Mitch McConnell Says He's Not Handling The "Speech Police" Over The Limbaugh's Calling Sotomayor A Racist!

[media id=8497] Mitch McConnell joined John King of CNN to discuss judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination. King asked him to comment on Limbaugh's racist

5 years ago by David
up

Mitch McConnell joined John King of CNN to discuss judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination. King asked him to comment on Limbaugh's racist rant against her. McConnell took the cowardly way out by not denouncing Limbaugh-Gordon Liddy and all the rest of them for their hate speech and instead used a different tactic.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: So, here you have a racist. You might want to soften that and you might want to say a reverse racist. And the libs, of course, say that minorities cannot be racists because they don't have the power to implement their racism. Well, those days are gone, because reverse racists certainly do have the power to implement their power. Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he's appointed one.

MCCONNELL: Look. I've got a big job to do, dealing with 40 Senate Republicans and trying to advance the nation's agenda. I've got better things to do than be the speech police over people who are going to have their views about a very important appointment, which is an appointment to the United States Supreme Court.

So I'm not going to get into policing everybody's speech. The important thing here is to look at the nominee, her qualifications, read the 3,600 cases, and do it right. That's what the American people expect of us.

In other words, McConnell is whispering, "hey Rush/Newt/Cheney/Buchanan/Tancredo! Keep saying what you're saying and I'll make believe that the Senate Republicans are above it all."

Think Progress:

Asked if Sotomayor is a "racist," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) ducked the issue on CBS this morning. "I'm not going to get involved in characterizations before I've even met her," Kyl said.

CNN's transcript below the fold.

KING: 48 hours later, though, those remarks making some Republicans uneasy. Senator John Cornyn, who is from Texas and also heads your Senate Campaign Committee, says he finds those remarks terrible. And Senator McConnell, he went on to note that neither Rush Limbaugh nor Newt Gingrich, who also labeled Sonia Sotomayor a racist, get votes on this. They are not in the United States Senate.

You have a difficult job anyway. Are Rush and Newt making it a lot harder by using language like that?

MCCONNELL: Look, those of us who have a vote in this process are the ones who are studying this nomination. We have got a country full of people with their opinions, many of whom have big audiences, and they are certainly entitled to their opinions.

KING: Entitled to their opinions -- I don't mean to interrupt. I don't like to interrupt. Entitled to their opinions, but you're the Republican leader, you are the highest elected Republican in the United States of America. You've got a tough job. Would it be best -- would it be best that language like racist not be used by a man who millions of people listen to? A lot of people who vote for your candidate, and for a man who is not only the former speaker of the House of Representatives but is headline a major fund-raising dinner for House and Senate candidates this coming week here in Washington? Wouldn't it be better that they choose their words more carefully?

MCCONNELL: Look. I've got a big job to do, dealing with 40 Senate Republicans and trying to advance the nation's agenda. I've got better things to do than be the speech police over people who are going to have their views about a very important appointment, which is an appointment to the United States Supreme Court.

So I'm not going to get into policing everybody's speech. The important thing here is to look at the nominee, her qualifications, read the 3,600 cases, and do it right. That's what the American people expect of us.

KING: Can I read into that, though, that you do not agree? You would not label...

MCCONNELL: It is certainly not my view. My view is we ought to take a look at this nominee's qualifications. I think her life story is absolutely impressive.

KING: Let's move on.

MCCONNELL: And we all admire the fact that she has started off from humble beginnings, did well in school and has had a long career in public service. But the issue before us now is should she be a Supreme Court justice, and that is what we're going to be concentrating on here in the next few months.

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