President Barack Obama showed a sense of humor Wednesday about the controversy that threatened the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Speaking at Cinco de Mayo event at the White House, Obama noted the high number of Latinos in senior position in his administration.

"Many of those appointments are Latinas. Wise Latinas, undoubtedtly," he said, prompting laughter.

The "wise Latinas" remark is a reference, of course, to Sotomayor's controversial comment 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."

Sotomayor made the remark in a 2001 speech, though had used different versions of the same phrase in the past.