July 13th, 2010
03:46 PM ET
12 years ago

Vitter's 'birther' comments draw heat

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/11/art.vitter.gi.jpg caption="Vitter has run into some political stumbling blocks."]
(CNN) – Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, already bruised politically for failing to adequately explain why he continued to employ a staffer who was arrested for threatening to stab his girlfriend, is now facing heat over his apparent support of investigations into President Barack Obama's place of birth.

"I personally don't have standing to bring litigation in court," Vitter told voters in Metairie, Louisiana Sunday. "But I support conservative legal organizations and others who would bring that to court. I think that is the valid and most possibly effective grounds to do it."

Video of Vitter's remarks were posted by the liberal web site Talking Points Memo on Monday.

When the issue of the president's birthplace first emerged during the 2008 presidential election, the Obama campaign released the then-senator's birth certificate showing that he was born in Hawaii. In December 2008, after Obama was elected, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man claiming Obama was ineligible to serve as president. Since then, the White House has called doubts from so-called "birthers" that Obama was born in the state of Hawaii "fictional nonsense."

But Vitter wouldn't dismiss the issue outright Sunday, saying, "I know all the information I've been able to get my hands on through the media…But obviously with the mainstream media as a filter, that's not a whole lot."

The comments are proving to be another gift to Democrats who once considered Vitter all but untouchable in his reelection bid. Despite admitted dalliances with an escort service three years ago, Vitter's favorability rating remained high and the Democratic candidate – Rep. Charlie Melancon – has struggled to gain serious footing in the race despite his conservative leanings. Polls before Vitter's latest political foibles showed the Louisiana Republican with a strong double-digit lead over Melancon.

But seizing on this latest opportunity, Melancon's campaign said in a statement that Vitter's remarks were evidence the Louisiana senator was "trying to score political points by perpetuating a completely debunked conspiracy theory."

Vitter was also handed bad news late last week when former Louisiana Supreme Court justice Chet Traylor announced he will challenge Vitter in the state's GOP primary. Traylor told CNN Monday that while he had been considering a run since last summer; it wasn't until the last two weeks that he took another look at the race, after being flooded with calls urging him to run.

Some of those calls came from within the GOP Louisiana establishment, Traylor noted.

Filed under: David Vitter • Popular Posts
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. American Patriot - a "real" tea partier

    Hawaii is part of the United States.
    It even has its own star on the flag.

    Look it up.

    July 13, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. andrew

    The same David Vitter who was having affairs with prostitutes while dressing up in diapers? Enough said!

    July 13, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Ross

    Vitter, please. Obama was born in the USA and he is a really bad President who is in over his head. Its always best to be truthful.

    July 13, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. Alex

    How about an investigation to find out what is going on in Davey's diapers?!?!

    July 13, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Zach K

    Put a fork in him, he's done.

    He represents the party of No.
    He still believes Obama wasn't born in America.
    He takes in money from big oil companies for his interest.
    He lies to the people in Louisiana.

    Vitter will become a victim of anti-incumbency.

    July 13, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. S Callahan

    This again??
    Just get it to court and get it over with.....

    July 13, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. La Piovra

    Apparently this guy never heard of res judicata, which is Latin for: Been there, done that, these oats have already been through the horse.

    July 13, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    He's just jealous because he was stillborn.

    July 13, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Chas

    Vitter is a racist and a bigot! Pure and simple. Another Republican disgrace

    July 13, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. w l jones

    To some people we all west afrocian by the way we are acting the last year of two. Look it up you might be suprise! which I dought it.

    July 13, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. Laverne

    Seems to me David Vitter should be the one who should be investigated. He is pathetic at his best! This clown will say anything to get the heat off his own butt. He does not deserve to represent the people of Lousiana, they deserve better!

    July 13, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Vic of New York

    You'd think with all of the disasters and disappointment Louisiana has had at the hands of Republicans and the Conservative Stooges who pass themselves off as "Americans" – they'd be ready to run these guys out of town on a rail!

    Goes to show you just how right Forest Gump had it: "Stupid is, as stupid does."

    July 13, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. T'SAH from Virginia

    If you take a close LQQK @ VITTER – He resembles someone from MARS – that makes him illegal too!!

    The "FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW" is the reason why all of the madness and HATE is emerging – The evil people in this country are surfacing... that is the "only" SUCCESS story I need coming from our President!!!

    July 13, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Basically, they know that they are doing some very unpopular things, but hope that the democratic voters are 'inspired' to vote for a party (D) rather than for a solution."

    Oh gee, I'm sorry, but did I and the rest of the rational populace left in Amurika, including every single "news" media outlet in existence, somehow miss the part where GOPers and Teatards and other conservatives (read: angry white people who feel like the brownies...who are automatically considered not as Amurikan, born here or not...are stealing "their" country) actually proposed something, let alone a thoughtful, viable, detailed, relevant "solution' supported by facts, evidence and perhaps some expert opinion?

    Please oh please say that they proposed a budget...pleeeeeeeeease.....

    July 13, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. False conspiracy fears are Taliban tactics

    Vitter should have Fox news investigated for their non stop lying to upset the fragile right wingnuts. Blaming Obama for dropping the Black Panther mess was a story that Fox made up knowing the Bush administration found no evidence of wrongdoing and dismissed charges on January 7, 2009, before Obama was inaugauratred.

    July 13, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. harold

    Whats the matter with Vitter?..The Republican Gov of Hawaii has addressed this issue...You still living in what age?..Vitter you cannot become a saint when you employee a person who threatens women...Get me?.Now go down the road to defeat this November..You have nothing to offer the public..You are being paid for nothing..You sure do not serve the people of the USA...

    July 13, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. Stacey

    These idiots don't give up, do they. I love watching them make complete fools of themselves. If Obama's presidency has done anything, it's certainly shown me that hate and bigotry are alive and well. Mr. Obama won the presidency. Get over it already!

    July 13, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Gil

    The right are all nut cases as we know and they just get more rediculous everytime they open their mouths. Let's shut them up once and for all. I can't stand repuglicans.

    July 13, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Duck Fallas

    The people of Louisiana still support this clown? Knock the cap off the well, let it flow 'til it's spent.

    July 13, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. Ben in Texas

    David Viper was hatched under a rock.

    Go ahead, Davie boy, prove me wrong. I haven't seen your birth certificate, so I think you're Iranian. I saw somebody who looks like you, and he was wearing a turban, so it must be true.

    Birthers have no better evidence than the above. Whatever happened to people being laughed out of office for crap like this? That's a tradition that needs to be revived.

    July 13, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. omnin

    Let me ask you this. If you're mother goes to Canada whiles she's 9 months pregnant and goes in to labor, and your born in a Canadian hospital... Does that mean that you're not a citizen and you can never come back to America again. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone which was occupied but never a state. Why didn't the birthers say anything about this?

    Racism sucks. There's close to 1000 white hate groups in America and they'll do anything they can to stop Obama.

    July 13, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. works for me

    Just where do we come up with these Richard Craniums... these (*) ?

    July 13, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. JP

    Obama must have been born in Venezuela, North Korea, or Iran. All of those countries would like to see us destroyed which is what Obama is doing from the inside.

    July 13, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Augsbee

    I read that this is about Obama having been born in Africa ( not Hawaii) when his mother who was already pregnant married Obama's father who was from Africa, which seems possible since she must have been living in Africa with her new husband, I doubt she would have stayed pregnant alone in Hawaii.

    This is just a simple situation that Obama's mother registered her baby in Hawaii when she returned with him, as I think the Law permits mothers to do so when their children are born in a different country, the mother's birthplace can become the child's birthplace.

    July 13, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. hillary

    so.....where exactly IS the birth certificate? It has never been substantiated to everyone's satisfaction. Plus, the left has a way of name calling or obfuscating issues when they are wrong/guilty and want the attention placed elsewhere, as they repeated do in this case.

    July 13, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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