June 4th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Why did Gingrich and Limbaugh change their tune about Sotomayor?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh - the Abbott and Costello of the Republican party - are dialing down their rhetoric when it comes to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Gingrich - who just a week ago called on the "Latina woman racist" to withdraw - is taking it back.

Cafferty: The kind stuff Gingrich and Limbaugh say doesn't make them very popular.

He now says his initial reaction to the judge's comments was "perhaps too strong and direct." Really... ? He says he shouldn't have used the word "racist" to refer to Sotomayor as a person - even if her words were unacceptable.

The other gas bag, Limbaugh, says he doesn't know why Gingrich retracted his comment. The radio host still believes Sotomayor would "bring a form of racism and bigotry" to the court. But Limbaugh says he may look past that and is now open to supporting President Obama's nominee if he can be convinced that she has a "sensibility toward life in a legal sense." He's talking about abortion here. What a guy.

Kind of makes you wonder who in the Republican party got to these guys. Senator Jeff Sessions - who had condemned the hateful talk - is praising Gingrich's decision to back off his "racist" comment.

Meanwhile it's clear that the kind stuff Gingrich and Limbaugh say doesn't make them very popular. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows Gingrich with a favorable rating of 36-percent, and Limbaugh at a measly 30-percent. When you compare that to Colin Powell - who gets a favorable rating of 70 percent - there's little question about which direction the Republican Party should be headed.

Here’s my question to you: What caused Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh to change their tune when it comes to Sonia Sotomayor?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Nicole from Philadelphia writes:
Gingrich and Limbaugh were clearly muscled by top Republicans into "changing" their views in an effort to get the Hispanic vote for 2012. I think that Hispanics would be more likely to side with a party that includes their own than a party that calls one of their own successful and qualified Hispanic females a "racist."

Jim from Las Vegas writes:
It should be clear to all by now that the only issue that matters to Rush and Newt is that of abortion. Sotomayor has ruled in favor of pro-life groups a sufficient number of times. That coupled with her being a Catholic gives the religious right hope for overturning Roe v. Wade. This stance by the perceived leaders of the Republican Party is exactly what is driving moderates away.

Dave from Brooklyn writes:
The surfacing of an apparent semblance of intelligence on the part of these two geniuses is a random occurrence of chance. Sooner or later, no matter how stupid someone is, they eventually will make an intelligent statement - purely by accident. Read nothing more into this. They will soon go back to their hate-fired rabble rousing, lies and disparagement.

Richard from New Hampshire writes:
Jack, Part of the reason they changed their tune is to give cover for many Republicans who will be attending an upcoming function, where they both will be speaking. By slightly backpedaling, many elected Republicans will be able to attend and not be seen as tacitly approving of their statements.

Duane writes:
They're backing off because they finally realized what they should have been smart enough to know from the beginning: attacking a qualified, female, minority Supreme Court nominee is only hammering another nail into the party's coffin. It's just another example of the attitude and failed political strategy that’s making them appear increasingly out of touch and irrelevant in modern America.

Nancy from Colorado writes:
It couldn't be their consciences!

Filed under: Newt Gingrich • Rush Limbaugh • Sonia Sotomayor
soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    Because the rest of their party finally had enough of their big mouths and told them to shut up because of the damage they were causing the party. People needed time to forget the last 8 years and these big mouths haven't been letting them do it. Its about time. It certainly took the party long enough to do something about it. Unfortunately, so much damage has been done to the party in the last four months, I don't see how they'll recover.

    June 4, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  2. JD in NH

    A little birdie whispered the following message in their ears: "You're nuts."

    June 4, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  3. Michael Odegard, Portland, Oregon

    Gingrich and Limbaugh are clowns, Jack. They pander to the lowest common denominator within the two dimensional celebration of mediocrity we call our "democracy." You should never expect them to have an elaborated point, beyond ad homonym and straw man arguments.

    June 4, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  4. Larry

    Because they're wishy washy politicians?

    Maybe they finally grossed themselves out.

    Cincinnati, OH

    June 4, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  5. Charles, Lansing, MI

    Limbaugh threw the Republican party a crumb to keep the politicians quiet. Gingrich was probably reminded by someone that if you call looking out a bit for the little guy racism then there must be a name for what Justice Scalia did when he went hunting with Dick Cheney while deliberating his case.

    June 4, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  6. Jan Otterstrom

    Judge Sotomayor is light years ahead of those two dumb and dumber and they only look more stupid when they attack her. At least they figured that out.

    June 4, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  7. Gina

    It obviously wasn't getting the reaction they hoped for Jack. Maybe Knute thought he would be elevated as the leader of the Republican party by making such comments. He & Rush seem to be the poster children for all the reasons not to want to be a Republican.


    June 4, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  8. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Currently, in this country, holding a negative view of anyone who is a minority will make you a social pariah, no matter what your reasoning is.

    June 4, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  9. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Who cares? Is anyone really stupid enough to take anything those 2 guys seriously? One's a manipulator and the other is a child molester.

    June 4, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  10. Bob

    They changed their tune because it wasn't playing well. Even the most tone deaf can recognize when they are way off key.

    This is especially true in their case because suddenly the rest of the GOP choir quit singing along with them.

    Louisville, Ky

    June 4, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  11. Jane (Minnesota)

    My guess is that both of them looked at their respective polls – Newt public opinion in relation to a political run & Rush the Nielsen's, Arbitron's or whatever ratings system he uses to get sponsors for his show and they saw a sizable drop in them.

    Jack, you made a very accurate comparison of those two: Abbott & Costello; although It gives Abbott & Costello a bit of tarnish they don't deserve – they at least brought good humor to the people. I can't say that for Newt & Rush.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  12. Jim Dandy

    Newt exhibits no self-understanding. He has huge blind spots about himself. He seems to think that the people who listen to him are equally without insight and that he can say anything and they will take him seriously. That a man like him has any standing whatsoever is a sad comment on modern American culture. He is dishonest (in every sense of the word), dishonorable (in every sense of the word) and untrustworthy (in every sense of the word). Every American would be better off if he was never heard from again.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  13. John from Alabama

    Jack: The senior Republican Senators stated that Gingrich and Limbaugh did not speak for them. The nasty language about Ms. Sonia Sotomayor was wrong, and it would only made it more difficult for the senators to view the merits of a Judge Sotomayor nomination to the Supreme Court. Newt and Rush found themselves all alone with their comments. This is the way it should be for those two outsiders.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  14. Diane/Allentown PA

    You can bet someone got to Gingrich and fast. The GOP would love to have the Latino vote, and with rhetoric like this, it's not going to happen any time soon. They know right now they need more than the right wingnuts currently in their corner.

    Rush Limbaugh flip flops all the time. Remember the primaries? Jeez, he barely had a coherent though.
    I'm just waiting for him to implode. Give it time, he's going to tick off the wrong person – he just can't help himself.

    He reminds me of a bloated tick.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  15. cy gardner

    It may be slowly, finally dawning upon these neanderthal nincompoops that only about 20% of the country is actually as stupid as they think we all are. Someone has made the point to them that it is hard to "take back" the country if the only people who buy into your anger and your umbrage are the dumbest one fifth of the country. cy gardner, arlington , va

    June 4, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  16. Mike – Denver, CO

    Perhaps Tweedledee and Tweedledum were informed that Sotomayor's train is leaving the station, and that they could either be on it – or under it.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  17. Kevin , FL

    Jack, because like all Politicians they are not concerned with the good of America....just the good of their own careers! When it became obvious, despite Real concerns , that she would get the appointment anyway, they jumped on the bandwagon to save their necks. Kind of like the Public defender ...that actually works for the District Attorneys office!

    June 4, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  18. george

    They changed their tune because the winds of change were not blowing in their direction. You can sing the same song only so long before people will just tune you out, as in this case.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  19. Steve M

    Why should we care what a washed up former Speaker, or what a bigoted radio shockjock thinks about the appointment of a future Supreme Court Justice? Do they have a vote? No.

    Steve M
    Killeen, TX

    June 4, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  20. Bob in Georgia

    The Republicans and their talking heads are so used to immediately reacting negatively to whatever anyone in the other party says, that they got caught with their really large pants down this time.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  21. Andi in Grayslake, Illinois

    Jack, I'm guessing that someone who has some say-so in the economic status of both Newt and Rush told them to chill out or suffer financial consequences. That is the only thing I can think of that would move either of those blowhards to do anything.

    It's important to remember that when these two have anything to say, it's not really about our country, it's about them. They could care less if the US ceased to exist, as long as they had all their money. It reminds me of a former boss of mine. He was a complete jerk and a drug abuser. He had this fancy engraved sign in his corner office that said 'He who dies with the most toys, wins'. I couldn't resist asking him 'wins what?'. What a bunch of hooey...

    June 4, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  22. Lance Schumacher

    Come on Jack, you hit the nail right on the head. POPULARITY! One is a showman, the other a politician, most important gauge in the world to them is their popularity. Right or wrong has little/no bearing on their public faces, neither does honesty, conviction, intelligence, or much of anything, except the polls. Kind of reminds you of Congress, The President, and the entire political machine in D.C. these days, huh???
    Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    June 4, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  23. Paul Austin, Texas

    I would say maybe some real presure from the more moderate in the GOP. With such statements as they made they make the Republican Party look like pure bigots and only from the extreme right wing and even with their change in tune a new party may need to be formed by the moderate Repulicans.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  24. wanda j brown

    Personally I don't think much of either of these two "Crusty Old White Men" to begin with. However, I'm sure someone in the GOP has the sense to realize that the fast & rising Hispanic population is making them the MINORITY. They cannot win anything critizing the majority.
    When they lose AGAIN miserably, I can't wait to see who they blame it on!!!! And they still don't understand why they LOST, Duh!!!!!!!!


    June 4, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  25. gerry In Toronto

    Simple Jack, they know how to read polls and recognized their childishness attacks on this fine nominee were costing them the slim percentage of Latin vote they still cling to.

    So although originally they expressed their real thoughts, now like before they lie to gain votes.

    Nothing ever real changes, the wheel just turns round and round.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  26. David Alexandria, VA

    Jack - putting Gingrich and Limbaugh in the same category , referring to them as "abott and Costello" is ignorant and offensive.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  27. Jim from Chicago

    Three words, Jack. "Follow the money." Gingrich couldn't stand to alienate those who would donate to him and Rush didn't want to lose any key advertisers. Once they saw that nobody was rallying to their stupid assertions, they realized it was time to bring out the big,"Oopps."

    June 4, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  28. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    Even Limpbough's idiots, or is that supposed to be dittos, weren't giving him positive feedback. When all the voices are calling Gingrich and Limpbough foolishly over the top, even the voices in their heads will change the conversation. Demigods get to that position by playing to the mob, not by ignoring it.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  29. erinmontague

    I don't know who or what happened to change these foolish fellows minds but I sure would have liked to been a fly on the wall when it happened!
    Northern CA

    June 4, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  30. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Public outcry and a behind the scenes scolding that I'm sure both received from higher ups in the GOP that recognized how damaging those comments were to the party in general. Their beliefs have not changed, only the tone of their rhetoric.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  31. don (in naples, florida)

    Gingrich is not a figure in politics anymore, and Rush is a sensationalist (saying the most outrageous, divisive things) in order to create a divide between parties. It gives him job security. Sotomayor is very qualified neither of their arguments really has any traction.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  32. toni boutwell, myrtle beach, SC

    Gingritch still lives under a delusio of adequcy, thinking he might be able to slither back into power. He say how negatively the public reacted to thier slanders, so he backed off.
    As to Limbaugh, he's just a Buffoon, a big hypocritcal clown with nothing of value to add to any discussion, so he just spews hate and intolerance to his audiance of malcontent ignorant troglodytes, and collects his paycheck.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  33. Rob of Brooklyn

    because their old bitter white men.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  34. Don (Ottawa)

    They changed their tune cause they were pummelled by their own people for stepping over the line. In an attempt to discredit Obama's choice for Supreme Court Justice these two spokesmen discredited themselves and the party they represent. I think most people are fed-up with this kind of rhetoric.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  35. Jesse J Vancouver BC Canada

    Hi Jack,

    It is very simple they need some latino votes otherwise the GOP will be a dead party

    Vancouver Canada

    June 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  36. Remo .............. Austin, Texas

    How dare you compare these clowns to Abbott and Costello.
    Abbott and Costello knew what they were doing, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh DON't!

    June 4, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  37. Dennis North Carolina

    their words were actually making their party racist.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  38. Mike S., New Orleans

    It is apparently very important for both Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich to stay in the news, even if they have to reverse positions to do so. Either way, neither of them have any effect on the government of our country, thank God.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  39. Lady from Fayetteville, NC

    I figure that even stupid people are 100% stupid.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  40. Carlos ortiz

    maybe this guys realized, they were becoming a laughing stock, and with a fan base as low as it is. loosing more people will make them un electable and loose the radio advertising bucs..
    in 3 years we wont hear from either of this guys anymore..they are the past

    June 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  41. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Very simply, they were told to do so by someone else in the Republican Party. This does demonstrate that there may be some hope in the survival of the Republican Party after all by some who realize that vehemence is not the anwer.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  42. Terry from North Carolina

    These two talking heads woke up and realized this woman will be confirmed and they will both look stupid ( again) for their comments. When will these two go away, they have accomplished absolutely nothing.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  43. mack from michigan

    Cause hate just don't sell like it used to Jack. The people know this country is in trouble and they know who's to blame and the only one's interested in hearing the ol fashioned liberal bashing and hate mongering these two spout are the knuckle-draggin goose steppers who never were capable of an independent thought anyway.

    June 4, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  44. Theresa Hill

    Because she scares the Hell out of them. An intelligent WOMAN! What is the world coming to? She scares them. Makes them want to 'run for their lives'. Well, they can run all they want, but they can't hide.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  45. Tina Tx

    Who cares. I wish somebody would put a sock in their mouths and open the door and kick them in the seat of the pants and send them off on their merry little way.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  46. Lady from Fayetteville, NC

    Even stupid people might not be 100% stupid. Guess they both wised up a little to understand that Sotomayor puts them both way back in line. She understands white, stupid men.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  47. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    think they finally started to realize what such a stupid remark they made about a person that did not deserve it. Especially when that person is a member Hispanic race that fast is becoming a power to deal with when it comes to getting members of your party elected.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  48. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    I don't think it is because either man felt that he was wrong about what he said. It is simple expediency. Someone with some clout, told both of them that their comments were way too radical and that they needed to back off. Just wait until the next hot button issue–they'll be right back out there shooting from the mouth.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  49. Jim


    Gingrich backed off when he realized that his name was, more and more, being routinely linked with that of Limbaugh, as in "Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh – the Abbott and Costello of the Republican party ...". He's thinking about running in 2012, and being perceived as a Limbaugh Republican might not be the best way to break 40% in his approval rating. I don't know why Limbaugh is suddenly trying to sound more reasonable. It's not as if he has anything to lose by being perceived as the Costello of the Republican party. His fans will still continue to tune in.

    Reno, Nevada

    June 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  50. Cheryl

    Maybe Rush got a look at those polls. Although he is an idiot, he's not stupid enough not to realize that if it goes much lower, the closer he is to being out of a job. Maybe Newt was told that the RNC wouldn't support his 2012 presidential bid if he kept it up. These guys will always CYA if they have to.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  51. Venia PA

    Someone must have told them they sounded like racists narrow minded bigots that they are.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  52. Ben in Maryland

    I don't know, but if Jeff Sessions is the one to make them see the light, the GOP is in worse shape than I thought. What was it he said when grilled about his racist past? "You are a disgrace to your race?" Both Gingrich and Limbaugh are disgraces to their race - the human race.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  53. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Could it be that Limbaugh and Gingrich have gone over the right edge of the world and falling into an abyss to a point even the wacko's find them extreme? From the polling data you site it appears neither have discovered the bottom of their own hate.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  54. Bert K. L.A, CA

    “Abbott and Costello of the Republican party” That is funny Jack, but Costello had a cuteness about him. I am an older white male but I have got to say that these two are making us older white males look bad and I wish they would not just tone-down but rather shut-up altogether. If they wanted to take that one sentence from a great speech out of context and express their hate they might have said she is sexist. That would still be out of line with the gist of her speech but to say Sotomayor is a "racist" for the Latina vs. White male sentence only exposed their own prejudice. I mean, if they don’t see her as Caucasian, then what do they see her as, African or Asian? Newt and Rush - the Great White Dopes!

    June 4, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  55. Former Republican in Richmond, VA

    They are not real serious about anything and anyone who takes them as such does so at their peril. Judge Sotomayor is a centrist (ABA who rated Justice Roberts says so, 2nd Amendment case she ruled on upheld by 2 conservative Judges and made comments similar to Justice Scalia & Alito).

    These two entertainers realized they were damaging their party to such an extent that they may loose some contributors, which may affect their bottom line, its all about their compensation.

    Ask Huckabee if he does what he is doing on FOX for free or even the average wage for the city he is in, I think not. They do it for the compensation. They change their opinions, tone and language all to ensure greater benefit for them.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  56. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    Limbaugh probably felt his ratings, the only thing he really cares about, were slipping. As for Newt, Limbaugh probably told him to cool it. and Limbaugh's opinion is the only thing Newt really cares about. The rest of us don't care what he thinks.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  57. Steve Chester Springs Pa.

    My BS Detector is working overtime on this one. Even gas bags have to acknowledge their own stupidity once in a while. It might buy them some credibility with anyone who still listens to them for their insight.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  58. Paul from Parry Sound, Ontario

    Gingrich's and Limbaugh's pronouncements are tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  59. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    Could it be that dumb and dumber were spoken to by a higher power?

    June 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  60. Connie

    To tell you the truth I hope both Rush & Newt & Rove keep talkiing and talking and talking and talking....

    June 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  61. David, Tampa, Fl

    Jack, I would guess whoever is footing the bill for these two blow-hards finally decided they were hurting more than helping the Conservative/Republican cause. And we all know that the only thing that matters to people like Newt and Rush is the almighty dollar. Also, I dont think they have changed their minds about Ms. Sotomayor just the public rhetoric. Neither of these two have acted in a "wise" manner more than proving Sotomayor's statement.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  62. Chuck in warren, Ohio

    Jack: It's the new GOP strategy. Don't tell anyone!

    June 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  63. louis winston-salem,nc

    their tune may change, but a baby tiger when first born does not appear to have stripes. As time go by you can see them as they are. Unfortunately; since President Obama is in office we are beginning to see people for who they really are to include the former vice president. Prejudice is not dead -It's just dressed up.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  64. Chris D., NYC

    They finally got the message that they were hurting the party (GOP)with these kinds of comments........However it's too late, the damage is already done!!!!

    June 4, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  65. Jim from Alabama

    They changed their position because they knew by criticizing Sotomayor they were further alienating the hispanic population in the United States and feared a political backlash come next election. That's the ONLY reason. Speaking of reason, Rush Limbaugh continues his right wing rants which will further damage the party whether or not Gingrich and other Republicans recant their comments or not. It seems to me that this party is hell bent and determined to self destruct and the members seem oblivious to t hat fact.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  66. Peter

    Perhaps they actually realized that they were proving her point. These are two white men, that I would not want to be deciding anything about my life.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  67. David in San Diego

    They are both, at their roots, publicity whores, and they could see that even "their" publics could not accept their original statements. They are not stupid, just venal.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  68. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    It's called Republican politics Jack. They make a stupid comment and then backtrack to cover their behinds because they know they can't afford to lose any more ground with the Latino's but it really will not do much good because it's too little too late. And in all reality what difference will it make since they don't get a vote, thank God. Can you imagine what mess we'd be in if fat mouth Rush was running the show instead of just his mouth.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  69. Kim - Blair, NE

    Hmmm! Where do we look to see if Boss Limbaugh's ratings were falling? I can't imagine that he would listen to anyone nor would he feel remorse for what he said. It had to be about money.

    June 4, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  70. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    All they had to do was take a look at their ratings and it deflated both their huge egos. Made them realize the rest of the country does not approve of their comments. I still think Sonia Sotomayor was out of line making those comments comparing her heritage to a white mans.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  71. Darren

    They're backpedalling to not indanger Newt's prospective presidential run in 2012 - buit too bad for him the damage is already done.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  72. Karl from SF, CA

    My guess is reality. Perhaps they finally realize their hot air is getting push back from the elected Republicans who aren’t apologizing for it the next day. Rush and Newt are trying to salvage whatever relevance they may have left, if any, per their ratings. Rush will be reluctantly endorsing her, mark my words.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  73. Michelle, Philadelphia, PA

    Perhaps they saw those same numbers? Decided they sounded ridiculous even to themselves? Honestly, who cares so long as we don't have to listen to their whining about Judge Sotomayor anymore?

    June 4, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  74. bob z.from pa.

    she is good for illegal immigration

    June 4, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  75. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Anyone that can predict or understand the actions of these two windbags is someone I would like to buy lotto tickets for me.
    Their egos are too large to let anyone with common sense tell them what to do, but, just maybe, they realize they are contributing to
    the further destruction of the republican party which is their bread
    and butter. It most certainly could not be for honorable reasons.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  76. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    It`s sad when someone has to tell a pair of rats, that they have bit off more cheeze than they can chew, but apparently someone has grown a backbone.They arn`t really sorry for what they said, they are just sorry that that kind of filth is going too far even for the`re base.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  77. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    I'm afraid you will have to sit down with them and ask them for anyone to get an answer to the question...or we can only think it is because the polls says so!

    June 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  78. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    The surfacing of an apparent semblance of intelligence on the part of these two geniuses is a random occurrence of chance. Sooner or later, no matter how stupid someone is, they eventually will make an intelligent statement purely by accident. Read nothing more into this. They will soon go back to their hate fired rabble rousing, lies and disparagement.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  79. BJ, Columbus, GA

    Well, duh! Their favorable ratings drop to the 30's. Sure they're going to back off - Gingrich thinks he should be President and Limbaugh wants to named the Messiah.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  80. Ken M . Millington MI

    Hello Again Jack. Well lets see maybe because their rascist comments only portrays themselves for what they really are bigots and rascists. Maybe also they realized or someone mentioned to them that they are possibly alienating the entire hispanic community and every other decent thinking moderate in the nation. This nation has been run for to long by both extremes far-right and far-left its time for concerned, common sense politics to prevail. I know i say it alot but this is a time for unity not division. the propaganda of gingrich, limbaugh,hannity, o'rielly olberman and maddow and all the other shock jocs is over a new era must arise.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  81. Jim, from Las Vegas

    It should be clear to all by now that the only issue that matters to Rush and Newt is that of abortion. Sotomayor has ruled in favor of pro-life groups a sufficient number of times that when that fact is coupled with her being a Catholic the religious right sees hope for overturning Roe v. Wade. This stance by the perceived leaders of the Republican Party is exactly what is driving moderates away.

    Having read some of the background material on Sotomayor I am personally much more concerned about her decisions and opinions with regards to the 2nd Ammendment and affirmative action, among other items.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  82. Susan Geear Medford Or

    They haven't changed their tune. They are just singing slightly more quietly. No doubt some of the saner elected members of the party told them that they were making laughing stocks out of themselves and by extension the whole party. They don't mind being proved wrong, they draw the line at be seen as foolish.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  83. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Absurd thinking and contraversy more so than right -wing nut philosophy drives these guys. Beyond that who knows. Also, who cares?

    June 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  84. Irv Lilley

    Jack, I would like to think that both idiots had a revelation from the Almighty that this is what he wants. But I very very strongly doubt it.
    More likely enough people told them to shut up or change their

    June 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  85. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    On one hand real men always know when to stand up and admit their own mistakes and take responsibility for them. On the other hand, Jack, there are the democrats...............

    June 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  86. JOY

    Limbaugh said he might support Sotomayor for the job as supreme court judge, if sh was pro-life. What I want to know about her, is she for secure borders. Something far worse than drugs could be smuggled in through those tunnels from Mexico. JOY IN OHIO

    June 4, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  87. Mike of Hot Springs.

    Maybe they finally realized that she is a Catholic and would make the sixth Catholic on the court. That would seem to seal the fate of abortion rights in this nation.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  88. Rick Medina,OH


    This question has a simple answer. They changed their tune because it was a shrill one, and because they got tired of their phones ringing from the sane folks within the GOP.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    June 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  89. ben stockton, calif

    jack,this is CYA in its best form..these two losers are facing the fact that obama has made a good choice in sotomayer..eventually all the rest of the gop watercarriers will wholeheartedly agree with limbaugh just because he said it,, remember mea culpa steele cowering down to rush? lets face it, latino votes may not go their way next election.. they get what they deserve ben stockton, calif

    June 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  90. Dave

    Polls. Like so many propagators of propaganda, they misread the audience and had to back-pedal when they saw the reaction. Fortunately for them, in a few days, their audience will employ "doublethink" and it will be as though it never happened. In the meantime they will use words such as "misunderstood" and "taken out of context" until the fickle populace has moved on. When you're preaching to the converted, all sins are forgiven (said tongue in cheek).

    June 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  91. Jack Martin in Boynton Beach FL

    Their right wing constituents are at long last wising up to two has-beens who can still manage to delight the media. Why does the media continue to give them center stage along with Boehner and McConnel? They have nothing to offer but mean spirited rhetoric which is mostly comical in it's witless repartee.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  92. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    They had their fortunes told.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  93. Jane M

    Maybe for fear of getting CREAMED in 2012? FAT CHANCE if you know what I mean!

    June 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  94. Ian in Kansas

    These two bozos are changing their tune because they realize their inane comments are harming the "cause" they claim to be fighting for. Their fellow GOP members are finally stepping up, and shutting these guys up.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  95. Jay in Texas

    They probably finally realized that their hateful talk about Sonia Sotomayor was costing their Republican Party its much-needed support from the Latino community. That support is the only thing keeping the Republicans from being the party of only the super-rich and there are sure not enough rich people in this country to keep electing and re-electing their candidates.
    Brownwood, Texas

    June 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  96. pulpcowboy

    Simple, after years in "Limbo", the Hispanic alienating "New-tyrants" might have a chance of winning-the 2020 election.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  97. Pugas-AZ

    It looks like the gag order went out to these two "mouths." Republicans do not want to step in it any more deeply than they already have. The Republicans have their hands full just trying to get their party back on track. They don't need Gingrich or Limbaugh hands on the throttle.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  98. Jasmine in Germany

    Cheney and Bush demanded it. It occurred to them that Sotomayor might be one of the judges ruling on whether they and other party members would be going to prison or not.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  99. Scott from Texas

    You said it yourself Jack. They're both gas bags. No matter what they both stink no matter how much toxic substance they are spewing out.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  100. Alan- Buxton, Maine

    Perhaps some of Obama's good sense got through to them by osmosis. That's the only way it could have happened as they are too dense to have a rational idea of their own.

    June 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  101. Richard/NH

    Jack, part of the reason they both changed their tune on Sotomayor is to give cover for many Republicans who will be attending an upcoming function, where they both will be speaking. By slightly backpeddling, many elected Republicans will be able to attend and not be seen as tacitly approving of their statements.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  102. CJ in Roanoke, VA

    They changed their tune because the Republican party is essentially dead and has no future growth prospects in this country. I used to vote Republican, but as it became clear to me that there is no difference between both parties, I quit doing it. We need a viable third party desperately. Also, the Republicans look like bullies when they attack for some reason I'll never get. I guess they don't have enough experience doing it.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  103. Robert From Atlanta

    Well Jack its' because like them or not they are smart enough to know the point was stupid and they want to keep their jobs.
    Now will someone buzzele Chaney please

    June 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  104. William Courtland

    They didn't they already said it... it is just not of media instant importance anymore so will just fake an appology incase of her bias against dockets raised by the republican bias.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  105. C. Martinez

    They realized that they were acting like complete idiots.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  106. Dan, Chantilly VA

    Simple: the wind blew in a different direction.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  107. Bernie from Tarpon Springs, FL


    For Gingrich, I'm sure it was the realization that any hopes he had to be President went down the drain with his reaction. As for Limbaugh, perhaps he took one of his "Happy Pills".

    June 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  108. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    Please stop quoting what the pill-popper says, either way he just says it for ratings! He probably has a man crush on Obama, thats why he talks about him so much.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  109. Thom Richer

    These two are merely headline grabbers and spend their waking hours trying their damndest to stay in the spotlight. Both know they will never again be politically suited for any public office of import. If they really out themselves for what they truly are, biased, narrow minded and callous toward everything and everybody, they will fade out abruptly. They are near to being "has beens" and know it. They are of the kind that will do or say whatever to maintain their status among those foolish enough to pay them the slightest heed. They are simply put...phonies.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    June 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  110. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Even these two recognize a losing battle when they see it. And, this nominee may be more moderate than most other potential candidates who may lean more to the liberal side of an issue. The GOP also needs votes in future elections. Alienating women & a cultural group would eliminate any ability to win national elections in the future.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |

    Talk about back pedalling. I guess they thought that these rash comments about Sotomayor would boost there ratings with their listeners. I also guess it backfired.
    Maybe the American people are just sick and tired of the mud slinging between politicians. We see enough of that toward the end of every Presidential campaign and we are just getting over one.
    It seems just when you think that we are starting fresh we get jokers like Gingrich and Limbaugh (Abbott and Costello) to stir up the same old crap. Newt, Rush, let's move on. If your not part of the solution, your part of the problem.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  112. Marietta

    Guilt pure guilt...They attack our own good Americans destroy this woman's good moral characters, slandered her good name...disgusting and wonder why the world hates us and muslim..Do we eat our own even?......Could Sotomayor not sue them on civil rights false slander, character attack?

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  113. Stephen In Chambersburg PA

    Maybe they are afraid that they will miss the bus and be left with a damp ticket and nowhere to go? Or they will be left out of the 'New' Republican party.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  114. JoAnn C in San Diego CA

    Jack, the reason they're changing their message is that they realize the political backlash is killing them. Obama's popularity will continue to prosper with Republicans who continue to spew mean-spiritedness and diatribe. How does it feel to "FAIL" guys?

    June 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  115. jc smoots in tulsa

    Semi-enlightened self interest. That's all they're capable of. The hate mongering credo that they follow have been so profitable to them that they actually believe it. Being unable to see that lining their pocketbooks by promoting hatred is destroying the country is exactly why their party is in shambles.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  116. Bennie

    Hi Jack:

    It can be scary and a eye opener when you realize you are the only one talking and no one is listening.

    Avon, IN

    June 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  117. Sameer T, Cave Creek AZ

    Jack. I care less about their tune

    June 4, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  118. Allan Hanson Placerville, Ca

    Because everyone could see thru all their lies. I wonder why anyone would take anything they say seriosly. They are both has beens.
    Now they should go away.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  119. Mike - Huntsville, AL

    They wanted more headlines. They don't believe in anything but making sure we hear their names over and over and over and…

    June 4, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  120. flexx

    because they realize how stupid they sounded......

    June 4, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  121. Hassan

    It's simple Jack, they realized how far off the mainstream they have gone and what a mistake that would be politically.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  122. Canis.

    Common sense?

    June 4, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  123. Noel in Nashville, TN


    Do we have to rule out the possibility that the Truth is what got to these two? Well, considering who they are, we probably do. It is just sad that we can't have a more substantive and honest discourse in this country.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  124. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    I think it must have been a temporary lapse in their insanity.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  125. Tim in Texas

    The RNC - Rush, Newt, and both the Cheneys - need to just shut-up. Really. Just stop. Enough is enough. I don't know what magic potion made Newt change his tune from incredibly offensive to only mildly so, but I wish somebody would feed it to the rest of them. Especially the Cheneys – does it say something when the people who feel threatened by Obama's speech are Bin Laden and the Cheneys?
    Have a nice day Jack

    June 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  126. Chris in Philadelphia

    Perhaps being ostracized by most everyone in the country, both Democrat and Republican, made them come around.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  127. Buddy

    So Limbaugh thinks Judge Sotomayor is a racist. But he'll support her if she shares his view on abortion. Does that mean he'll support any racist as long as they are anti-abortion? What a role model.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  128. roses

    maybe they realized how ignorantly they acted in the past. Yay, for the party! finally!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  129. Marie

    Jack, I think they just realized they had stepped way over the line. Or maybe they know they have become completely irrelevant ad want to be back in the game.
    Newt is a has been. Rush is just full of himself. Personally, I don't care about their opinions or about face.
    Marie in PA

    June 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  130. harold sokolove

    They got back on their medication.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  131. Renie Levecchia

    Bellmawr, NJ

    They are changing their tune because: THE SHIP IS SINKING!!!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  132. Bruce

    Don't forget; There is only ONE party, and that is of the fascist corporate globalists which are firmly in control of this administration and CONgress. Their tin soldiers got a little out of line, that's all. The fact that she is racists and can't bring herself to promote white firemen should be enough disqualify her from all jobs but perhaps a dog catcher.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  133. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Thank you Jack!,

    I guess according to Alex, President Obama has elevated the debate by not using name calling...unfortunately Alex expresses that it is good for the republicans...too bad he and others do not get to express that elevating the debate is good at home for the whole country as well as for all relationships abroad...aren't you all watched and listened around the world?!:>)

    June 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  134. Joseph G

    They've changed their tune because they don't want to alienate the largest minority group from the GOP. Besides, what little intelligence is left in the GOP probably reminded them that she still has to go through the confirmation process, which will not be a cake walk.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  135. Sarah

    Whoever got to Limbaugh and Gingrich is the same person(s) who picked Sarah Palin for McCain, and got her the wardrobe. I hope we will find out who has that kind of power....and poor taste.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  136. Gwen of Tucker GA.

    Jack they realize the American Public is watching. The public meaning all Americans...Latino...American Indians...African Americans... White Americans...Asian Americans all Americans the GOP is in trouble they should be careful with some wording.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  137. James Richmond Virginia

    They are so vastly opposed by others including most of the GOP that maybe they resorted to the old adage: "If you can't beat em, join em."

    June 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  138. Wayne in Alabama


    June 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  139. Rob Garraway

    That's simple, how many & which Senators & Members of Congress visited them? We need to look for the footprints across their backs.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  140. Bradley

    I think it was pressure from their own party not to alienate the Hispanic vote.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  141. Mike

    Gingrich, Limbaugh and Chenney?

    Does anyone remember why Gingrich left Congress?

    Do we have to remind people that Limbaugh has a drug addiction, and his illegal purchases of prescription drugs? Whatever happen to that case?

    Chenney; shot a man! Chenney's corporation cost over-runs of Billions of taxpayers dollars in Iraq; never accounted for money after the invasion of Iraq; His corporation moving its Headquarters from Texas to an Arab State to avoid U.S. Taxes.

    Why does the media give thise thugs so much play?

    June 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  142. James Allen

    Why did Gingrich and Limbaugh change their tone about Judge Sotomayor? The answer is simple. A recent poll of Hispanic respondents reported a 13% favorable attitude toward the Republican Party but a 79% unfavorable attitude with 8% of no opinion. Even the two aforementioned idiots realize they are destroying the Republican Party.

    James Allen
    Euless, Texas

    June 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  143. Renee Valdez

    Cheyenne, Wyoming

    Simple Jack,

    They put the Republican party in an uncomfortable position. They don't want to lose hispanic or women vote(s).

    Unfortunately, if what is said about "first impressions" is true
    then this confirms ignorance on Limbaugh's part and may have cost Gingrich a few votes in 2012.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  144. Linda

    Obviously someone in a position of influence got to them but the reality is that their first comments displays how they truly feel. So I am not buying their retractions. The fact that a small minded racist like Rush would call her anything is just amazing. Take a look in the mirror guys!!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  145. Saibal Ganguly

    Some sensible republicans told them, "Shut up".

    June 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  146. Michael

    A combination of some very powerful people, some of his own devoted listeners, both high and low, were finally able to bend these 2 down to their knees and reverse their positions by saying; "QUIT IT ALREADY! You 2 are making the Republican Party even worse off than it already is!"


    June 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  147. phil

    Finally an American President who realizes that all peoples have a right to exist,and not just our so called friends.It is time for our President to support what is right and just as opposed to supporting our friends regardless of the circumstances involved .

    June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  148. Martin In Phoenix

    Perhaps it was Michael Steele....oh wait....that's right....nobody is listening to him.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  149. Sharron

    Gingrich and Limbaugh changed their tune because they are puppets and the ones pulling their strings decided it was in the best interest of the Republican Party.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  150. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    President Obama simply related both realities!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  151. Leo Rael

    The hispanic pushback on thier remarks put too much pressure on elected officals but the damage is done, all I have to say is good luck republican party you will be put to the test for years to come.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  152. Clarence O.

    Gingrich and Limbaugh are finally being confronted by the sensibility that accompanies dissent. The Rep. Party Elders are scolding the individuals for their bombastic and highly divisive rhetoric. Even they must come to the realization that their clangor falls upon deaf ears and narrowing support. Perhaps, they might begin implementing substanitive dialogue for hateful speech.

    Clarence O.
    Pelham, Alabama

    June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  153. Jerry from Spokane, WA

    I think someone in the higher-ups of the Republican Party went and told these guys that their vitriolic rhetoric isn't helping–the GOP has already alienated the nation's Hispanic population, and Newt & Rush aren't helping the situation at all. You know how we talk about shooting oneself in the foot? Newt and Rush there were blowing off the GOP's feet entirely.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  154. Mesaron

    C'mon...their phones were ringing off the hook! The Republican's don't want to again fail miserably in the next election and they know that if the party didn't have these two back peddle, the soul of the party would remain out there for everyone to see.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  155. Nick

    Rush Limbaugh speaks for money. New Gingrich may still have political aspirations. New Gingrich may be realizing that comments like his only alienates intelligent republicans. He may be at a turning point when he relises that constructive criticism may be a better choice than the ignorant rants that they have been spewing for the last few months. It makes them sound like bratty children.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  156. Kevin Sitts

    Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh both probably got a lot of backlash from people and decided that they had better take it down a notch. I think both men are very hard headed people. I think they both need to keep their mouths shut and mind their own business

    Kevin Sitts,
    Kingman Kansas

    June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  157. Roland(St George,UT)

    They got tired of the taste of the shoe leather. But give them a day or so and their feet will be right back in their mouths again.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  158. Gwen

    Being a black person living in Atlanta I have always called Newt a racist. Maybe someone put a mirrow in his face. After all since the election I find the GOP to be a little slow on brain power.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  159. Duane J. Williamson

    They're backing off because they finally realized what they should have been smart enough to know from the beginning. Attacking a qualified, female, minority supreme court nominee is only hammering another nail into the party's coffin. It's just another example of the attitude and failed political strategy thats making them appear increasingly out of touch and irrelevant in modern America.

    Duane J. Williamson

    June 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  160. Sue from Redwood City

    I dunno, Jack, sure seems wierd. Maybe they were abducted by space aliens in the middle of the night and got brainwashed...

    June 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  161. Chidindu Oprar-Mezu

    The Foolish and ignorant are quick to speak because they do not use common sense. Newt and Rush are filled with hate that they do not see beyond their noses. They should learn to bite their tongue sometimes.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  162. Dan - Blue Bell, PA

    The fear of losing every single Latino vote to the Democratic Party.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  163. Karen Porter

    Guess you didn't listen in on Rush today. He still maintains Judge Sotomayor is a racist. He also called CNN "the state-run channel' and maintains that all Democrats are angry, mean-spirited people. Newt may have dialed it down a notch. But Rush has not changed his views.

    Conway, Arkansas

    June 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  164. NANCY M.- Colorado

    It couldn't be their consciences!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  165. Nancy, Tennessee

    Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich are both very outspoken. The trouble is I don't think they put their brains in gear before opening their mouths. Actually, I think they had valid arguments about Sotomayor's statement that was truly racial and sexist. They just don't know how to object without going over the top. If they would stop going for sensationalism, and give people enough information to form their own opinion, they would be much more effective.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  166. Steve

    Mr. Cafferty,

    You are too naive. Do you not understand what Mr. Limbaugh is doing? Justice Sotomayor views on abortion are not known. What Mr. Limbaugh is attempting to do is to raise doubts in the minds of the pro-abortion people in the hopes that they will sink Ms. Sotomayor!!

    You should listen to Mr. Limbaugh rather than calling him a gas bag.

    Springfield, VA

    June 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  167. Jason, Oakland CA

    Who cares about anything any republican has to say? Seriously!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  168. Ron Ouellette

    These two may be morons, but, they are not idiots. After all, Gingrich
    has a mistaken notion that he is going to be a political player in the
    future and the "gasbag", your words Jack, is just concerned about his
    ratings. The see the Republicans dying on the vine and and self
    destructing is great for this country. Let these morons just keep on
    blabbing while WE, of the majority are NOT listening, it makes for some wonderful entertainment. Maybe the GOP leaders, like Steele, and others got to them after all.
    Ron – Florida

    June 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  169. Angelo

    It is really quite simple – they changed their tune because it is increasingly clear that they do not define America anymore – and it is questionable if they ever did. It has been a great embarrassment that in past 8 years the world has come to think of us as greedy, overindulged, immoral, reactionary and spoiled-rotten.

    The sentiments expressed to the world today by our President and the tempered tones applying to the Sotomayor nomination are serving to realign the world's recognition that the American people are a generous, patient, proud and inspirational people. Not given to the narrow-mindedness of Rush and Newt.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  170. Andrea in Raleigh, NC


    Perhaps they realized, simultaneously, that they actually have working brains! They must have come to the conclusion that being rational will give them and their party more support, or ratings, take your pick.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  171. Angela, DC

    I don't have any clue as to why Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Limbaugh changed their tune about nominee Sotomayor. But answer me this though, where does Mr. Limbaugh get off calling someone else racist? What type of corn liquor is he drinking on? I'd wish he'd give me some. He has the audacity calling someone else that. Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

    June 4, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  172. Jaycie, Los Angeles

    It wasn't working. The Republicans are capable of doing a 180 whenever it suits their purpose. Remember, Jack, the one and only thing they care about is power, and they will say or do anything to get it a keep it. They have no scruples, no morals and certainly no interest of concern about what happens to the people who live in this country. If they did, they wouldn't have "disappeared" the middle class in favor of the wealthy with whom they have a mutual back scratching arrangement. Disgusting.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  173. pulpcowboy

    Simple, continuing to bash an Hispanic stretches their return to power until the 2020 or later, election. The "New-tyrants" are in "Limbo" and might have gotten smart by listening to their handlers...Bill, Florence, Alabama

    June 4, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  174. Benny

    Jack, when I was a young boy my grandfather use to tell me to think before you say something. He use to tell me "Don't have Diarrheal of words and constipation of thoughts". I think this is something Gingrich and Limbaugh should follow.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  175. Oscar

    Darwinian theory taught that evolution occurred slowly over millions of years. Science in recent decades has discovered that evolution actually occurs quite rapidly due to environmental pressures. Monumental social change occurs in a similar rapid fashion as a result of environmental pressures. So, why the change of tone from Limbaugh and Gingrich? Rapid social change.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  176. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    They have seen the light. They are giving up hate speech and accepting that others should be allowed to have their own thoughts. They have realized that even minorities can be patriotic and that even if President Barack Hussein Obama was Moslem, he could still be a good president.
    They can finally admit that Liberals want to make our country safe and that elections, when won by overwhelming majorities indicate that the American public has chosen and chosen well.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  177. Stewy13

    I don't think this situation is all that different from what most politicians have to do when they've revealed a bit too much about themselves. The difference is that these guys, once filled to the brim with support, are standing virtually alone. Yet they still bark their minds at the top of their lungs. Now that the echo has drowned out the voice, they've realized how out of line they were.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  178. Scott Stodden

    Jack I can darn well betcha that they didnt have a change of heart, I dont who it was but I can guarantee there were some in the Republican Party who were very angry over the things Newt Gingrich & Rush Limbaugh said. To say that Sonia Sotomayor is a racist and that she brings racism and biogtry to the court is outrageous I think we truly know who the racist's are. Nothing that Sonia Sotomayor said is racist, she should be sorry or take back anything she said because maybe a Latina woman would make or come to a better conclusion or judgement than a white,black, or whatever, and thats me Jack as a white man saying this. Nothing she said was racist so even though Newt & Rush are taking back what they said or the support Sonia now we still know who the racist's really are. THATS NOT ONLY MY OPIONION JACK

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    June 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm |

    Sir, I think those two unbalance Human being, finally saw the light of truth. Lets keep praying for them, maybe, just maybe they will find mental stability.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  180. Nicole, Philadelphia, PA

    Gingrich & Limbaugh were clearly muscled by top Republicans into "changing" their views in an effort to get the Hispanic vote for 2012. I think that the Hispanic people would be more likely to side with a party that includes their own in American politics than a party that calls one of their own successful & qualified Hispanic females a "racist".

    June 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  181. Army DeShun

    Hello Mr. Cafferty,

    I don't know who got to them, but I can tell you that the far conservative right-wing sounds eerily like what they called "radical Islamist". Their rhetoric is incidiary and borderline hateful, and America realizes this. Our country's peaceful move away from this "riot enducing", "lone-gunman" causing speak is a move in the right direction. Look, the Republican Party does not want to die. Gingrich, Cheyney, Rush, and Hannity should know that if they don't change their tone, one of two things will happen. Either the conservative wing of the Republican Party will split from them and form their own party, or the Republican Party will chop the cancerous tumor off themselves.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  182. Bob in Virginia

    I can see Newt getting a call and changing his mind (he's a consummate politician) but unless Rush has a spin doctor working for him I don't see him following anyone else's lead. I think Rush is hoping that something comes out revealing that she is against abortion.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  183. Lateef

    They are finding out you can't just ramble nonsense anymore.The Bush Dynasty is over.They're both not helping any situation and just want to keep their names in the spotlight.I don't know about any other Americans but I'm tired of fighting.They need to stop finding disagreements being a part of the problem...and be part of a solution.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  184. Deb McMahon

    Goofy Gingrich and Loony Limbaugh have been taken to the woodshed once again. The truth is they are so out of touch with middle America and what the majority of us want. They are still playing their little hateful games with nasty rhetoric trying to cause a rift among us. Mainstream America is ready to move on, let President Obama do his job and move on.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  185. Albert L Mole II


    I can't say about Ginrich why he changed But as for Limbaugh Possabally he grew a conchance and game out of his " OXY " stupper haze. Hopefully he will learn that being a radio host means you use TACT and see both sides of the story and all " quotes " not just part that he sees in his haze mind

    Mr Mole

    June 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  186. Bill, Kansas City

    It's obvious that the reason why they recently have had a change of heart is they want to do whats best for the Republican Party. If Gingrich and Limbaugh keep on bashing Judge Sotomayor then the Latinos will likely be turned off to the Republican Party and they will remember everything these goons said about the first Latino Judge in the voting booths. They are back peddling on their comments to become more appealing to Latinos so their words don't come back to haunt the Republicans in 2012.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  187. Ryan Scarola, Richmond VA


    I believe Limbaugh and Gingrich softened their tone on Sotomayor because they've come to realize, while they have a few brain-washed (oops...I mean brain-damaged) listeners who hang on their every word, President Obama has made a MUCH better decision to tap Sotomayor than President Bush's choice of Harriet Miers in 2005. Anne Coulter said (way back in October, 2005), "You don't nominate the church lady for Supreme Court Justice!" when asked her opinion of Bush's nomination. I think they might be reflecting on Anne Coulter's comment on her own party's presidential nomination in 2005...perhaps they've learned a mean lesson from Coulter. Could these Three Muskateers be realizing they got a REAL "thumpin" on election night 2009, and it's time to pipe down? Haven't heard much from Coulter lately, either? Coinsidence?

    Ryan Scarola
    Richmond, VA

    June 4, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  188. Diane from Intervale NH

    It's quite obvious that the word came from on high that Newt and Rush had to 'dial back' their language, but since the entire smear on SOTOMAYOR is politically motivated, this comes as no surprise. Since every element of their diatribes derive from a strategic calculation, when it was discovered that the rhetoric was over the top, they were told to tone it down.

    Just another example of the vacuity and desperation of the party of 'no'.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  189. lynne from NC

    The losing of the Latino-American vote, not to mention others who don't cotton to the divisive spin that comes out of their mouths. Midterm elections are next year. People are leaving like rats on a sinking ship becoming independents. Losing votes will do that.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  190. Mitch Dworkin

    Newt Gingrich had to do it if he wants to remain a serious potential Presidential candidate who can win a general election in 2012 and I am also sure that he got some pressure from the elected Republican leadership to change his tune!

    Rush Limbaugh did not really take back what he said, he just conditioned his potential "support" for her on the abortion issue and he knows fully well that Obama would never nominate a pro-life Justice to the Supreme Court. Limbaugh is just playing a game of semantics in my opinion!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  191. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Maybe they finally figured out they needed to get their heads out of their butts and join the real world. Maybe they finally realized they were fighting a losing battle or they figured out they were losing their audience so they decided to back off. The reality is that nothing has changed with those two and it's a matter of time until they blow again.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  192. Tom Ryan

    Why did they dial back the rhetoric on Sotomayor? They probably spoke to some actual elected Republican officials who said a few magic words to them. Florida. Arizona. Colorado. New Mexico. Nevada.
    Words like that.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  193. Bruce - Ontario, CA

    Oh boy maybe it was that they looked at the calendar and found it was 2009 instead of 1987 when Bork was nominated to the Court. I guess the old saying is right, it's hard to teach old dogs new tricks. These old guys, like Liz Cheney, see the world through glasses that focus on extremist conservative views. Maybe they should retire because afterall they had their chance and now it's time for a new generation to take over.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  194. Mark in OKC

    As my father used to say, "A wise man changes his mind, a fool never does."

    June 4, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  195. Richard Crown Point Indiana

    They dont care what they say and who it affects, s long as they get their 15 seconds of fame. The only way they changed their minds was fom being leaned on from someone high up. We may never know who, but it's about time someody put these two back into line.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  196. Dee in FL

    Who knows, maybe their handlers pulled their chains.

    Of course, I'd like to think it was intelligent thought, but then I realized that would be an impossibility.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  197. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    In four years there will be another generation of Latinos of voting age and that's more than enough to change their tune.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  198. Ed Van

    Simple – it finally occurred even to them that monolithic resistance to Sotomayor would lose huge numbers of Hispanic voters. I suspect the racist tag did some irreversible damage in that regard, as well. The real question is: Why did it take the GOP more than a nanosecond to see that Obama handcuffed them by choosing her?

    June 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  199. Bill

    simple, it's called back peddling- pure CYA politics. They got the desired response by firing up their base, now they're walking it back because they know how much the rest of rational humanity views their odious statements. in the meantime, mission accomplished- the angry disaffected white males are once again foaming at the mouth over their perceived persecution, however irrational that anger may actually be...

    June 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  200. Allen L Wenger

    I think the killing of the doctor in Kansas had a lot to do with it. It is not a good time to be out there using hate speech, it makes you look too much like an American Taliban.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  201. Ron Moloney

    Well, it's certainly NOT because they had a sudden epiphany of
    truth, ethics, or conscience. With 20 million listeners you always have to as vituperative, harsh and insulting as possible. THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT. It's MUCH more likely that they got a few calls from Real Rebublicans that said "HEY, tone it down a little, idiots"

    June 4, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  202. Tadashi Davis


    Rush and Newt both changed their tones because they did what they do best; say something controversial to stir up their base. Both knew that calling Judge Sotomayor a "racist"\"reverse racist" was nonsense. Both knew it sounds stupid for prominent rich white men to call a Latina (an educated one at that) racist. Both knew that this went too far and they could no longer hide behind the GOP (whose prominent memebers were not willing to back their actions). Right wingers abandoned ship; they let this go on just see how far it could go before reasonable people had enough. The fact Rush and Newt changed their tones shows how sincere and passionate they are about their conservative views . In the end, they both (Newt and Rush) are merely entertainers trying to get attention; anyone who takes their uneducated views seriously needs help.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  203. travis

    the fact that they were about to loose any thought of a progressive republican party while loosing even more votes. IMHO they need to drop the "christian conservationism" idea and side more with the libertarians. atleast their ideas of conservatism makes since.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  204. Tony in Missouri

    Maybe they looked up the word "racist" in the dictionary, ...and saw pictures of themselves!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  205. Drake from Shongaloo,La

    These two overgrown windbags realized that she is more successful than they can ever hope to be, and that they are only two people who have nothing better to do with their time than criticize anything Obama does.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  206. Belle in Cave Creek, Arizona

    I think Rush and Newt are seeing grey for the first time in their lives, and not the black and white they've built their entire ideology around.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  207. Randy

    Dear Jack,

    When you have two blowhards like Newt and Rush in your party,
    it makes one wonder why a complete revamping of the GOP was
    not in order after the Nov 08 election..

    Aynor, S.C.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  208. Phil P. in NJ

    Do they have a choice? The Republican Party is already on life support with just 21% and if they alienate anyone else, they might just disappear.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  209. Lou in Florida

    The rhetoric from the "RNC"–Rush, Newt, and the Cheneys (Dick and Liz)–has clearly shown a level of animus toward Mr. Obama and the Democrats that is so full of vitriol that it is having reverse consequences–driving people away from the Republicans in droves. This relentless screeching is putting those Republicans actually elected to office (and supported by a provable portion of the electorate) in an untenable position as the "loyal opposition"...too often the disloyal opposition doesn't seem to care! But as Alex Castellanos put it today, Mr. Obama is teaching the Republicans a valuable lesson, a lesson about raising the tenor of our debate. If that proves to be true, all I can say is thank God, it is long overdue.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  210. Dave Chansky

    Jack I am glad for you and Rush Lambaugh as you both are on opposite ends of the see saw. So without you both America couldn't stay in balance.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:34 pm |

    Do you call either one of them an apology? I think they just mumbled through, like the Republican's told them to. If you ask me there isn't even ONE GOP person that isn't a racist. If they think that, that is God's way, then they better get their Bible's out and read them thoroughly. That isn't the way he wants them to be.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  212. David Sheppard

    It seems unlikely, but maybe they finally looked away from their magic mirror that tells them how great they are and saw what they are doing to the Republican party. By blindly attacking anything that Obama does they prove how out of ideas they really are. I would hope they turned the corner but I'm not holding my breath.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  213. Angela Savage Austin

    I think that they both changed their tune because of a beat from s distant drummer....called money!. This is just my opinion...not a known fact. I pray that the reason is because they both realize that it was just their opinion of her and not a fact!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  214. John

    Jack, it is not why they changed their minds but what Rush said that should be considered by all his listeners like me. He (Rush) won't mind Judge Sotomayor being racist in the courtroom as long as she sides with him on abortion. This is a man that plays on people's ignorance and that is appalling. RNC leaders should put an end to this madness if they are to win elections in the future.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  215. steve

    Because they don't know what they're talking about.

    Los Angeles

    June 4, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  216. Jerry Strebe


    Anyone, or anything, that can morph Rush Limbaugh into Rush Limbo has to be a national hero. Let's just hope the transformation lasts.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  217. Arnold

    Jack, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh had to retract their statements because the Republican party is an increasingly shrinking box with the rest of America all around it. Unfortunately for Republicans, the rest of America is a growing populace of Hispanics and other minorities. Additionally, Democrats have a larger number of White Americans than Republicans do. Senior leaders in the Republican party realize that the parties survival going forward into the upcoming decades will be riddled with election defeats if they alienate the Hispanic vote.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  218. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Someone told Gingrich that he sounded like Limbaugh, and someone told Limbaugh that he sounded like Gingrich. This was all it took for them to change their tones.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  219. andyz Lynn, MA

    How about the fear of belonging to a political party which they caused to become extinct? Rush is the NeoCon idol and a NeoCon version of Don Rickles. The former Congressman is the only American politician to successfully declare war on America's poor and underpriviledged through his Contract with the America.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  220. Carolyn in Utah

    I'm sure you can rule out common sense!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  221. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Well, Jack, we know that Newt has political ambitions. He knows that he has to keep on the good side of the Republican majority and not be seen as another frothing maniac.
    Rush is a different matter, unless (and this is scary) he has political ambitions also. Do we have a second to the motion?

    June 4, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  222. julie donnelly

    These two I don't give the time a day anyway.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  223. George Fulmore

    Talking heads get paid for "saying something." Gingrich is good at that. He yields "good copy" for hosts and reporters at the drop of a hat. Limbaugh has a loyal following of folks who expect him to stick with extreme anti-Obama viewpoints. The initial reactions by both were to be expected. But a problem with extreme views is that over time they will almost by definition reach a diminishing number of people. I think these guys changed their tunes to stay in the game with a larger audience. Bill O'Reilly at times can be surprisingly logical and moderate. Pat Buchanan tends to be obsessively consistent with his anti-multicultural views.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  224. Bob D, Morrisown, NJ

    I suspect that some remaining top elected Republican officials approached them on the QT and read them the riot act. Since they were alienating even more moderate Republicans than "W", perhaps they should be the ones tossed from the party, instead of the likes of Colin Powell.

    Just an unfounded suspicion!! 😉

    June 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  225. George from TN.

    Some right thinking Republicans who want to get reelected finally saw the light. Niether one of the loud mouths has to think about getting a vote.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  226. Jasmine in Germany


    June 4, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  227. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    Without a doubt, individuals from both parties spoke with them; which caused a recalibration of their statements & what was implied. There is plenty of time to review Sotomayor's record & too make factual comments on an informed platform. The statement she made, has been taken out of context, as it relates to the entire discussion at the time. Haven't we all put our foot in our mouths?

    June 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  228. Ed in NC

    Jack....These two comedians are an insult to a bad joke! Whatever were they thinking by saying such things against a Presidential nominee for the highest court in the land.

    Maybe they will star in another Dumb & Dumber movie where each of them will reveal their 1 brain cell mind. I am astounded that there are people that actually follow and beleive these 2 nut jobs !!

    June 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  229. M Chan, California

    Maybe they have realized that it hurts them and their party more than it helps. Gingrich fears that it will hurt his carreer as a politician and Limbaugh just cares to be controversial enough to keep his audience, and an attack or an apology works just as well.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  230. SJB

    Because they are BOTH actors. They have to say whatever their constituents want to hear. They were playing it safe on this one. Both have rubber backbones and no real beliefs or thoughts of their own.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  231. Peter M

    They changed nothing. All they did is show that they had done enough damage to this incredible jurist. Their inciendiary racist rhetoric fired up the racist conservative right wing which is now in autodrive. Jack, the damage is already done.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  232. Silvio Rizzo

    Who is Newt and Rush? and why do we care?

    June 4, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  233. V Feacher

    I wouldn't ever listen to these two ethically challenged men. They morally never take responsibility for their actions. Instead they hide or run away from the own mess.....

    June 4, 2009 at 5:48 pm |