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. Sharon- Birmingham, Al

    other than the slam-ram comment, I think Steele finally see the light. Republicans need to stop the hating and congratulate this nominee.

    May 29, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. Roc

    Stelle is finally getting some KAHOONAHS. Suprised he is not cow-towing to Rush as in the past..

    May 29, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  3. JT

    Could Steele get any more ridiculous? Could the GOP be on a more self-destructive path?

    May 29, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. nik

    Slammin' and rammin?

    May 29, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. Jacque Bauer

    Steele does not speak for most Republicans. He clearly does not have a backbone, which perhaps explains his electoral failings.

    May 29, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Jasmine in Germany

    Steele should improve his English language skills if he wants to be taken seriously one day. Limbaugh should retire while he still freely can.

    May 29, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. El

    I say Slam and Ram all they want. Is that not the job of the Senate, to thoroughly explore the record of any Supreme Court candidate? What good is done by confirming a judge solely on race or ethnicity, "because we don't have one of those on the court?" If she is promoted for the job based on race and gender and she is a poor choice, she becomes a poor representative of the abilities of her race and gender....that would make her a heck of a "first." True equality is color blind and gender free and the best candidate would be simply the best candidate...even if he were a white man.

    May 29, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. Shirley In California Now On The Fence Re Obama

    Mr. Steele for once will you please speak in an adult context? You are for once making sense and taking a responsible approach but why all the slang? Republicans would be wise to treat this woman with respect.

    May 29, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. Greg

    Is there any difference between David Duke and Newt Gingrich? Why didn't Limbaugh choose himself or Gingrich as good examples for racists? I swear, Limbaugh and Gingrich are worse than David Duke. the new KKK's in 2009 are worse than those in the past. At least they were covered by laws. Winning the presidential elections as he did last November, Obama still is not recognized by the recent KKK's Limbaugh, Hannity and Gincrigh.

    May 29, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. D. Tree

    Rush Limbaugh thinks his ratings give him the right to sit and judge everyone.

    What's amazing about Rush is that he thinks because he uses "logic" he can say offensive things.

    Well he's not using any logic that makes sense to most Americans – perhaps to fearful and misguided people.

    But that is not the majority of America – I believe Americans as a whole do not agree with Rush Limbaugh.

    May 29, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. dustinl

    how long before he has to apologize?

    May 29, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. Zee

    Steele, expect that there will be hell to pay when Limbaugh gets a whiff of this. Girl run. lol!

    May 29, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. Randall

    You’ve got to really question the long-term future viability of a party that takes its talking points and marching orders from someone like Rush Limbaugh. This man has almost singlehandedly transformed a party that once styled itself “the thinking man’s party” into nothing more than the “angry man’s party.” The party used to have something substantive to offer. Now it is nothing more than a bunch of hardcore ideologues – and not particularly gifted ideologues at that.

    Go one with your race-bating Rush. I am sure it will really help attract moderates next midterm.

    And to party leadership: You can’t have it both ways. Eventually you will have to reign Rush in or kick him to curb. Remember, he is only “important” when you lack the political courage to disagree with him. And if you don’t have the guts to stand up to joker like Rush, do you really deserve to lead again?

    Claremont, CA

    May 29, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. republicans hate america

    careful Token Steele, your supreme leader Rush will not approve of this rebellious behavior and will sick his party on you. it is his party he runs it your his butler nothing else..

    May 29, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. craig

    I completely agree with Mr. Steele. As for Limbaugh. He is a repulsive, delusional person. The only thing that drives him is hatred.

    May 29, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. carlo

    It shows the level of stupidity that the GOP is reaching, they don't have any intelligence left in their brain, a lot of voters will be leaving the Republicans, like I did, shameful conditions for all of us living in this country.

    May 29, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. Dave

    Rush Limbaugh is a cancer on the Republican party, but instead of trying to get rid of him, they're clinging to him and fighting off everyone who tries to save them. Considering that over the past 8 years they've proven they have NO idea how to govern and can only destroy our great country in every way possible, I think their refusal to cut Limbaugh loose is great news. It'll keep them out of power, and our country can continue to improve without their detrimental input.

    May 29, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. quarterback

    No please, you racist facist GOP hardliners should attack her.

    She be a little brown wo-man. Let us turn her into a racist.

    Not like drugged out, divorced, womanizing Rush FATPIG who promotes the best of the GOP.

    Please, cut your throats, all the way back to the spinal cord.

    Need a sharpener for that knife? If you'd rather, I'd help you to Heaven.

    May 29, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. R Thomas

    Oh are making things so much harder for your party. Good job white man. HHaahaha!

    May 29, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. MJ

    Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot. Wait, what book was that again? The one that soon to be U.S. Senator Al Franken wrote. A man obviously ahead of his time when talking about radio hosts. He was right all along.

    May 29, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. Frank Lee

    Within 48 hours Michael Steele will be crawling to the Temple of Limbaugh begging forgiveness from the 400 pound pinata.

    The GOP is done, done, done.

    They've sucessfully driven all but the lily-whites out of the party.

    May 29, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. jenn

    Keep on talking, Rush! You can bring down the GOP single-handedly if you keep this up!!

    May 29, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. beachgirl

    no no no no mr. steele, please let the fight going between all of your bulls republicans, please allow them to make a full of themselves again!!

    just give them more time to 'kill' eachother, YYYYAAAAAAA!

    May 29, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. Benny from DC

    Obama is taking over the country, one company at a time... wake up people.

    May 29, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. David in NC

    How soon will Steele have to apologize to Rush for taking such a stance, or how soon will Rush say Steele needs to leave the Republican Party?

    May 29, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
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