White House Struggles to Defend Sotomayor’s Race Statement
May 28, 2009
Critics of President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court should be careful how they conduct the debate, warned White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Wednesday, as he struggled to explain a 2001 comment by Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
Obama nominated Sotomayor on Tuesday to fill the vacancy of retiring Associate Justice David Souter.
Among the controversies surrounding Sotomayor is a comment she made during a speech at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law in October 2001.
In that speech, she said, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
Fielding questions for about 10 minutes on Sotomayor’s comment, Gibbs was at times dismissive.
“I think we can all move past YouTube snippets and half-sentences and actually look at her honest-to-God record,” he said at one point during the questioning.