Newt Gingrich is trying to dial back calling Sonia Sotomayor a "racist" last week. Over at his website, he writes:

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). 

That's not what they said. President Obama said Sotomayor might have "restated" what she said, but he also called the criticism coming Sotomayor's way "nonsense." Gibbs said she "chose her words poorly" but neither Obama nor Gibbs said her comments were "unacceptable," which would imply that they agreed with Gingrich's interpretation of what she said. If you're going to "explain-ologize" as Marc Ambinder put it, you might want to stick to what was actually said. Of course, the fact that Gingrich seems to have trouble doing that was the problem from jump.

-- A. Serwer

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