July 29th, 2009
02:56 PM ET
5 years ago

Vitter defends Southern influence in GOP, slams Voinovich

Vitter fired back at Voinovich Wednesday.
Vitter fired back at Voinovich Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana slammed fellow Republican George Voinovich Wednesday for saying the GOP's problems stem from the fact that it is "being taken over by Southerners," calling the Ohio senator "a moderate, really wishy-washy."

"I'm on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values," Vitter told the Washington Times. "There are a lot of us from the South who hold those values, which I think the party is supposed to be about. We strayed from them in the past few years, and that's why we performed so badly in the national elections."

"[Voinovich is…] a moderate, really wishy-washy," he said.

Voinovich, who has decided not to run for re-election next year, told a newspaper in his home state that Southern dominance of the GOP was hurting the party elsewhere.

"We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns," Voinovich told the Columbus Dispatch Monday. "It's the Southerners….

"They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr . . .' People hear them and say, 'These people, they're Southerners,'" he said. "The party's being taken over by Southerners. What the hell have they got to do with Ohio?"

DeMint and Coburn are both major critics of President Obama's health care reform plan. DeMint has emerged as a top target for Democrats, who have launched ads attacking the South Carolina senator for saying the defeat of the proposal would "break" the president.


Filed under: David Vitter • George Voinovich
soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. Richard L

    "I'm on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values,"
    - Sen. David Vitter

    Yes, we have seen that. We know that Gov. Mark Sanford and Sen. John Ensign completely agree with you.

    July 29, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. VAisforLovers

    Why do Republicans think that everyone in the Republican party that is moderate is bad? Shouldn't they want a different point of view from time to time?

    July 29, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Ted

    Yeah, Republicans – kick the crap out of each other. The party of NO is in deep turmoil. They need Limbarf and Steele to tell them to back off and be nice.

    July 29, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Tom St. Paul

    Vitter is defending conservative values? ROFL!!!! Don't these people understand the concept of hypocracy? And he equates moderate with "wishy-washy"?? So obvious as to how out of touch the GOP has become with mainstream America!

    July 29, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. yuri

    Good! We want to witness more GOP infightin'. These imbeciles should be tryin' to do some damage control for the economyand other issues, instead of pickin' holes in the other party's proposals.

    July 29, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Austen Partrane

    See? It's not just about race in this country, it's also how your voice sounds. There are prejudices everywhere, not just the black/white thing. What Voinovich was slamming is southerners, while the southerners slam back with how they perceive lack of commitment to principles.

    July 29, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    The GOP is a dead party, they lied, they tax and spend as much as the DNC over the last thirty years.
    bottom line if you can not reduce spending, thus reduce the tax burden on hard working Americans, then just fade away.....

    July 29, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. Larry

    Republicans are failures for this country, I don't care where they're from.

    July 29, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Esco

    Hahaha. Who didn't see this one coming...honestly? The truth hurts even though Voinovich could have put in better words. I think he hit the nail on the head with his comment...

    July 29, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Jimmy

    The southern philosophy – keep them needy and stupid. Believe me, as a resident of TX I see what the butchers do to the educational system in this state. And the majority of the brain dead republican voters just follow like sheep because they too believe in the evils of gays and minorities as long as they keep thumping their bibles and claiming the religious and values platform, they'll win their votes. Bigotry is another strong component – a disgusting and neanderthalish – it's 2009, not 1969 only they seem to have failed to notice..

    It's kind of hard to take Vitter and his comments about conservative values seriously. I mean, this is diaper dave doing the talking. Conservative values just means do as I say, not as a do. What a load of hooey.

    July 29, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. Terry

    I left the Republican Party in 2008 because I felt the party had lost focus and leadership. I now find it interesting that the RNC is pouring money into approximately fifteen Congressional Contests for the 2010 Elections. This tells me that they are already seeing loyal Republican Voters in those districts leaning away from the party. Frankly, I do not care who is in charge, they need a "Top Down Makeover".

    July 29, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. AN

    Wow, really Vitter is the last person in the world you'd want on your team espousing conservative "values" and calling others wishy washy.

    July 29, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. J.P.

    Let's face facts, Yankees. The South and SouthWest are where business and investment dollars are headed. The South and SouthWest are were the biggest influx of Yankee migrants are headed.

    Why? Because we in the South won't punish you for your work ethic or your motivation. Yankee states (that includes you too CA) have never met a tax they didn't like.

    There is a very good reason we refer to the midwest as the Rust Belt, and it has little to do with highway rock salt.

    July 29, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. AndrewMc

    Hahahaha. Vitter says he wants to get back to "core conservative values."

    Priceless.

    July 29, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Dan

    David Vitter's core conservative values include cheating on his wife with hookers. If he's the mouthpiece for the Southern GOP that just proves Voinovich right,

    July 29, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. GOP = 21st century dodo

    Ugh I feel sorry for the other people in that picture. Being seen in public with the likes of Vitter or DeMint would be like walking around with soiled britches.

    July 29, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. CHANGE.COM

    What's really wishy-washy is you, conservative wife-cheating senator, who enjoys the company and services of prostitues, but comes out in public agaist their services. Sen. Voinovich speaks for millions of Americans, and know what? He is right and you are dead wrong!

    July 29, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Joshua R.

    "Core conservative values." Hmmmm...does that include monogamy, Senator Diaper Dave?

    July 29, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Todd (not the Alaska Separatist)

    Senator Vitter, do those "core" Republican values include consorting with prostitutes? Southern man, better keep your head, Don't forget
    what your good book said .......

    July 29, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Chai-wallah

    While you guys are at it; why not allow Rush and a few other like mineded candidates join your party as well?

    You need more Sara Palin, Rush etc.

    July 29, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. MikeH

    I wonder if Voinovich was speaking in racial profiling code, the Republican party is being taken over by red-neck, hillbilly, dumb-as-a-tree-stump Klansmen (Willy Brown, TCM).

    Maher is right, if you're a racist, you're probably a Republican.

    July 29, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Duck Fallas

    Vitter used to order a "wishy washy" with a happy ending- so he knows what he's talking about.

    Conservative values!!

    July 29, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. P. D.

    If I were Vitter, I would say nothing. Leave it up to other Republicans to speak up. Vitter has scandal written all over him. Why he didn't resign after the Madame controversy is beyond me. The infidelities of the Republican Party will bring it down.

    July 29, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Not Batting an Eye

    I beleive Voinovich since he has nothing to gain or lose. He is not running for re-election. I wouldn't trust Vitter as far as I could throw him.

    July 29, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. phoenix86

    I grew up in northeastern Ohio. I saw first hand what happens when unions and big government get out of control. If you look at the data, the "blue states" receive more government money than they pay in – i.e. they are welfare states.

    The southern states and the western states (California excepted) are the only thing keeping this country economically viable. Unfortunately, Obama, Pelosi, Reid et. all are working hard to ensure that the southern states go to ruin like the northern and midwestern states.

    July 29, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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