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GOPers downplay Sotomayor party rift

From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell

GOP Senate aides responded to the inside vs. outside debate among conservatives and elected Republicans over the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor.

Aides made a point to downplay the letter sent to Senate Republicans from 145 conservatives as "pretty innocuous." 

Under pressure to answer for criticism of Judge Sotomayor from various conservatives, Hill Republicans claim that many of those who added their names to that letter do not agree with the public statements made by a former Frist staffer, Miguel Miranda, who is demanding Minority Leader Mitch McConnell consider resignation if unwilling to challenge Sotomayor more vigorously.

Hill aides dismiss Miranda as "hilariously out of touch" and not representative of Republican opinion.