Newt: Sotomayor a ‘racist’
By: Andy Barr
May 27, 2009 05:54 PM EST
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Wednesday charged that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a “racist.”
“Imagine a judicial nominee said ‘my experience as a white man makes me better than a Latina woman.’ Wouldn’t they have to withdraw? New racism is no better than old racism,” Gingrich wrote in a post on his blog.
“A white man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw,” he added.
Gingrich was referring to a comment Sotomayor made during remarks at the University of California, Berkeley’s annual Judge Mario G. Olmos Law and Cultural Diversity Lecture.
“A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” Sotomayor said.
Gingrich’s comment came a day after conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh called Sotomayor a “racist.”
Responding to Gingrich’s post, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Sotomayor’s opponents should be “exceedingly careful” in their criticisms.
Asked about the dangers in attacking the first Hispanic nominee to the nation’s highest court, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told CNN radio on Tuesday, “you have to be careful,” adding that “you don’t want to be perceived as a bully.”
In a statement issued the same day, Steele said that “Republicans will reserve judgment on Sonia Sotomayor until there has been a thorough and thoughtful examination of her legal views.”
But RNC new media director Todd Herman reposted Gingrich’s comment on Twitter today, writing “new racism = no better than old.”
RNC communications director Trevor Francis said the committee would not respond to a “personal tweet by one of our staffers” before adding that “the RNC’s and the chairman’s position on the nomination of Judge Sotomayor are reflected by our statement yesterday.”
© 2009 Capitol News Company, LLC