Newt Gingrich says he was wrong to call Sonia SotomayorSonia SotomayorSupreme Court allows 'public charge' rule to take effect nationwide Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration Rush Limbaugh medal an insult to Latinos, immigrants MORE a "racist" last week.

The former House speaker had blasted Sotomayor for suggesting that a "wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

"My initial reaction was strong and direct--perhaps too strong and too direct," Gingrich wrote today in his Human Events column.

Gingrich added: "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)."

Here are Gingrich's original comments:
"Imagine [if] a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina [sic] woman' new racism is no better than old racism," Gingrich wrote on his Twitter feed.

Moments later he wrote: "White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw

Gingrich's semi-apology seems to be an indication that the GOP is becomingly increasingly uncomfortable with the heated rhetoric directed against Sotomayor. Few prominent Republicans have publicly called Sotomayor a racist, but the charges have become fodder for cable news and blogs, raising worries that Republicans might alienate Hispanic voters at a time when they can least afford to do so.