Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday he shouldn't have called Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a racist, but said he was still concerned that she would bring bias to her decisions.
In a letter to supporters, the Georgia Republican said that his words had been "perhaps too strong and direct" last week when he called Sotomayor a reverse "racist," based on a 2001 speech in which she said she hoped the rulings of a "wise Latina" would be better than those of a white male without similar experiences. Gingrich's remarks created a furor among Sotomayor's backers and caused problems for GOP figures who have been pushing to bring more diversity to the party.
Gingrich conceded that Sotomayor's rulings have "shown more caution and moderation" than her speeches and writings, but he said the 2001 comments "reveal a betrayal of a fundamental principle of the American system -- that everyone is equal before the law."
Sotomayor, 54, would be the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the high court.
So the question we need to ask ourselves in considering Judge Sotomayor's confirmation is this: Which judge will show up on the Supreme Court, the radical from her speeches or the convention liberal from her rulings?”
LIMBAUGH: Have my words been too strong on Sotomayor? Are you asking me because Newt has retracted his -- no, my words have not been too strong. I just heard right before the program started. I didn't have a chance to do a lot of show prep late because of the Hannity interview, so I -- after the interview, I checked my email, and three members of the state-run media has sent me emails wanting my reaction to Newt's retraction of calling Sotomayor a racist, and I didn't know that he had, and I didn't know why he had retracted it, and I still don't. But -- what did he say? Why did he retract it? Did he say that he thought the word was too harsh or -- well, I have my own theory about what Newt's doing, but since I'm not doing it, I'm not going to comment.
I'm not retracting it. Nobody's refuted it. You know, they're out there saying, "It's too harsh. It's distracting, Rush. I mean, it's calling -- you know, you just don't want to use the word." Why? If the word means something -- words mean things -- and if it fits, I use it. Now, they may say, "Don't say it, Rush. Dial it back a little bit." But nobody's saying I'm wrong. Nobody's saying I'm making it up. I mean, when she says she'd do a better job than a white guy, what is it? It's racism, reverse racism, whatever, but it's still racism. She would bring a form of racism, bigotry to the court.