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. mike

    another republican who is just doing anything to get votes it is not about the issues that concern voters it is about personnel issues that doesn't cost them anything remember when you make changes to benefit the american people some one gets upset because you are rocking the boat and the one thing republicans do not like to do is rock the boat when big business involved personnel issues are always the way to go like the all time favorite is abortion then gay issue and when all else fails the great is Obama born in this country do you honestly think that is going to take care of your wallet or do you think that new ideas that will put money in your wallet

    July 13, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Former Republican, but never again!

    Just another Republican nut case! How do they explain the birth announcement in two newspapers two days after he was born? Stupidity and racism.

    July 13, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Jilli

    Vitters a diaper wearing hack.

    This is nonsense.

    July 13, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Jim

    Racist much?

    July 13, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. John

    CNN, that's a COLB that was released, not a birth certificate. Certificates Of Live Birth are issued to people coming from other countries.

    July 13, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. David in Houston

    The GOP should start sending out tin-foil hats with their campaign contribution requests!

    Absolutely ridiculous...

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

    I am belived that obama was born in keyna hosptial so his mother trying take him bring transfer to place in hawaii

    July 13, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. BeverlyNC

    Vitter is another under-educated Republican who just can't help saying the ignorant and often racist beliefs he really holds.

    Republucans have never supported quality education and you see the results every day in their Party and among their small percentage of supporters. If you love polls so much, there was one this spring, showing that 38% of Republicans didn't know Hawaii was a state. Says a lot.

    Thank God we finally have an intelligent, strong leader who is also a good and decent man, really cares about the American People, and is a proud American citizen He is doing an outstanding job despite the Republican messes he inherited and has still managed to DELIVER meaningful legislation that, for once, helps the American working people. I don't think there is another person alive who could have done a better job with all the disasters President Obama has had to handle at ONCE. There is also no one I would want to be my President. He is honest, compassionate, caring, full of character and integrity and has devoted himself to making our country whole again. No Republican has any of his qualities to be such an incredible leader.

    July 13, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Larry

    The Republicans are desperate. They're really licking the ground.

    July 13, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Independent For Obama

    Vitter should worry about his district. What an idiot he is.

    July 13, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Bill

    The question is was it a state when he was born. I am not a birther, but that is the question that they are asking. His Brith certificate shows August 4, 1961 as his birth date and Hawaii became a state Aug 21, 1959. The question became is that Birth Certificate real. Look it is what it is, this is no different than the pure unadulterated hatered of Bush or Regan or Carter or Clinton.... I think people need to get over this.

    July 13, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. American Patriot- a "real" Democrat

    If you're born in the United States (any one of the 50) with proof furnished by a birth certificate and stamped seal (Obama furnished it to the Public and Government) ; You can hold political office.....What part of that do you not understand idiot?

    July 13, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Rosslaw

    Vitter is remarkably uncomplicated-a dumb as dirt, sleaze bag right wing politician whose constituency unfortunately thinks that he is as good as it gets.

    July 13, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. LeAnns

    Seriously, just cut to the chase. These people just don't want an African American President. And they'd do anything to prove the voters wrong or whatever, just so they would much rather have someone else in the White House. I have had it with these stupid "birthers", tea party, republicans, etc... Just admit you don't like Obama because he's black and a democrat. Just say so, cause NO ONE CARES!!!

    July 13, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Dave

    Great, this crazy guy is the one making sense!

    July 13, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Dave

    American Patriot- a "real" Democrat July 13th, 2010 4:15 pm ET

    If you're born in the United States (any one of the 50) with proof furnished by a birth certificate and stamped seal (Obama furnished it to the Public and Government) ; You can hold political office.....What part of that do you not understand idiot?
    He's never produced the long form dummies!!!

    July 13, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. Bill

    Okay Independent For Obama. Viter should worry about his district while the campaigner in chief runs around the country fund raising for democrats that look like they will loos .... how about the president should worry about this country and not campaign. Dual standards?

    July 13, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. Paul Ernest Show

    Every genuine American needs to forgive folks like Vitter, the Republican party, for they really do not know what they are doing. After running the country into the ground for 8 years, and democrats trying to clean up their mess, these folks have no clues, no agenda, but to create a hostile environment, for political reasons. The party of Marchievelli , stalling the country because the have nothing to speak for

    July 13, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. get real

    Geez! The dude's got oil gushing right off his coastline AND this is what he's talking about. What a complete joke of a public official.

    July 13, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Voice Crying in the Wilderness

    Republicans are some of the most despicable people on earth. They constantly pander to the racist, ignorant, and just plain stupid, just to get votes.

    July 13, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Dave

    This is one of the Republican party's main problems: it's not enough for their policies to be provably wrong (if conservative policies are so great, why does the South lag the rest of the country instead of lead it? They've been electing conservatives for decades and it's gotten them nothing!). No, Republicans can't just be wrong... they also have to be CRAZY.

    How can we trust a party that's so reliant on conspiracy theories and wacky fantasies? They're not grounded in reality on any level. They can't just stick to the facts in their criticism of Obama... they have to make him a secret Socialist who wasn't even born in the U.S. and blah-blah-blah. Why not just claim Obama is a flesh-eating wizard from the planet Jupiter while you're at it? It's embarrassing to this country that this collection of lunatics is still considered a major party.

    July 13, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. Shucks

    Why do all of these people look like televangelist? Me thinks there is a connection. LOL

    July 13, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Edna

    Not only is President Obama a United States citizen, he is an excellent President. How many people are going to assume that his mother had her child in Africa and had him naturalized here or some such other crazy story? How many times do they have to show proof of his birth and where he was born? It has been shown. If you were paying attention, you would have seen it. Clinton and McCain would have found evidence by now. He would not be our President, believe me. All you racists would have done what needed to be done to keep him out of office. Get a life!!!!

    July 13, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Just get it to court and get it over with....."

    It has been and it is.

    July 13, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. haren

    It is time for chairman of DNC to target top republican in this election We have to topple minority leader Brenner, Barton, Eric cantor and that Paul Ryan and that big mouth michele Bachman of minnesota.
    Paul Ryan does not say clearly but he is against social security and medicare.
    And democrats next time select a majority leader from safe liberal state, so that you don't have to worry of losing reelection of majority leader.

    July 13, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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