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RUSH: All right, I have read Newt Gingrich’s op-ed where he supposedly ‘retracts’ his comments about Sotomayor, and here’s how it begins: ‘Shortly after President Obama nominated her to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, I read Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s now famous words: ‘I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.’ 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 … to which we should turn…’ Here’s how I interpret this. I don’t think this is bad at all. What Newt is basically saying is he doesn’t want to get personal, and he thinks it’s personal to say she is the racist.

He wants to judge her by her words, and she has said racist things. She has. She said racist things which betray the fundamental American principle of equal justice under the law. She said those words. He stresses her words rather than what kind of person she is and that’s what he wants to do. So he may be retracting something here, but he’s not changing his opinion of her as a judge. So it may be a retraction of the use of a word, and he’s free to do that. The state-run media is calling it a retraction, but it seems to me more like he’s refocusing his critique. Now, as for me, when Senator Patrick Leahy and the Democrats give Miguel Estrada an up-or-down vote on his nomination, I will listen to lectures by bigoted Democrats who schemed to smear and destroy the man because he is an Hispanic.

See, to me, folks, it’s not just Sotomayor. It is an entire mentality and motivation by the left, which owns the Democrat Party now. They use race all the time, including against blacks and Hispanics and women with whom they disagree. So when Leahy and Schumer and Kennedy and all the rest apologize to Estrada and Clarence Thomas and Janice Rogers Brown, I might give a damn what they have to say — and that goes for their media puppets in the state-controlled media as well. But I’m not going to retract anything. What I have said happens to be true. What Leahy and Schumer and Kennedy have said about Clarence Thomas and Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown has been a lie. If anybody should be retracting anything, it’s Schumer, it’s Leahy, it’s Biden. It is all the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

For what they did to Robert Bork, what they tried to do to Clarence Thomas — and what they did do to Clarence Thomas — Janice Rogers Brown, Miguel Estrada, and we could throw Alberto Gonzales in there as well. Try to destroy him, too, precisely because he was Hispanic. So you people in the state-run media you can ask me all day, ‘Hey, Rush, you gonna retract what you said?’ No. I’m not the one who has to retract anything. The truth does not get retracted except in the state-run media. So if there’s any retracting to be done, let’s start with Senator Leahy and then move on to Senator Kennedy and then to Senator Biden and then to Senator Schumer. ‘Quinnipiac University just released new polling data showing that Americans firmly reject affirmative action policies based on race.’

The numbers are 55 to 36. ‘They say that affirmative action should be abolished, and they disagree 71 to 19 with Sotomayor’s ruling in the New Haven firefighters case,’ according to the same poll that was released today. Seventy-one to 19 disagree with her ruling, Ricci and the New Haven firefighters case. ‘More than 70% of voters in the Quinnipiac poll say that diversity is not a good enough reason to give minorities preferential treatment in competition for government or private sector jobs, including the Supreme Court,’ and this was a survey of over 3,000 voters. Among the specific questions comes this interesting breakdown. It seems that only a plurality of black voters support the practice in government, while a majority of Hispanics who were polled firmly oppose affirmative action.’

Now, Rasmussen has just released its polling numbers today. ‘They report an erosion of support for Sonia Sotomayor, with far less than a majority in support of her confirmation: 41% now favor confirmation; 36% are opposed. A week ago those figures were 45% and 29% respectively. Sixty-nine percent of Republicans now view Sotomayor as politically liberal, a view shared by 50% of unaffiliated independents. Fifty-three percent of Democrats view Sotomayor as politically moderate. The partisan divide on the question has increased significantly.’ Now, I know what you’re saying. ‘Rush, you don’t do polls. What are you doing with polls?’ The left lives by them. The left, the White House, they live by polls.

I am told that there’s a two-hour meeting in the White House every evening at 6:30 to go over the polls for that day, in planning the next day, and that’s not unusual. White Houses poll. Clinton did it. I don’t think the Bush administration did it as much, but they did, but this administration certainly does. And they live by it.

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