White House criticizes McCain's Sotomayor vote

A White House spokesman said Tuesday that Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) decision to vote against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is "disappointing."

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White House press secretary Robert Gibbs criticized McCain, President Barack Obama's opponent last year, saying that Sotomayor is qualified to sit on the bench.

"It's disappointing that Sen. McCain came to a different conclusion a day after talking about bipartisanship," Gibbs told reporters in his West Wing office.

While a senator, Obama voted against former President George W. Bush's nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito. The future president also voted in favor of filibustering Alito.

McCain said on the Senate floor Monday that Sotomayor is "an immensely qualified candidate," but she does not share his belief in judicial restraint.

"There is no doubt that Judge Sotomayor has the professional background and qualifications that one hopes for in a Supreme Court nominee," McCain said, before adding: "However, an excellent resume and an inspiring life story are not enough to qualify one for a lifetime of service on the Supreme Court."

Arizona has a large Hispanic population, but conservatives have doubts about Obama's nominee.

Sotomayor was voted out of the Judiciary Committee last week with McCain ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) the lone Republican voting with Democrats. Sotomayor is widely expected to be confirmed by the Senate this week.

— This story was updated at 10:19 a.m. 

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