ABC News’ Rick Klein and Steven Portnoy report:
Radio host Rush Limbaugh today brushed aside Newt Gingrich’s apology for calling Judge Sonia Sotomayor a “racist,” saying he wouldn’t take back his words on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.
“I didn’t know why he retracted it. And I still don’t,” Limbaugh said today on his radio program. “What did he say? Why did he retract it? Did he say the word was too harsh? I have my own theory about what Newt’s doing, but since I'm not doing it, I'm not gonna comment.”
“I’m not retracting it,” he added. “Nobody’s refuted it!”
“If the word means something, and if it fits, I use it,” Limbaugh said of the “racist” label. “Nobody’s saying I’m wrong. Nobody’s saying I’m making it up. I mean, when she says, ‘I’d do a better job than a white guy,’ what is it? It’s racism, reverse racism, whatever. But it's still racism. She would bring a form of racism, bigotry to the court.”
Gingrich today wrote in an online column today that he was wrong to use the word “racist” to describe Sotomayor.
Limbaugh today also blasted the president for “trumpeting” his Muslim roots in advance of his trip to the Middle East — something he took pains not to mention during the campaign.
“I just find it fascinating now that as he goes over again to the Middle East, and no doubt to apologize for the United States again, to start heralding for that part of the world his Muslim roots. Once again, we’re getting a totally different Obama than we got during the campaign,” he said.
“Ok, Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Is that supposed to be our reaction now?”
UPDATE 5:04p.m. (EST): Rush Limbaugh said today that despite his objections to the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, there is a “possibility” that he would support her, if she proves she has a “sensibility toward life.”
Highlighting the appeals court judge’s faith, and the difficulty of discerning from her rulings her philosophy on a woman’s constitutional right-to-choose, Limbaugh noted, “She’s a Catholic, and she doesn’t have a clear record on abortion.”
“Normally, liberals do have a record,” Limbaugh said. “I mean, when they’re pro-choice, man, they campaign it. They should it from the mountain tops. They trumpet it. She hasn’t.”
“So, I can see a possibility of supporting this nomination, if I could be convinced that she does have a sensibility toward life, in a legal sense, of course, and a real sense.”
Earlier Wednesday, Limbaugh repeated his main complaint about President Obama’s first Supreme Court pick, calling her a “racist.”
“I mean, when she says, ‘I’d do a better job than a white guy,’ what is it? It’s racism, reverse racism, whatever. But it's still racism,” Limbaugh said. “She would bring a form of racism, bigotry to the court.”
But in noting his views on the ambiguity of Sotomayor’s position on abortion, Limbaugh said, “I may look past that.”