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. Casey Hoyack

    I support for all the world nation in the History and Have a Good Boring Day

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

    Yes, let's get rid of the Jim Dementias, the Tom Coburns, etc. Their policies are the policies of no..When someone like Dementia ignores the health care reform with no plan of his own (along with the rest of the right wing of the Republican party), and just says no, and that if he can help kill health reform (which Obama promised in his campaign and is diligently forging ahead...this is why the majority of us elected him, and he is doing exactly what he says he was going to do) we'll crush Obama...it is pathetic to say the least.

    July 29, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. GOP4Life

    Come on brothers! Quit all the hatin! Let's not forget that hese libs are tryin to pull one over on us about health care!

    July 29, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    Conservative values, Senator Vitter? You're the last person who should be talking about values ... you have none! ... and your personal actions in the past certainly back that up.

    July 29, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. GOD Help US

    Say what you want but you can't win a national election without winning a few Southern states. I think the attack on the southern accent "errrr, errr" is a bit much and with that type of attitude I see why no one takes him serious.

    July 29, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Tony Justin

    I often think that the US would be better off if the Union had lost the Civil War. Then the remaining Union states would be more like Canada or Australia, and the Confederacy would be like South Africa before the elimination of apartheid or like Iran after the Iranian Revolution. In any case, Voinovich is correct that conservative Southerners have taken over the Republican party and conservative Southerners do not, in any way, represent the rest of America.

    July 29, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Vitter & Co. are 100% morally bereft. GOP stands for nothing but taxes for the rich.

    July 29, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Art in Las Vegas

    I love it; Vitter insults Voinovich by calling him a MODERATE. That's what we need a more radical rightwing! Please Republican keep up the hate mongering, scaring the angry white males, scaring the elderly, and drive the Hispanics further away. Keep being the party of NO, no change, no health care reform, no to gay rights, no to a woman's right to choose, no to affirmative action, no to education, no to EVERYTHING Obama is try to do. You HATE Obama so much you would let people suffer just so Obama will fail. I call that TREASON

    July 29, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Husman

    Vitter is such a looser that his Southern values of deceit and hypocracy cant stop him from presenting himself as a leader.Before Vitter, there was a Tom Delay and a host of other empty bags that arrogate the leadership tag to themselves.
    Pity how a hopeless,boozing,womanizing disciples is your political leader who sees virtually nothing you can do for yourself besides what he thinks is right for you....

    July 29, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. Charisse Krieger

    I am one southern democrat who is screaming "it's about time the republicans turn on themselves"!! Yipee. Now a chance for a real fight to represent South Carolinians, and in the wake of our recent political fodder, it might just not be that difficult to throw these conservative hypocrites out of office!! DeMint, Ingles, Sanford, they all gotta go!!!

    July 29, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    Vitter, open your eyes and ears. George Voinovich is telling the truth, you are just a uneducated knave who doesn't know any better. You are probably one of those, who lived in the French Quarter all of your life and never once ventured out of it to see the real United States of America until you went to Washington, DC. Once there, you did not developed the intelligence needed for someone who is getting paid by the citizens of the USA.

    July 29, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Randolph Carter

    It's not a regional thing at all. It's about conservatives' basic philosophy of maximizing corporate profit at all costs and social control based on their narrow interpretation of an old book of folklore. Have a nice day!

    July 29, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Troy R.

    Now it's the South vs. the North? Not exactly. Anyone heard about Sarah Palin? This is just some figerpointing du jour on the periphery of current GOP in-fighting. The core issue for Republicans is twofold: 1) the GOP candidates that can easily win GOP primaries have a difficult time in nationwide elections, and 2) more and more traditionally 'safe' GOP districts move into flux and national demographics continue to change.

    Putting this all in South vs. North terms is rather silly.

    July 29, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. spock88

    Hmm... errr... Don't really know what to say... :)

    July 29, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Craig- Easton, PA

    Core conservative values, Senator? Like faithfulness and family values? You're right about the straying part. Anyway, I'm having a hard time following the logic. The Repub Party strayed from their conservative values, presumably becoming more moderate and this infuriated the voters so much they voted for a liberal like Obama and nominated the most moderate Republican candidate in McCain? Think you might be misreading the situation just a tad.

    July 29, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Conservative values? Like cheating on your wives!

    July 29, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. stewie

    they won't listen... what republicans don't understand is that the world is changing. people who used to be moderate and independent can't support a party where racism is so tolerated. Anyone who thinks different just needs to go read the Fox News blogs. I believe that is a big reason their party is shrinking.

    July 29, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  18. Richard in California

    So Senator "DC Madam Client" Vitter is on the side of "core conservative values", eh? And he's saying that gynecologist Senator Coburn, who cites doctor-patient confidentiality in reference to his interactions with male Senator Ensign regarding his affair and its cover-up, represents more of these "core conservative values"? Sure.

    And Senator DeMint, who would rather play politics, rather than stop the nation from going over the financial cliff created by the health care crisis, also represents these "core conservative values"?

    If that's what "core conservative values" are, then we're going to need a new definition for the word "crazy."

    July 29, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. judesuper

    YEAH, and the repubs want this guy as their spokesmen.

    July 29, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. michaelam

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

    I really was hoping "Diaper Boy" would've stated getting back to "family values" as well. I guess he realizes he's not the poster child for family values.

    July 29, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. ch

    "I'm on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values," " Sen David Vitter from above article

    Vitter – the same US Senator who solicited prostitutes in DC. The man with the diaper "fetish" – Google it to see for yourself!

    Only in Louisiana or some other red neck, right wing southern state full of self righteous hypocrites would this man be allowed to hold public office.

    July 29, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. No more GOP!

    George Voinovich told the truth. I think their republican party would be in a lot better position if it didnt have as much southern influence! Im a proud southerner but I am not proud of the a lot of the political ideals and racial attitudes that a lot of WHITE southerners portray!

    July 29, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Mitch Miller

    A real conservative would want to conserve society’s overall health. A real conservative would want to conserve a woman’s right to choose. A real conservative would want to conserve global temperatures. These faux conservatives that are all about imposing their “moral values” on the rest of us deserve to lose elections. And when they say they are all for small government, what they are really saying is they are all for larger churches. No thanks. I’ll enjoy my spirituality at its source, Nature.

    July 29, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Mathew

    If by "Southerners," Voinovich meant people who place little value on education, equate nationalism with religion, equate slogans with discourse, and who believe 'true' Americans are white, male, and Christian, then yes I believe the GOP is suffering from too much Southern influence.

    July 29, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. Felix

    And the in-fighting continues!

    July 29, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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