Steele urges conservatives to tone down rhetoric

Add Michael Steele to the list of Republicans getting nervous about the heated rhetoric against Sotomayor.

Guest hosting Bill Bennett's radio show this morning, Steele told conservatives to back off the racial aspect of Sotomayor's nomination:
"I'm excited that a Hispanic woman is in this position," Steele said. He added that instead of "slammin' and rammin'" on Sotomayor, Republicans should "acknowledge" the "historic aspect" of the pick and make a "cogent, articulate argument" against her for purely substantive reasons.

Steele warned that because of the attacks, "we get painted as a party that's against the first Hispanic woman" picked for the Supreme Court.

"We don't need to play this the way the Democrats have played it in the past," Steele said, adding that Republicans can't do this because they don't have the "liberal media" on their side, the way Dems did. Said Steele: "MSNBC will rip everything we have to say up into shreds."