Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich posted on his Twitter feed today a call for Judge Sonia Sotomayor to withdraw her nomination because she is a “Latina woman racist.” As evidence of her supposed racism, Gingrich posted an out-of-context quote from a lecture that Sotomayor gave in 2001 on diversity. Gingrich wrote, “new racism is no better than old racism” and added:
As Greg Sargent notes, Gingrich’s demand that Sotomayor withdraw was later retweeted — which is “generally taken as a sign of agreement” — by the RNC’s new media director, Todd Herman. When asked about Gingrich’s comment during today’s White House press conference, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded by noting that “the blog of a former lawmaker” is hardly the best source of objective information on Sotomayor:
GIBBS: I think it is probably important for any involved in this debate to be exceedingly careful with the way in which they’ve decided to describe different aspects of the impending confirmation. I think we’re satisfied that when the people of America and the people of the Senate get a chance to look at more than just the blog of a former lawmaker that they’ll come to the same conclusion that the President did.
Noting Gingrich’s offensive Twitter post, ABC’s Jake Tapper asked, “Will [the] ousted Speaker impact [his] former colleagues on Hill?” So far, it looks like Gingrich may not have to. Indeed, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said yesterday that he is worried that Sotomayor might allow “undue influence from her own personal race, gender, or political preferences” affect her rulings, while Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) said similarly that he believes that Sotomayor has shown “personal bias based on ethnicity and gender.”