March 11th, 2009
04:57 PM ET
13 years ago

Dems put heat on Vitter for reported airport blow up

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Vitter said reports of an airport run in are overblown."]

(CNN) - The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is putting heat on Louisiana Sen. David Vitter for a reported run-in with a Dulles Airport employee last Thursday as he scrambled to make a flight back to his home state.

“Sooner or later Senator Vitter should learn how to control himself,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Eric Schultz, in an apparent reference to the Louisiana Republican's past involvement with Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called "DC Madam."

According to the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call, Vitter arrived at the gate 20 minutes before his flight was set to depart and went "ballistic" when he saw that the gate had already been closed.

Upon trying to open the door to the jetway himself, the senator set off a security alarm and quickly grew heated with an airport employee. Vitter ultimately backed down when the employee called security, Roll Call also reported.

But Vitter suggested Wednesday the report was overblown.

"In a rush to make my flight home for town hall meetings the next day, I accidentally went through a wrong door at the gate," Vitter said in a statement. "I did have a conversation with an airline employee, but it was certainly not like this silly gossip column made it out to be."

The Louisiana senator is expected to face a tough re-election bid in 2010, still vulnerable after his phone number appeared in Palfrey's "Black Book" in the summer of 2007.

Filed under: David Vitter
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Brian

    An ordinary citized would have been arrested and jailed.

    March 11, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. Laverne

    Yeah right, I guess your phone number accidently appeared in a known madam's black book too huh?

    March 11, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. P. D.

    Vitter is an embarrassment. Why didn't he resign when he was discovered in the notoriuos Madam's black book? I can't beleive he still runs on religious issues when he was busted. Talk about hypocrisy! And if this did happen the way the Roll Call reported it, why wasn't he arrested? If was you or me, we would have been thrown in jail.

    March 11, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. katiec

    Another example of a politican overestimating his importance and power. Your report, CNN, was a little kinder than others I have read.

    March 11, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. ray ray

    Democrat Eric Schultz says,

    "Sooner or later Senator Vitter should learn how to control himself.."

    Riiiight. If Vitter would only abuse his authority like Nancy Pelosi who demands the military provide her a manned aircraft whenever sh wants... he'd have a lot less stress at the airport!!

    Seriously... Does Nancy think she's the President and have her own fleet of planes???

    March 11, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. jim

    Senator Charles Schumer had a similar incident last year in New York

    March 11, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Maggie from Virginia

    You got it Brian... Right after being humiliated and strip searched.

    March 11, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. cmc

    couldn't he have taken a later flight? Is this a misunderstanding or grand standing? Kinda like Hostetler from Indiana who "forgot" he had a gun in his briefcase at the airport, several yrs ago!

    March 11, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |


    March 11, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Grace

    This CLOWN needs to get the BOOT right out the door. Republicans are really something else. They are quick to attack and criticize everyone else, but in reality they are the TRUE DEVILS. They certainly NEVER practice what they preach!!

    Residents in Louisiana should show this jerk the door YESTERDAY!!!!

    March 11, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. mb-texas

    wow who is this man?he should go back to Louisana and settle
    down.not use to authorties thinks he is above being a regular
    customer.dare anyone to question him.

    March 11, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. gopher

    Any mention of diapers?

    March 11, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. David in KC

    Oh we all know Republicans can do no wrong! It was Clinton's fault!

    March 11, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. Al, NY NY

    @jim: When that happened to Schumer, did the GOP mouthpieces go ballistic with glee and smart-a#* comments?

    March 11, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |

    After arrivingt 20 min. too late, he set off the security alarm trying to go to the plane, the Louisiana senator proceeded to dress down an airline employee who told him entering the restricted area was forbidden. HE INVOKED HIS STANDING AS A SENATOR, DELIVERING A "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM" TIRADE, the paper said. Vitter wouldn't calm down, even after the employee threatened to call security.
    "Vitter, according to the witness, remained defiant, yelling that the employee could call the police if he wanted to and their supervisors, WHO, PRESUMABLY, MIGHT BE MORE IMPRESSED WITH HIS SENATOR'S PIN," the paper's Heard on the Hill column noted. "But after talking a huffy big game, Vitter apparently thought better of pushing the confrontation any further. When the gate attendant left to find a security guard, Vitter turned tail and simply fled the scene."

    March 11, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Johnny DC

    Anything to win another seat, right? Even if it means grossly exaggerating a story to slander a public servant. Nice work.

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. arithmetic is liberal

    They would have thrown me in jail if I'd have done something so brazen.

    And if Vitter has a problem with the airports, maybe he can help by starting to lift the ridiculous, liberty-reducing garbage you have to go through at the airport, like removing your shoes before a flight.

    The things they make ordinary citizens go through at the airport are ABSURD considering that at the same time there is almost no security at our ports of entry.

    We get to take our shoes off, and shipping magnates get a free pass.

    Only in America.

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Jane (Minnesota)

    Mr Vitter, why do you think you can break rules at the airport that a common person would have been taken into custody for trying??? You are setting a WONDERFUL example for people by your actions. Congratulations!!! What a drama queen!!!

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. keeth in california

    "Tantrum" is appropriate for Vitter, since he liked to dress in diapers for his prostitutes.

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Sheryl

    ray ray... the speaker of the House is required to have a manned aircraft. She is in the line to assume the presidency. When she became speaker, she did not ask for the planes. It was a requirement of her office.

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. JerryAW

    To ray ray –
    For yur information, Ms Pelosi has been more than willing to fly commercial; the status of her office requires that she have the protection she receives -- this is not her decision. Get over it, already.

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. Independent Paul

    If anyone on this post hasn't had a blowup at an airport, then I am calling you out as a total hypocrite!

    This has happened to us all, and we have all gotten p*ssed off about it. If it hasn't happened to you, then you have never flown on a commercial airline before.

    March 11, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. aaron

    ray ray – stay on topic you mope. This is about a guy who thinks he is above FAA and TSA rules and regs. Changing the subject is the mark of a weak mind and a weaker argument.

    March 11, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. To RayRay

    @ray ray-
    How does anything Mr Vitter did have anything to do with Ms Pelosi???

    That's another story altogether. One that is probably not even close to what you are saying it is.

    David Vitter is a hypocritical @@S!! That's much different from Pelosi apparently worrying about her security with the GOP's hate speech and calls for a revolution. The psycho's that shoot people always seem to be from the right.

    March 11, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. Anne

    No matter whether Democrat or Republican, they are not above the same rules and regulations that everyone else must abide by.

    March 11, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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