Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich just twittered the following to his closest 344,357 friends about five minutes ago, never mentioning U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor by name:
White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw.
That message was preceded by this one:
Imagine a judicial nominee said “my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman” new racism is no better than old racism
We called a spokesman for Gingrich, who said the former Georgia congressman is currently in Europe.
The aide said the “tweets” are genuine, which makes Gingrich the most prominent Republican yet to take a hard line against Obama’s nominee for the high court. And that could presage more resolute GOP opposition in Congress.
Conservative talk show giant Rush Limbaugh said something similar on Tuesday, after the Sotomayor nomination:
“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, the 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.”
The criticism is drawn from a speech that Sotomayor made in 2001 at the University of California campus in Berkley. This is the quote, via Time magazine, emphasis added:
“Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement … I would hope that 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.”
Gingrich’s European tweet quickly made it to the White House press room. This from the Washington Times:
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed the remarks as coming from a “former lawmaker” and smacking of “partisan politics.”
“It is probably important for anybody involved in this debate to be exceedingly careful with the way in which they decide to describe different aspects of this impending confirmation,” Mr. Gibbs said when asked about the remarks.
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