From NBC's Mark Murray
In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams, President Obama strongly defended his Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. But he also said that she could have "restated" her controversial sentence from 2001, in which she suggested that a Latina woman could reach a better conclusion than a white male.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: This is the quote, "I would hope that a wise Latino woman, with the richens of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." It-- it's your judgment-- perhaps, having talked to the judge, that-- as we say, that's one of those she'd rather have back if she had it to redo?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I'm sure she would have restated it. But if you look in the entire sweep of the essay that she wrote, what's clear is that she was simply saying that her life experiences will give her information about the struggles and hardships that people are going through -- that will make her a good judge.
And, you know, she was pointing out, in that same essay, that it was nine white males who passed down Brown vs. Board of Education, which is probably responsible for me sitting here. So that's hardly the kind of statement that would indicate that she subscribes to identity politics.
In fact, what she really subscribes to is the exact opposite -- which is the sense that all of us have life experiences and struggles. And part of the job of a justice on the Supreme Court, or any judge, is to be able to stand in somebody else's shoes, to be able to, you know, understand that-- the nature of the case, and how it has an impact on people's ordinary day to day lives.
And so her, as a Latino woman part of her job is gonna be to listen to the farmer in Iowa. And, you know, if he's upset about a farm regulation. And be able to understand how hard it is to farm. And what that means. And to be able to incorporate that into her decision making.
It means that she has an understanding of what a corporate CEO might be thinking. And she had those experience as well. Having worked as a corporate litigator. That breadth of experience, that knowledge of how the world works, is part of what we want for a justice who's gonna be effective. And I think that when she's appearing before the Senate committee, in her confirmation process, I think all this nonsense that is being spewed out will be revealed for what it is.