Today in an interview with CNN, President George H.W. Bush condemned the right-wing attacks on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Specifically, he took issue with the assertion that Sotomayor is “racist,” which has been made by Newt Gingrich, Tom Tancredo, and Rush Limbaugh:
“I don’t know her that well but I think she’s had a distinguished record on the bench and she should be entitled to fair hearings. Not — [it’s] like the senator John Cornyn said it,” he told CNN. “He may vote for it, he may not. But he’s been backing away from these…backing off from those radical statements to describe her, to attribute things to her that may or may not be true.
“And she was called by somebody a racist once. That’s not right. I mean that’s not fair. It doesn’t help the process. You’re out there name-calling. So let them decide who they want to vote for and get on with it.”
In 1991, Bush nominated Sotomayor as a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, making her “the youngest judge in the Southern District of New York and the first Hispanic federal judge in the state.”