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. joe magarzatz

    Senator Voinovich is absolutely correct! The best way to defeat the Republicans is to continue sending more Jim DeMint types to continue sending Jim DeMint to the Senate. Elections for the Presidency and congressional majorities will favor the Democrats for years to come.

    Vitter should be more conservative about his marriage!

    July 29, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. no name calling

    You guys just keep fighting with each other.

    July 29, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. SNAPPA

    What the senator should have said and it would have made much mroe sense because this IS the real problem with the Republican party: It has been taken over by the bible belt, much worst than Al-Queda or the Taliban because of their stealth agenda in forcing other Americans to live by their standards. At least Al-Queda and the Taliban does it overtly and lets you know what it is they want.

    Americans Taliban try to legislate morals and biblical crap like Inteligent Design, defense of marriage act and so on.

    July 29, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Ex-Repug

    Are you sure we shouldn't have let the South secede when we had the chance?

    July 29, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Holly

    What is Vitter on about??? Yeah, the GOP need to get back to conservative basics of visiting more prostitutes. Give it a rest, hypocrites!

    July 29, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. elana

    Well, Mr. Vitter, Sometimes, the TRUTH HURTS!!!

    July 29, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Bev - NYC

    Really if one of your own is slamming Southerners, should you really have another Southerner with a call girl past be the spokesman calling someone wishy-washy? Do the Republicans understand irony? They are the best soap opera going.

    July 29, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. James

    Evidently Mr. Voinovich, as both governor and senator, has helped create such a utopian paradise out of Ohio that the South is being overrun by former Ohio residents who can’t seem to get out of there fast enough.

    July 29, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. kmp

    Ohhhh that is funny coming from Sen. Vitter wishy washy moderate and that he Vitter is a "Conservative on the side getting back to the core of conservative values" well Vitter may as well stand in line with the rest of the hypocrites in the Senate and House who all stand behind that curtain of conservative values, Mr Black Book escort seer. Hummmm who is wishy washy now?

    July 29, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Susan L.

    So I guess David Vitter's Southern Conservative values include infidelity and prostitution. That kind of double-standard is exactly why the rest of the country isn't particularly interested in Southern Conservative Values. Hypocrisy doesn't sell that well, Senator. Why not see to the mote in your own eye first, eh?

    July 29, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. joe magarzatz

    Senator Voinovich is absolutely correct! The best way to defeat the Republicans is to continue sending more Jim DeMint types to the Senate. Elections for the Presidency and congressional majorities will favor the Democrats for years to come.

    Vitter should be more conservative about his marriage!

    July 29, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. Keith in Austin

    Voinovich needs to talk with Arlen Spector and find out. How to turn coat and run to the democrat party. The GOP will not need him or his Liberal tendancies in 201O. American people (not freeloading on the Government lam) are waking up to what Liberal Democrats are all about: Big socialized Government, ridiculous pork-filled spending, higher taxes, fewer individual freedoms,distain for free enterprise just to name a few. In 8 short months Obama has spent more than all presidents before him. He and his radical ambitions ruining our great Country will lead to his own political demise and the beurocrats that support him in future elections! It is destined to occur!!!

    July 29, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Laurie in Spokane

    The Republicans lost the last election not because of their lack of conservative values, but because they come across as so close-minded, and "my way or the highway", and many of them have a holier-than-thou attitude. That really turns people off. And, a lot of those values and red-neck attitude comes from the Southern areas.

    July 29, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Daniel Schlafer

    When David Vitter talks about " core values " , are we talking about his family relationships or his extramarital affairs ? You could never call Vitter a hypocrite , could you ? I also would never call him " wishy-washy" , because he knows how to support family values and not support family values .

    July 29, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. skyhouse

    Hey George, you just stay with those core conservative values. wife cheating, race baiting, gun toting, religious zealotry, the party of NO. out of touch, out of sight, and out of their minds....

    July 29, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Melanie, MD

    Is Vitter speaking for the conservatives who cheat on their wives? Just wondering.

    July 29, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. billp

    I have to admire how Vitter can talk about "core conservative values" with a straight face, given that he was exposed for consorting with prostitutes. Oh, right – they were female, so it's okay.

    July 29, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. Casey Hoyack

    Voinovich is absolutely right! If the Republican Party ever wants to win elections again, they need to appeal to the moderate Midwestern and Northeastern brand again and not the ultra right wing that lives south of the Mason-Dixon line.

    July 29, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. Vic

    "I'm on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values" HUH?

    Does that mean no more hookers from the DC Madam (RIP)?

    July 29, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Obama Victim

    Southern Repubs look foolsh here............ignore him...why bother responding to someone who really is a national joke anyway???

    July 29, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. George B. from Ohio

    Voinovich is a ... gasp ... the horror of it all ... a MODERATE!!! Heaven forbid we have moderates in public office. LOL!

    July 29, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. Lonnie

    I tire of hearing our elected officials worry more about their party than the american people as a whole.....When a district elects a representative, he represents ALL of the people in that district, not just his base...How have so many people (let alone representatives) forgotten about that....

    July 29, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Tommy

    Well, Vitter and other con repubs are pretty wishy washy when it comes to values. I think we need to remember he has a problem with prostitutes.

    One thing is for sure: this guy is a die-hard hypocrite!

    Aim high!

    July 29, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. Lisa

    I am a lifelong Ohioan and have never been a big fan of Senator Voinovich; however, to call him a "wishy-washy moderate" does nothing but emphasize his point. It is a frightening day when a man with Voinovich's voting record is considered a moderate. The Republican caucus should be careful what they wish for in wishing he were gone. They might take note that Ohio is a "blue" state now and his seat is likely to be won by a "D" in the next election.

    July 29, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. Brennan

    Let's not get started with you! Mr. I cheated on my wife!

    July 29, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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