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. Terry, Dallas Texas

    Ever since 9/11 the Speaker of the House is REQUIRED to fly on a private plane because they are 3rd in line for the Presidency of the United States. Prior to her there was only one Speaker affected by this. Dennis Hastert (Republican) did not require as large an aircraft because of the short commute back to IL. It was not her who decided that she needed an aircraft that could make it to California without refueling. That was decided by the House Sargeant at Arms who felt that for the sake of security she needed to be able to go non-stop. This was also approved by the BUSH administration who agreed with the need for security.

    March 11, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Anthony

    Now, let me think...had this been me, I would be sitting in jail, cooling my jets, (pun unavoidable), awaiting trial for this and that. Senator Ballistic needs to be taken to the wood shed for this one! Fair is fair.

    March 11, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Jason B.

    "I accidentally went through a wrong door at the gate"

    Umm, the last I checked there's only 1 door at a gate and it leads to the airplane. And it tends to be located *behind* a counter.

    I agree with an earlier comment...any ordinary person would've been hog-tied, tazered, strip searched, arrested, and jailed.

    March 11, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Bill Stafford VA

    No need to elect politicians, just select like we do for a jury. Two year terms for Congress and Senate would be more than sufficient. That could rid us of politicians and political parties and give our current leadership the opportunity to get real jobs- thats real change.

    March 11, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. CircusMaximus

    "I went through a wrong door..."

    Yes, you went through the "wrong door." It's the door that sets off alarms – the one that you're not supposed to go through for safety and security reasons.

    This is called "delusions of grandeur," or the self-obsessed notion that you are allowed to do things that you know you are not allowed to do simply by virtue of you being "you." Like prying open an obviously closed gate and being belligerent about it. Then whining about it when you get caught – as if you were somehow the victim of an unfair/unjust system.

    I teach 10th graders. They routinely use the same tactic.

    March 11, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. GiggsisGod

    Hey ray ray,

    Pelosi is Speaker of the House, thus 3rd in line to the Presidency. The decision for the military plane was made by the DoD and the House Sgt -at – Arms, who is tasked with security for the Speaker, for security reasons in a post-9/11 world – just the same as Denny Hastert.

    Stop listening to Hannity and educate yourself before you post ignorant and cheap right – wing talking points here.

    March 11, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Ken in NC

    Constitutional Position of the Speaker of the House in the line of succession behind the Vice President requires that the Speaker be in position at all times, when traveling to return to Washington, DC as President of the US in the event of a catastrophic loss of both the POTUS and the VPOTUS. While I am not a supporter of Queen Pelosi, what she is doing is not part of her “Queenly” ways.

    As for Vitter, well he simply doesn't know "Vetter". hehehehe

    March 11, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    A "conversation" does not get one escorted by security guards. You or I would have been arrested.

    March 11, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Shay

    Don't see anything on CNN about "Air Diva" Pelosi. Records show she is overloading the Dept of Def. with requests for aircraft and when it not G5 quality the claws come out.

    March 11, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Jay Dubbe

    It's funny how predictable CNN has become. When it's a negative story about a Republican, the party affiliation is always mentioned within the first two paragraphs. When it's a Democrat, it appears within the last two paragraphs (if, at all).

    You have now sunk below Fox News as the most biased "news" channel.

    March 11, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Mike

    A reply to ray ray
    Nacy Pelosi is the speaker of the house. She is third in line to the Presidency. Rightfully she is entitle to an airplane.

    David Vitter is a republican – one of those who put us in the predicament we are in as a nation. And a John.

    March 11, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Otto

    Hey, he is a politician and as such, above the law. Remember folks, they are no longer ordinary people; you the people gave them the power. The Airline employee was lucky it was not the previous VP; he would have given the finger instead.

    March 11, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Beverly, NYC

    In a rush to make my flight home for town hall meetings the next day" Can you say LAME. Was that the last flight ever, or was a special someone waiting who would not refund if your were late?

    March 11, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. please

    I hate when I walk through wrong doors at the airport. They are never marked clearly to say "do not enter" or "authorized personnel only."

    March 11, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This guy is a scrumbag and should have been gone long ago. Vitter is just flexing his muscle because he still thinks he's above the law. Vitter was probably late because he was up to his old tricks. Check it out.

    March 11, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Shucks

    Sounds like an idiot who acted like an idiot and now is trying to lie his way out of it like an idiot. Maybe he was late because he was at another Madames business. I'm sure he is a professed christian though.

    March 11, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. fella from Chicago

    If Barack would let Senator Vitter use Air Foce One like he does Nancy none of this would have happened.

    March 11, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Lisa in Shelton

    Big shocker – politicians behaving badly. But, ray ray should do more research on urban legends pages before he belives lies and perpetuates their unsubstantiated accusations. The Pelosi plane thing was a hugely overblown deal – instituted by the Bush White House after 9/11 so the Speaker could be transported quickly to DC as national emergencies arise – she actually used this big plane only once. I do not like the connotations of ^ costs/little benefits for her recent trip with other congresspeople to Italy though.

    March 11, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. CJ

    Vitter was late I wonder where he was? He is such a moron!

    March 11, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Jeff W.

    Wow what a surprise, another entitled republican.

    March 11, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Mike

    Why not report on rangel blowing up on a private citizen in the capital building when he was asked about his taxpayer funder lease of a luxry vehicle. He was asked why he did not make the payment instead of taxpayers and rangel used alot of dirty language. Saw it on Fox and you cannot deny it happened.

    March 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. suzyku

    He should have been arrested! This guy is nuts!!! Another rethug idiot, it seems to be a prerequisite for being a republican–only druggies, fools and clueless need to join!

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

    ray ray
    I am aware of the fact that wingnuts very seldom let facts get in the way of their opinions – but, after the 9/11 attacks it was deemed (by the department of defense and the white house) that the person 2 heartbeats away from the presidency warranted a military jet. This started with Dennis Hastert. I am sure you knew that and were slamming him for it as well

    March 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. lloyd roberts

    So let's see, Deborah Jean at 55 killed herself because she was looking at a life sentence for being the DC Madam and her customer is allowed be keep making laws. Oh, no problem, I forgot. He's born again and made peace with his God and his wife. That's the new excuse, I'm born again I have sinned. No make it all go away. Well the way I look at it senator, Deborah Jean will probably end up in heaven and you're going straight to hypocracy hell

    March 11, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Don from KC

    Maybe CNN should metion what party he belongs too. If he was Republican, I wouldn't have to ask this because they would have mentioned it 20 times already. Please do not report on a liberal basis.

    March 11, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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