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Obama wins Round One on Sotomayor, but shows caution going forward

Most elected Republicans distance themselves from incendiary comments by Limbaugh, Gingrich, and others.

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If the Obama administration was trying to set a trap for the Republican Party in nominating Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, it could not have done a better job.

As an outspoken Latina, Judge Sotomayor has said plenty of things to rile up conservatives. Most pointedly, she once said that a “wise Latina woman” judge would “more often than not” make better decisions than a “white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Prominent conservatives pounced with rhetoric that many party members consider over-the-top. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich called Sotomayor a “Latina woman racist” and demanded she withdraw her nomination. Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh compared her to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) of Colorado called the Hispanic group National Council of La Raza, of which Sotomayor is a member, “a Latino KKK without the hoods or nooses.”

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