Gingrich says he shouldn’t have called Sotomayor a racist

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich this morning backed away from calling U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a “racist,” saying his own language was perhaps “too strong and too direct.”

Gingrich helped set off a stir of Republican protest with a series of Twitter messages from Europe last week, including this one: “White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw.”

The former Georgia congressman was reacting to this quote from Sotomayor, made during a 2001 speech: “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 posted the following today on the web site for Human Events, a conservative publication:

My initial reaction was strong and direct — perhaps too strong and too direct. The sentiment struck me as racist and I said so. Since then, some who want to have an open and honest consideration of Judge Sotomayor’s fitness to serve on the nation’s highest court have been critical of my word choice.

With these critics who want to have an honest conversation, I agree. The word “racist” should not have been applied to Judge Sotomayor as a person, even if her words themselves are unacceptable (a fact which both President Obama and his Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, have since admitted).

So it is to her words — the ones quoted above and others — to which we should turn, for they show that the issue here is not racial identity politics. Sotomayor’s words reveal a betrayal of a fundamental principle of the American system — that everyone is equal before the law.

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192 comments Add your comment

DW

June 3rd, 2009
10:17 am

“With these critics who want to have an honest conversation, I agree. The word “racist” should not have been applied to Judge Sotomayor as a person…”

Where’s the apology?

They always say CRAP and then RETRACT

June 3rd, 2009
10:24 am

People like Newt always say stuff to stir up confusion and racial tension then come back to apologize. HE SAID IT HE MEANT IT, why is he still even in the news? why are people even following him up on issues? This man is going to say stuff like this because it’s in him.

JD

June 3rd, 2009
10:26 am

Do you really think everyone is equal before the law? Looking at stats on court decision- whites vs. blacks, males vs. females, corporations vs. citizens.

Turd Ferguson

June 3rd, 2009
10:26 am

As usual honest conversation cant be tolerated by the left.

gene

June 3rd, 2009
10:28 am

Why should he apologize? She made racists remarks, she is a racist judge, she has made is plainly clear that she will rule as an activist and not as a lawyer. Oh wait, lets forget about everything she has said in the past and just believe her lies she tells the congress just to get on the court. Really people if a white american had made the same statement saying a white man would rule differently than an illegal latino, we would not even be having this hearing. She is just another of socialist obamas flunkies he is trying to force upon us. Wake up before you have no country to wake up to.

This is no honest conversation

June 3rd, 2009
10:29 am

Newt is just showing he’s old, white and racist, get real Turd. Newt is in that age bracket where it was birth and taught in them to be racist.

Copyleft

June 3rd, 2009
10:34 am

As long as he’s getting media attention, Newt is happy.

Howard

June 3rd, 2009
10:34 am

I see no reason for everyone to get in such a snit over this nomination. Obama is just replacing a far left twit in David Souter with another far left appointee. Personally I think she could do no worse than Souter…one of the worst judges in memory. And remember who appointed him?? The elder Bush. It really depresses me when I scan the history of this country and conclude…this country has had no effective political leadership since 1988. The Bush family, the Clinton’s and now Obama…and this was the best this country could produce??

Turd Ferguson

June 3rd, 2009
10:35 am

So…Newt is racist yet you deny Soto is a racist…typical lefty.

gene

June 3rd, 2009
10:37 am

Unfortunately with an individual like Muhammed Obama in the White House, this country, which is already in the toilet, is now being flushed out the sewer pipes. I guess Muhammed Obama will once again (figuratively) bow to the muslims. After all he was the first president to bow..What an embarassment he is to all who once were proud Americans…….

The Snark

June 3rd, 2009
10:40 am

Let me see if I’ve got this right: if Newt Gingrich misspeaks or uses a poor choice of words, it’s OK, but if Judge Sotomayor misspeaks or uses a poor choice of words, it’s … what now?

Gingrich reminds me of what one historian said about Vladimir Lenin: “An inexhaustible font of bad ideas.”

OIFVet

June 3rd, 2009
10:41 am

I guess Democrats have forgotten how the treated Miguel Estrada.

gene

June 3rd, 2009
10:42 am

Court decisions on Whites Vs Blacks..Could that be the results of blacks committing more crimes than whites. Just look at the projects, ie; free housing for the black community…those places are some of the highest crime areas in the country. In Atlanta the post office won’t even deliver the mail to the projects. Nothing wrong with being poor or being black, neither gives a person the right to commit crimes. Hell, blacks can’t stop shooting each other long enough to finish school.

Mike Reynolds

June 3rd, 2009
10:43 am

It’s time that “recovering racists” like Gingrich get over the idea of “reverse racism” — now that they are in “recovery mode” from their years of active racism that the playing field is suddenly level. I like to use an analogy that goes something like: A bully is holding a helpless kid down, sitting on top of him and punching and choking him for a long time before someone comes along, thinks this looks very unfair and pulls the bully off. Then the bully says, “Well, OK, let’s make it fair. Stand up and fight me fairly now!” (The kid is bleeding, stumbling and coughing.) The passerby says, “No, you have to get down on the ground with the kid on top of YOU to make it fair.” The bully says, “Hey! No! That’s not fair. That’s reverse bullying!” The reasonable person, of course, would say that the fighting should stop all together and the two should try to get over it. Easier said than done, but, in any case the kid was hurt and mistreated and won’t easily be able to trust the bully again. There is no “reverse” trauma. The bully was not traumatized. He must have some psychological problem he’ll have to deal with, but he did the traumatizing, not the other way around. The bully has to continue to prove he as changed forever if he wants to live peacefully with is former prey. At any point if he tries to redirect blame toward th victim, the recovery suffers a setback.

gene

June 3rd, 2009
10:46 am

It doesn’t matter what Newt says or doesn’t say, He has not been nominated for one of the most powerful positions in the country, His views, thoughts and actions matter not, while this racist sotomayors’ will effect everyone for years to come. I would rather have someone who has a proven record of ruling directly on the law and not someone who rules from her feelings as her records prove.

To the Right We Go

June 3rd, 2009
10:49 am

As long as Newt and Rush are the faces and spokesmen for the Republican party, Democrats have nothing to worry about. The Republican Party is now officially the party of the Angry White Man. Unfortunately for them, there aren’t enough Angry White Men to outvote the rest of the country. Republicans are now isolated to the Southern States, and will not regain their national stature until they realize that a move back to the center is required. Until then, it’s Hail to Newt and Rush – and more lost elections.

gene

June 3rd, 2009
10:50 am

Mike you analogy is pretty good. The only problem I see is this country is run just like the jungle under the laws of survival of the fittest. Just like before the government was controlled by a stronger GOP. Now the GOP is weaker and the government is controlled by the DEMs. It goes back and forth. Regardless of what is said bipartisianship does not exist on anything that actually means something.

CDW

June 3rd, 2009
10:52 am

We are all the sum of our experiences, whether those experiences are defined by our skin color, education, gender, religion…and so on. It is self evident that each of us would expect to be able to make good decisions, and those decisions will be influenced by our experiences. Duh.

That one person believes a particular set of experiences make for better decision-making…also not surprising. Not even news worthy.
Move on.

Whipkey

June 3rd, 2009
10:52 am

This isn’t an apology. He’s just saying that he wished he hadn’t said it the way he did. That’s fine if you believe it, but you need to stand by it.

Gene, I grew up around a bunch of PWT and the projects is no different that the trailor park. You just want to feel superior, but there’s plenty of meth dealers, drop outs, and couches on the front porch where you’re at too. Maybe they should put that on the news every day to remind you…

TRUTH

June 3rd, 2009
10:53 am

I think the right has more of a fear that a latina woman, appointed by a Progressive President who is wildly popular, will infringe on their perceived right to say, do, and dictate as they please and how they’ve pleased for years. They feel the last of their power slipping away and like children, throw temper tantrums at anyone who’ll listen. Frankly, the GOP as a whole has revealed themselves to be narrow minded, non forward thinking, bigoted representatives of the worst history and predictament this country has been in in years. Newt, like Rush, Hannity, Levine, Savage and FIX news continue to offer statements and other utterances that clearly show a refusal to accept the will of the people as opposed to the intent of a few. That few being the remnants of the Republican Party. Who cares what Newt thinks? Rush, Hannity and the cast of other clowns that spout this rhetoric DO NOT HOLD OFFICE NOR WILL EVER RUN FOR OFFICE. So why does the media continue to amplify these morons is beyond me. Yeah, Sontamayor is racist…., I guess none of them has EVER said a racist or bigoted word. It’s laughable.

gene

June 3rd, 2009
10:53 am

Yes the Dems are in charge..That won’t last forever. The working class will very soon get tired of being taxed to death..( cigarette Tax and liquor tax) Both were initiated June 1st and made retroactive back to April 1st. I have several clients that are very angry due to having to pay 5 to 10 thousand dollars in back taxes…Thank You Dems…keep it up and you will be out a lot quicker than you got in.

Edward

June 3rd, 2009
10:55 am

When your heroes are Cheney, Gingrich, and Limbaugh, you have already lost any credibility you may have had. The GOP is nothing but a joke now, a terrible unfunny joke.

Mrs G

June 3rd, 2009
10:56 am

Unfortunately “Gene” you are as “ignorant as Newt”. I am a woman and I do not see anything racist about what Sotomayor said. I can’t begin to tell you I sufferecd and understand the holocaust, can you tell me about slavery and the suffering? No, because we didn’t live through it, we can only tell what we were told, not what we lived through. When you know better, you do better. And obviously you nor Newt knows better.

gene

June 3rd, 2009
10:58 am

Well Whipkey, I grew up around trailor parks and such. I just decided I wanted a bette life. I really don’t ever remember the post office refusing to deliver mail to a PWT trailor park because they feared for their lives…nor does the stats show that white people on the whole shoot each other as the stats show that black people in the projects do. So when the stats do indicate this then I guess you can compare the two. I can assure you that for the most part a pwt trailor park is a helluva lot safer that a black project.

Really Gene??

June 3rd, 2009
10:59 am

As I recall Gene, President Obama cut taxes. Strange isn’t it? The truth gets in the way of a good story.

Puhleez

June 3rd, 2009
10:59 am

What a stupid analogy! That has nothing to do with being fair, it has to do with revenge.

Get Real

June 3rd, 2009
11:00 am

As long as people like Gene are alive, racism will be alive and well. Some people can sit behind their keyboards and make foul statements, but don’t have the guts to actually say it to someones face. If Gene and his type had actually done their own research, they would know that she has ruled 80% of the time against plaintiffs in discrimination cases. Gene you can come to me talking that jungle crap and someone can tell you what happened after you wake up.

Jake

June 3rd, 2009
11:01 am

Newt forgot to add ’sexist’. She clearly has a high opinion of herself (no crime there), and at least gave the appearance of having pro-female and pro-Hispanic biases. It’s that potential bias that is a problem on the SC where, as Newt pointed out, everyone should be equal before the law.

BravesFan

June 3rd, 2009
11:06 am

I love you gene. typical left comments here as usual, what else should i expect from the AJC and the typical reader. ignorance is apparently bliss with these people, i guess i will never be blissful. maybe someday they will learn to form their own opinions and complete a thought without watching the liberal media for direction. the fact is, if a white man says it, he would be crucified! the white man is now the most segregrated against person in the country. we cannot do anything without being judged or crucified and it is time people recognize that. I do not want to hear one more thing about the black man and being put down! you have a president now that apparently finally gave you hope that for some reason you didn’t have. you have no more excuses for yourselves. This country is now ALL about the minority being able to succeed and making it harder for a white person. congratulations, now open your eyes and stop making excuses. it is up to you to run this country now and you can’t do it blindly.

gene

June 3rd, 2009
11:06 am

Hey Mrs. G I can’t think of any place in this country where slavery is legal nor do I know of anyone who was a slave when this country aloud slavery. Slavery was legal and a big part of the early years of this country. Not something you can change. Slavery has been illegal for over 130 years. It really gets old everytime someone says something a black person doesn’t like they revert back to the ” well we were mistreated slaves” really now are you actually over 150 years old? I can look around and see white areas that are clean and relatively crime free..I also see black areas that are nasty with trash and hold the highest crime rates around. I see white schools where the parents are all involved in the childs education where as black schools haven’t seen a parent in years. Balcks have as much if not more opportunity to advance in life as whites doe. Blacks for the most part choose not to. They would rather live off welfare, pop out babies, and complain about how THEY were wronged by the whiteman making them slaves…Look to What Bill Cosby says…At least he is intelligent enough to see the troubles of the black man have bee brought on by the black man.

RetLTC

June 3rd, 2009
11:07 am

Go away Newt.

TRUTH

June 3rd, 2009
11:07 am

Gene, you do realize that you’re just making the point even more about how out of touch you are. It’s one thing being a cheerleader for the ReThuglican Party, its another to just be ignorant of the facts that are in your face.

As to your blatant remark about Blacks and the projects, if you place 100s of people in a small environment with no economic out, what the heck do you expect…GENE-ious? I work solcial services in Tennessee, I’ve been to trailer parks where the same thing exists and it was predominatly White Americans who were perpretating the lawlessness. The fact is GENE-ious, is that a large majority of Americans, both Dem and Repub, are tired of that way of thinking. WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. Jobs should be available to everyone. As well as Healthcare, Education, and the right to pursue happiness. What’s left of the GOP only stands for the return to the Status Quo. And all of US citizens get the chance to go back to the demise of our country under a party that has no ideas that appeal the electorate (Refer to November 3, 2009). You got voted out. You got voted out because of the state the country is in. Yet you have the nerve to say that its what is right for this country. Whatever you’re smoking, taking or injecting, keep that to you and your clique of friends. It’s making you psychotic.

Get Real

June 3rd, 2009
11:07 am

Jake, we know everyone is equal before the law. Barbie bandits come to mind. The robbed a bank and two guys who weren’t even there got more time than they did. Drug sentencing among blacks and whites also has a huge disparity. We all would hope that the law is equal, but we know it isn’t.

Bob

June 3rd, 2009
11:08 am

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. When she speaks like a racist and acts like a racist, she must be a racist. Newt, you do not need apologize.

SaveOurRepublic

June 3rd, 2009
11:09 am

“Neocon” Newt is a Globalist shill (as evidenced by his CFR membership), however he owed no “apology” IMO. Addressing cultural Marxist hypocrisy should be applauded, BUT falling into the fallacious “racist”/”racism” vacuum should be avoided. As I’ve previously stated the “racist”/”racism” accusation is (often) grossly misapplied. It’s lost some effectiveness (via the “PC police”) due to being overly utilized. The issue with Sotomayor’s statements is the cultural Marxist double standard & hypocrisy. In other words, she should be able to express “Latina Pride”, and others should be able to express pride in their ethnicity/race. However, the more pressing concern on Sotomayor should be her (full) Constitutional adherence!

gene

June 3rd, 2009
11:12 am

To Really Gene, Obama you are as misinformed as you statement. Yes Obama cut taxes for 6 months this year and you got on average $25.00 more per paycheck…Obviously thats as far as you read because next year the taxes are going back up and you will have to pay back an additional $38.00 per paycheck…so where is the tax cut now. On the same note Muhammed Obama is raising corporate taxes to almost 48%, could that be why all the american corporations are moving out of the country… Its really sad that the only good thing a dem can say about Muhammed Obama is that he cut taxes for six months and hes black which is actually on half true as his mother was alledgedly white.

RetLTC

June 3rd, 2009
11:12 am

Still swirling around the bowl Turd? Truth, you’re spot on. The fear coming from the right is that suddenly political power is being acquired and wielded by those they seek to marginalize. They see the handwriting on the wall. There aren’t enough of them left to reverse the changes occurring demographically in this country. Fortunately for the rest of the country, the radical right is gone. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

sd

June 3rd, 2009
11:15 am

I really don’t believe that Newt, Rush, Hannity, or any of the posters here that say she is racist, really believe it. I can’t believe that Sean Hannity looks himself in the mirror at night and beleives the crap he spews.

That goes for the pundits on the other side too.

This statement, that a Hispanic woman will come to a diffferent conclusion than a white male is probably factual.

Its not about how the law looks at individuals, its how society looks at individuals. Whether its right or wrong, each judge brings their own personal experiences to the bench they serve.

Its probably a good thing to get a diversity of people that have experienced different lives.

Regardless, even if you hated this opinion, its one statement one person with a long career has made. If you were judged by the worst statement you’ve ever made and not on the totality of your lives, how would you be judged?

Get Real

June 3rd, 2009
11:15 am

SOR, Confederate day in Gawga isn’t expressing ethnic pride? It only becomes an issue when minorities express their ‘pride’. I guess we’re supposed to assimilate to Confederate Day.

Jake

June 3rd, 2009
11:17 am

GetReal – I have no problem with her being seated on the SC amd I’m pretty sure she will be. This is part media frenzy (there are so many of them they have to make a big story or ciris out of every little thing) and partly her own fault because she did say a few things that at least gave the impression of racism and impropriety.

Donnybrook

June 3rd, 2009
11:18 am

‘Gene’ if you have all these big time clients, then you know corporations leaving this country because of taxes is a farce. They’re leaving because of labor costs. With all the tax breaks and write offs corporations pay very little in taxes, which is still fairly low. As a ‘businessman’ you should know this. As a racist I wouldn’t expect you too. I hope your ‘clients’ know the true you. Very professional of you on this blog.

gatorman770

June 3rd, 2009
11:18 am

Hopefully she won’t sodomayor “the rule of law” in her decisions, but due to her past history, I wouldn’t bet on “the rule of law” winning over “feelings”.

Get Real

June 3rd, 2009
11:20 am

Jake, I respect your opinion. Nice to have an honest, adult debate on the merits.

Jim Callihan

June 3rd, 2009
11:20 am

Didn’t we already see the comedy skit about a “witch and a newt”?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr8DIg3oHFI

Enough already.

gene

June 3rd, 2009
11:22 am

Truth obviously you are really the one who is out of touch. You say you work for social services. I think everyone would agree social services stand goverment freebies. We are really one of the few if not the only country that will pay a person to not work. WE are not talking about placing 100’s people in a small economic enviorment. We are talking about people living in projects on the governments dime that are too lazy to do anything but rob rape and kill to get what they want. Your excuse that blacks don’t have the same opportunities as white is just as bogus as your beliefs. All a person has to do to go to school is get up off their lazy ass apply for and receive what ever scholarships are available and study. The excuse that schools are not available is just that a lame excuse…Its because these people do not want to go, their idea of getting ahead is to sell more dope rape more people or rob a bigger store. Oh lets not forget the shootings that occur because “he called me a name, he dissed me, he stepped for on my turf” that has nothing to do with the status quo. That has to do with being too damn lazy to get an education to get ahead.

William

June 3rd, 2009
11:23 am

sd

You are 100% correct!! I heard Hannity say on air once, if Obama gets elected “it will be good for radio”..it’s all a production.

Mrs G

June 3rd, 2009
11:24 am

Gene… All I can say is ignorance is bliss. And you just ASS-umed that I was black… Gene, I am human… please get in touch with reality… Living near a trailer park begets trailer trash mentality…so you saying, “I am better that everyone in my tin on bricks”… Let me explain something I never lived in a trailer park or the projects or have I even lived close to either. Do you even understand analogies? Or do you know what that mean?
?

TRUTH

June 3rd, 2009
11:29 am

Thanks for the comment ReTLTC, Huah. Yes, say goodby to the rubbish. The GOP has relegated themselves to a handful of extremists. As they continue to disintegrate, their failed ideas and stratgies fade with them. Now take Cheney, Boehner, McConnell, Cantor and the rest of the talking points with you. This country is for everyone, not a few. Gingrich’s statement was made with the intent of the words he uttered. Him backpedaling now is due to the fallout he did NOT expect. Rush and Hannity say this crap regularly, we turn them off. (Or listen for laughs). There is a commercial that says Brains is Back in the White House…GOD, you were right on time!!

sd

June 3rd, 2009
11:31 am

Gene, you don’t know anything about the projects. I don’t write that to be mean, but to point out a fact.

In fact you keep referring to Atlanta Projects and if you did know anything about that, you’d know that the last Atlanta housing project is being closed. There will be no more housing projects in atlanta.

You don’t know what its like to be a black person. You don’t know what its like to be anyone other than who you are. You make harsh judgements of people without knowing them. You are trying to remove specks from people’s eyes while you are blinded by the stick in your own.

gene

June 3rd, 2009
11:31 am

Hey Donnybrook, you are obviously as dumb as your statement. First I never said I had big time clients, I think the term I used was “client” get your terms correct and stop tring to spin what I said. Yes corporations in the past have left because of labor costs. That slowed almost to a stop several years ago..Now other countries have realized just how much can be made tax wise from have factories in their countries and have set tax bases to attract them. I’m sure even you can do the math, 12% or 48% tax on profits. Now the Muhammed Obama admisitration want to tax the not only what profit is made in this country but the profit that is made outside its borders on money that is brought back to the home office. If you do your research, which I doubt you are capable of you will find that corporate ceos, owners and stock holders favor moving the companies completely out of US control soley to avoid giving the government half its profits. If my little business was even close to falling under this tax structure I would be gone in a new york second.