People

    Rush Limpballs is a lunitic , funny that he invokes the name of David Duke a Republican. Who spreads more hate and makes as many racist remarks as Rush Limpballs? He accuses everybody of racism when just last week he said that Barack wanted to use the stimulus money for welfare for the Black people. NO one is more racist than him, there is a special place in HELL for this jacka....

    May 29, 2009 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  8. Rick in PA

    The Republican party is such a mess!

    May 29, 2009 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  9. Luis

    Why doesn't "Rush Limbaugh" just attend the confirmation hearing
    and personally attack nominee Sonia Sotomayor himself??

    After all the others republicans are just jesters and he is the annointed king of the leming republican party; No doubt, his party will follow him off the history "cliff" into irrelevancy.

    Maybe someday these chuckleheads will learn that the citizens of this country are very disgusted with they type of leadership that the republicans have used to both empower and enrich themselves,
    special interests, and their business buddies. The same leadership that has bankrupted the rest of us simply will not be tolerated.

    The page has "turned" and the American public deserves much
    better than the usual republican tactic of demonizing everyone that
    does not agree with their decrees.

    May 29, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  10. Sue

    And his apology to RL will be on tomorrow's political ticker.

    May 29, 2009 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  11. videodrome

    My God, does Limbaugh EVER shut the hell up??
    I doubt Rush would ever oppose David
    Duke on anything. Why?? Because Limbaugh and Duke have one in common – they are both BIGOTS.
    Will these conservative crybabies ever go away??

    May 29, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  12. arnie

    Shame on your party and shame on you for the language you have used. Women of Color have been labeled as abrasive which is a code word for loud and stupid. This woman is hardly stupid. May God have mercy upon you and the hate group you are apart of. What does a man profit to gain the whole world and lose his soul.

    BTW, a President who is so against the white men has his cabinet full of them (VP, Sec. of Education, Press Secretary, etc) need I say more. So that argument does not hold water. I didn't even mention the white women. Go ahead spread your hate. I am part of neither party but I will never vote Republican! Never!

    May 29, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  13. Georgia

    A box of rocks hold a higher IQ than Limbarf or his listeners. Maybe both Rush and David Duke would enjoy waterboarding while they are at it?

    May 29, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  14. William H. Richards IV

    As a Republican, I am fed up by the misfits and hacks running today’s GOP. The debate over Judge Sotomayor’s appointment is absurd. Rush Limbaugh’s diatribe’s and Newt Gingrich’s venom are no better than the nuts on the Left who resort to name calling and pettiness. Limbaugh, Gingrich and the GOP leadership are intellectually bankrupt You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

    May 29, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  15. videodrome

    Thank you Steele for at least trying to be a voice of reason through all this.
    Unfortunately, you have chosen to oppose the angry white guys (Rush, Newt), so your time as head of the Republican party may have just come to a glorious end.
    Oh well, see ya!!

    May 29, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  16. Tatianna

    Simply amazing. Team Obama and his fawning media minions feel the need to publicly address evey word uttered by Rush? Why waste our govt time on people like Rush. Our nation has enormous and serious issues at hand. Americans elected you to govern and not to play tiff for tatt with radio show hosts. Gee, I dont even or have to listen to Rush, because Team Obama keeps me updated 24/7. Why, why are you so obsessed with him. Bush team never attacked Olberman, Matthews, Air-Head America or other voices of the rabid left by name. If they ever went on the attack against the left-wing media, they kept the attack general and broad, rather than be specific. Team Bush knew enough about the White House to understand that part of its strength would keep them somewhat above the partisan-pundit fray. Team Obama hasnt figured that much out yet. If your stature is greater than your opponents, its never a good strategy to mention him by name

    May 29, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  17. Tony B

    On Monday Rush will fire back at Steele, and by Monday afternoon Steele will have backtracked an appologized – these guys have become so predictable and sad...

    May 29, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  18. Robert

    Rush LImbaugh is the biggest idiot to ever have a national audience. Oh that he might join Jerry Falwell in the big conservative orgy in the sky so we can finally rest easy down here with his big nasty mouth shut forever.

    May 29, 2009 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  19. jack

    I don't think those big ego republicans will listen

    May 29, 2009 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  20. TM

    Mr. Steele has my sympathy – although I am a Democrat, I do think he is a sincere person trying to act like an adult and do the right thing. He is in a difficult position with his party scattered in many directions, when they should be doing research to prepare for confirmation hearings. I don't think any nominee should be approved by rubber stamp.

    All of the screaming and immature name-calling is more fitting behavior for junior high students than leaders of a national party.

    May 29, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  21. john

    so now obamas mouth piece (gibbs) is directly adressing limbaughs statements. who is in power here? obama or limbaugh. come on lighten up. what's next the official censure of a radio talk show host. perhaps obama is going to get fitted for a brown shirt aka obama youth after alll

    May 29, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  22. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    The RNC made a HUGE mistake choosing this spinelss bungler as their leader. It's ironic that you have a black man actually defending a racist like Sotomayer.

    May 29, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  23. Phil in Tucson

    Lol @ slammin' and rammin'.

    May 29, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  24. Pierce

    Oh, Michael.
    And Republicans were all set to implode with this useless demogoguery against a woman who doesn't fit their view of what Americans should be.
    Michael, let the two Mr. Moralities, Limbaugh and Gingrich, let everybody know what monsters the Republicans can be. Then, at last, the decent people in the GOP and say goodbye to it and the good-old-boy exclusionist club they want.

    Yes, GOP, go ahead and savage this woman. And for what?

    May 29, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  25. Pierce

    Or maybe Rush has run out of oxytonctin and is feeling grumpy. Or maybe Gingrich has divorced another wife who is ill.

    These two know no shame.

    And they represent the Republican party.
    Wow.

    May 29, 2009 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
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