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. pauline mullinnex

    Rush makes me embarrass to be a republican.

    May 29, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. Pauline A. Nixon, MPA

    Many, many thanks, Michael. You are exactly correct.

    This nominee has experiences many in this country do not identify with.

    It is not easy to put aside one's initial perceptions and look more closely. And, of course, no nominee can truly predict the circumstances that are going to be put before them in the Court in the future.

    May 29, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  3. britt brown

    Rush is the best thing to happen to the Democrats in years. Keep up the good work!

    May 29, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. jim b

    It's all well and good for Mr. Steele say something intelligent, but that could be helpful to the Republican party, which I detest. Better to have Gingerich, Limbaugh and Cheney shooting off their mouths.

    May 29, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  5. Bill ~ Down on the Bayou

    And Robert Gibbs along with the entire obama administration, and including Michael Steel, Colin Powell and Sen. Cronyn. if they vote for Sotomayor, these are the type people that would go scuba-diving in their mothers vomit.

    May 29, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  6. barney

    Mr. Steele..it does little good now for you to give left-handed criticism to limbaugh and back handed praise to Judge Sotomayor...everyone knows your party for what it has become...I cannot use the accurate description here..this is a family oriented column

    May 29, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  7. Tom

    Limbaugh should remember that David Duke almost become governor of Louisiana as a Republican. Keep it up Rush, you're the Democrats best friend.

    May 29, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. JON

    The old Steel is back good for him.

    May 29, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  9. TheFabOne

    Limbaugh is trash. Pure and simple.

    May 29, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  10. rebekah

    Gosh I really hate Rush Limbaugh

    May 29, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. The Bu

    Michael Steele will be apologizing to Rushie-Rush tomorrow!!! We know who's REALLY running the Republican Party. Limbaugh and Cheney.

    May 29, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  12. Ken Shade

    Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and others are living proof that "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste".

    May 29, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. Really Rush?

    Gee Rush..does that mean if he was stupid enough to nominate someone as ignorant as you?

    May 29, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. David

    It appears as though the RNC doesn't want to see its increasingly narrowing appeal cede more of the latino vote. If it weren't for that, they would be fully engaged in their typical "slammin and rammin".

    May 29, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  15. Bill

    Keep taliking big boy Limbaugh and he only people who will be left in your Republican Party will be you, Dick Cheney and David Duke.

    "Slammin' and rammin'"??? Come on Mr. Steele. Speak like an adult.

    May 29, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  16. Nancy Criscuolo

    Somebody needs to sew Limbaughs mouth shut. He has turned into such a disgrace, spewing nothing but hate. Many many years ago, I was an avid listener of Mr. Limbaughs talk radio show, back when he spoke intelligently about the issues. Now..is nothing but a racist, hate mongering windbag and one of the main reason I voted straight down the democratic line ( and I am an independent who leaned toward the conservative right most of my life). Though I still have many conservative values..I believe love comes in many forms and shouldn't be dismissed because someone else thinks its wrong, and abortion is one of the most heart wrenching decisions a women has to make (though I am pro life) and no one has the right to judge unless they have walked in some elses shoes..RUSH..I really pitty you. You haven't yet figured out it is not about bullying and passing judgement, it's about understanding and an Americans right to form their own opinions and live their life as they choose without windbags like you spewing venum because everyone doesn't think they way you do. (Thankfully)

    May 29, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  17. Jon

    Just when I think Steele is improving he proves again that he is an idiot. He is obviously confusing his "historic" appointment as RNC chief (a huge mistake that desperately needs to be corrected) with another "historic" appointment to the Supreme Court. Nominees are not chosen because it will be "historic". They are chosen because of qualifications, which both Steele and Sotomayor lack.

    May 29, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  18. Leslie

    This country is descending towards MARXISM at BREATHTAKING SPEED according to PRAVDA a Russian newspaper; AND all you can talk about CNN is this kind of garbage? Don't you think as part of the media YOU as news reporters all over the world should REPORT to the American people how their country is going to the dogs?

    SHAME ON YOU CNN!

    May 29, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  19. Pragmatic

    The more Rush blabs, the more irrational he sounds... David Duke?
    Sounds like the big guy is doing drugs again ... sensible republicans will move away from the comedy hour with Newt & Rush ...

    by the way, Hispanic is not a "race" – its more like being Irish or French or Italian ... a cultural heritage... but of course, rush, having never graduated from high school, wouldn't know that.

    May 29, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  20. virginia for obama

    Ohhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Rush and the Haters are going to get you for saying

    that. . . Steele you're toast ( which you are already ) after that comment.

    May 29, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  21. RC

    I notice Steele didn't mention Rush Limbaugh specifically by name (at least the way this piece is written). He kept it very generic ("some folks"). I think Steele doesn't have the balls to stand up to that big blob of elephantine ego and worthless opinion. If he did, he'd probably only apologize again out of fear.

    May 29, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  22. Kevin

    Now you better go apologize to Rush tomorrow.

    May 29, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX

    Grow a pair, Michael Steele! Rush and Newt are right. Stand UP for what is right! Stand up against this racist/anti-caucasian woman! Quit watering down your opposition!

    May 29, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. George Guadiane Austerlitz, NY

    Do you think it will take all the way to Monday for Steele to get on his knees and BEG Limpballs to forgive him for getting out of line???
    Seriously, I'm glad to hear reason from the "Right," I hope it sticks! It would be great to be able to CONVERSE with Republicans about things, rather than pretend the other side is Satin.

    May 29, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  25. frank

    Cannot the GOP see that Limbaugh is really just a huge liability to its establishing any sort of credibility with anyone other than the red necked and super conservative religious right? This is a dwindling (thank God!!) segment of our population and there is no future for any political party to kowtow to that group and in particular their hate mongering spokesman!!!

    May 29, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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