July 16th, 2009
11:36 AM ET
13 years ago

GOP senator to Sotomayor: your speeches 'bug the hell out of me'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/16/art.grahamsoto0716.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Lindsey Graham told Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor that some of the things she has said 'have bugged the hell out of me.'"]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A GOP senator told Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor Thursday some of her speeches "bug the hell out of me" but conceded most of her rulings were "generally mainstream."

The expression of frustration followed by renewed questions aimed at getting Sotomayor to reveal more about her personal views was again the hallmark of Republican questioning in the fourth day of Sotomayor's confirmation hearings.

"You've said some things that have bugged the hell out of me," said South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.

"Your speeches are disturbing, particularly to conservatives. ... Those speeches to me suggested gender and racial affiliations in a way that a lot of us wonder, will you take that line of thinking to the Supreme Court in these cases of first precedent."

But, Graham also said, "to be honest with you, your record as a judge has not been radical by any means. ... You have, I think, consistently, as an advocate, took a point of view that was left of center. You have, as a judge, been generally in the mainstream."

Graham honed in once again on Sotomayor's controversial statement that a "wise Latina" could reach a better decision than a white man.

Asked what she would say to people offended by her remarks, Sotomayor said that she regrets that she has "offended some people. I believe that my life demonstrates that that was not my intent to leave the impression that some have taken from my words."

Filed under: Lindsey Graham • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Jack in Florida

    Lindsey Graham is an idiot and I can't believe he has lasted so long.....come on South Carolina......he needs to be kicked to the curb just like your governor..................................such a laughing stock South Carolina is becoming. Vote for integrity, intelligence and articulation!!!

    July 16, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Eric`

    Hi All-

    I have said it before and I will say it again... The base of the GOP are racsist jerks.. they always were and always will be. I mean think abou it America.... if the best spokesperson that any organization can come up with is RUSH FATBAUGH it does not really say to much about that organization. EXCEPT that they are for RICH WHITE MEN... as a country if we elect these people to office in which they have direct impact on our lives that does not say much for us voters....

    2010... Is our change to shrink the GOP down to nothing.... THAT IS WHAT IS GOOD FOR AMERICA......

    LIES LIES LIES.... SCARE SCARE SCARE.... WAR WAR WAR.... NO GAYS NO GAYS NO GAYS...thats what the GOP feeds to middle America. And what really gets me, is that its more important for the GOP base to own a gun than it is to fight for REAL JOBS and feed their families.... just don't get it. 10 bucks an hour in Kentucky and Nebraska...NO THANKS.... How you people can accept that and then VOTE for it is beyond me..


    July 16, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. John Q

    Southerncousin, you're complaining about precisely what Lindsey is doing.

    And his accent reminds me of a bygone era.

    Evolution has happened, try to keep up.

    July 16, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. matt

    Jon in CA–If you are declaring her unqualified based upon a mistake in word choice, I submit that you are unqualified to make such judgments given your use of "irregardless," which is not a word. You are thinking of "irrespective" OR "regardless."

    July 16, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Tania

    "irregardless" is not an acceptable word to use in the context you applied it…

    it's not a word at all!

    the spelling and grammar (not grammer) of some posters sure shows their level of education!

    July 16, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Pat

    Everyone, let us remember every supreme court nominee gets the same line of questioning from the party that is in the minority. Judge Clarence Thomas was the first I remember, everyone including him have faced hard questions, attacks on everything they have ever said in the past. This goes beyond hate....you all are pathetic.

    July 16, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Really?

    "Minorities" is the new "Majority"...watch the fear of white men grow....

    July 16, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Rob

    This woman is flip-flopping like a true Democrat. John Kerry's taking notes on her style, saying "If only I woulda done that in 2004"

    July 16, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. teena

    Kinda like taking that white man's superior attitude to the Supreme Court?

    July 16, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. ab

    Can Lindsey get any more bigoted against women or non-whites?

    July 16, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. I laugh at comrade Limbaugh daily

    I hope she laughs and thumbs her nose at him when shes confirmed.This guy reminds me of Goober in a suit.

    July 16, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Phil

    I laugh at comrade Limbaugh daily,

    South Carolina has a pretty big tourist industry. Ever heard of Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Charleston? People like you complain about Limbaugh, accusing him of spreading hate, etc., but you never take into account your own comments which actually do spew hate. You said, "Hows that tourism business to your redneck State doing Linsey?" Isn't that considered hateful, stereotypical, ignorant, etc.? Typical bleeding heart comments...remember not to throw stones in glass houses.

    July 16, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Gary

    It seems like the RNC and the republican senators are stereotyping Sotomayor. One senator makes fun of language skills citing the old "I Love Lucy" series, another senator says that her comments "bug the hell out of me". The RNC appears to be a club of old, fat, rich white boys who are fussing because they're not hearing what they want to hear. Take Rush Limbaugh, Palin, and the other idiots out of camera range.

    July 16, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Scott, Tucson

    If this situation was reversed and Sotomayor was nominated by a republican she would be crucified for her beliefs and statements by the leftist here.

    July 16, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Annie, Atlanta

    Is anyone else sick of seeing the Republicans beating the "wise Latina" comment (that has been taken way out of context) into the ground? And don't these old white southern racists realize they're creeping a lot of us out, out here? I can't watch them anymore, my skin won't stop crawling.

    July 16, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon July 16th, 2009 12:07 pm ET

    Lindsey Graham thinks South Carolina is an important state.

    Of course it's important!

    In the Senate, where every state has 2 representatives (except Massachusetts, thanks to Kennedy), South Carolina is just as important as every other state.

    Gotta love our Constitution!!!

    July 16, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. M

    And Senator...your sexist comments and ridiculious questions bug the hell out of me.

    July 16, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. makesUwonder

    Larry July 16th, 2009 11:57 am ET

    Lindsey Graham is a no-class hick.

    His voice, with that stupid southern drawl, bugs the hell out of me.

    Graham would understand an enriched life if he had one. The idea that people don't learn from their experiences and apply them to their lives is just plain stupid.

    They should vote now. Ms Sotomayor should no longer have to answer these idiots and bigots.
    Why the insult?......."stupid southern drawl"......if you don't like the way he sounds why don't you just turn the television off when he starts talking. Try taking the dog for a walk and clear your head of all that hate.

    July 16, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Charles

    These senators just want to play some political games and get some media coverage so they can tell their supporters they have tried. Basically, Sotomayer's background and experience are quite impressive – graduated with honor from Princeton and Yale Law School, had been a prosecutor of NYC, only one to have experience on both the district court level and the appellate level (comparing with current Justices),… If you try to compare with Clearance Thomas, she is way over-qualified.

    July 16, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. DL

    The Repubs here can whine all they want...President has the power to appoint who he wishes. When we got stuck with Bush's lame choices there was nothing we could do but grit our teeth and bear it...what come's around, goes around...it's simply YOUR turn.

    July 16, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. Shucks

    And Senator Graham has said alot of things that bug the hell out of many also. He is truly an idiot. I'm sure all the republicans backs are aching after all of the political posturing that is being done during these hearings. Can't wait for the next Obama appointee as they will truly have the republicans rolling in their seats. It will come, and America will again be a country where freedom for all means just that. Not just freedom for conservative religious fanatics which is what many or the republicans would like. Sorry, but Sotomayor is just the start of the new America which we all voted for in November.

    July 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Melissa

    Why are Republicans always so nasty?

    July 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. videodrome


    Let me get this straight.
    So this Graham complains about "liberal activist judges" allowing their feelings sway their rulings.
    But this guy has to unbridles audacity to make known his feelings in this confirmation hearing??
    And the same people that complain about the splinters in everyone else's eyes, but they NEVER deal with the emotional logs wedged up in theirs.
    How typical.

    July 16, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  24. Gary D.

    Of course Graham should be "bugged" by a wise, brilliant woman. Tough times for white racist old farts.

    July 16, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. phoenix86

    I guess it only bothers republicans and those who think for themselves that this woman can make the same racist comment 10 times over 7 years and no one else seems to find it troubling.

    Typical liberal double standard.

    July 16, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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