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. Jessue

    Mr.Limbaugh is a WEALTHY ,WHITE,,MALE who just happens to belong to the Rebublican Party ( I think !) ! I guess my saying that makes me a racist ! As if any body cares !

    May 29, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. Larry

    First intelligent thing I've heard this man say ...

    May 29, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  3. JohnnyG

    First thing I need to say is that it's clear that Steele is the wrong choice for the Republicans to say such an idiotic thing as he's saying. What the heck does the "historic aspect" have to do with her? I agree with Limbaugh 100% that she is a bigot that hates whites and doesn't belong on the Supreme Court.

    But I will say that her choice is typical of our racist president who also hates whites!

    May 29, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. The Broker.

    Bias:? Sick Bias! Blacks saving Blacks. We must keep power, say the underdogs. The African American, wh is sick with control. Whatever party they come from... Remember 1961? Those were the days my friend, I hoped they'd never end. We'd sing and dance forever and a day. Then came CNN, and all aof a sudden the world stopped dancing. I wonder why??

    May 29, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. Billy

    Steele = moron

    May 29, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  6. Tom in CA

    OH Come on Michael! Let Rush, Newt, Karl and Tom be the non-elected spokesmen for the GOP!

    They'll take the GOP to a new LOW-Level – how low can the GOP go?

    May 29, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. Buck Eklund

    It might be better said that one should question the nominee as to what her motivation could possibly be for making a statement like she made in 2001. If in fact we are all one people, and in God's eyes I believe we are, these types of statements should get the press they deserve. Should we not ask the nominee the question of motivation and find out what is truly in her heart?? Surely we all have differing backgrounds and life experiences, how does that make us so different? ONLY and I mean ONLY if we choose to be so. This is still the greatest country in the world and possibly it is time for us to stop focussing and proclaiming our differences and pay attention to what our creator intended for our lives: Love, Peace, Relationships and helping our fellow man. So if this humble opinion means anything I expect the nominee should be asked and respond in a manner that assures us she will perform the duty at hand with all the professonalism and dedication befitting a Supreme Court Justice.

    May 29, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. Sandro

    Wow, Steele is showing to finaly have some insight... I thought that he was all knee-jerk myself. Finally, the GOP may start to provide constructive criticisms instead of being the party of NO.

    May 29, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Tom in CA

    It looks like CNN is going to censor everyone on this topic! Way to go CNN – we just love how you give us our Free Speech on your ticker!

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

    The same guy who a week ago boasted the President Obama "wasn't vetted because he's black" now says that there should be focus on recognizing the "historic aspect" of nominating a Hispanic to the Supreme Court? He can't have it both ways. Does this guy have any clue what he's doing?

    May 29, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. Ted Tartaglia

    Steele seems to recognize the hole the Republicans are trying their best to jump into. You cannot give him much credit though because he doesn't condemn his boss Gasbag.

    Sleezebags like Rush Limbaugh do not qualify to be a member of the human race. This drug addled, uneducated moron is a fitting leader of the Republican party.

    I am unsure why CNN continues to publish everything Limbag spouts. I guess CNN is trying to out fox FOX to become the mouthpiece for the Republican wingnuts.

    May 29, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  12. HB

    Why did they elect this clown as chairman?

    May 29, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. echo

    This might be the smartest thing I've seen out of the GOP ever. To bad they are mostly a bunch of crazy radical idealists and will never hold off on obstructing President Obama's choice. The have shown themselves to be the worst losers of a shift in power. Only the ones who are not currently holding an electable office open their mouths. Who does this party represent? Not me, not America.

    May 29, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. neil

    Historically bad decisions aren't necessarily vital to our welfare as a nation. She is racist...plain and simple. She said she is better suited to judge than a white man. So Steele is saying...hey racism is okay...as long as it is against whites.

    May 29, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. p smith

    Rush can't be serious with those comments. That's the pot calling the kettle black !

    May 29, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. cdiii

    If THESE comments don't do Rush Limbaugh in...this nation is, intellectually, in worse shape than ever.

    Tell you what: I'm going to tape his show on Monday...play back every commercial...then boycott each and every sponsor.

    May 29, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. Sam

    OK, most people have it's time for you to catch up.............

    America measures everything by gender and race?

    May 29, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. Trang

    I don't think Republicans take you seriously, Michael Steele. Although it's a good advice. Let's see if they listen.

    May 29, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. Dixie Chyc

    Of COURSE Robert Gibbs would call Limbaugh's comments offensive – Gibbs is simply trying to turn the tables on the offensive comments made by Sotomayor! As a white person, I find Sotomayor's words about white men offensive. I'm sick and tired of black, Hispanics, and other minorities being able to get away with hate speech against white people! Are white people supposed to just sit around and take it, these racist hate speech comments by people like Sotomayor, Reverend Wright, and others? Why can't we just move PAST race and gender?!

    In addition, there is another issue going on here that is just NOTcool. Republians are fighting among themselves – but don't they get? Liberals are watering at their mouths for just this sort of falling apart – a split in the Republican party. Listen up my conservative friends – united we stand but divided we fall! Don't fall into the trap. The Republican Party needs a REAL leader right now more than ever! We need a uniter, We need a very special someone who can defeat Obama in 3 and 1/2 years!

    May 29, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  20. cdiii

    At the end of the word "sponsor" I forgot the word "forever."

    May 29, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. Eva, VA

    Does this man have a position? I guess its on his knees, kissing the hind flavor the day.

    May 29, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  22. Paul

    rush limbaugh calling someone racist is just about as stupid as him calling someone a fat drug addict. And, by saying things like "slammin and rammin", Mike Steele isn't making himself look any smarter.

    May 29, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  23. Paul Brewer

    Steele is being very reasonable here. Limbaugh is just continuing to make a fool of himself. Limmbaugh is buffoonery incarnate!

    May 29, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  24. David Ottson

    Yeah, David Duke ran as a republican for public offlce. Rush needs to take a bottle and go to bed !

    May 29, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. Curtis in WI

    So which republican will be he first to come out to say everything Steele said is wrong, wrong, wrong?

    You know someone will. They always do.

    May 29, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
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