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. Bill

    That's the wisest way a Senator from Louisiana can think to use his time? Really? There's nothing about oil or something that deserves his attention more?

    July 13, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Wisconsinite - the GObP Loves Big Oil, But Hates Suffering Americans

    I DEMAND to see the birth certificate of every single Birther! And not just a copy or a picture either! I DEMAND to see the original and hold it in my hand! You see . . . I think all Birthers are foreign TERRORISTS intent on taking down our President! BIRTH CERTIFICATES FROM ALL, I SAY!!!!

    July 13, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. TMan

    I don't understand why "birthers" continue to be so stupid. Even if you don't believe the birth certificate, his mother is a U.S. citizen. Therefore, he's a U.S. citizen. Done and Done

    July 13, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Patriot

    Time to ban the Repukes once and for all. Deport all of these scum!

    July 13, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Eric

    Yes, let us deride them as "birthers," rather than look at the very real possibility that the media simply took a nap of incuriousity instead of doing their job of investigating peculiarities.

    Let us put it this way... if Barack Obama had a Kenyan father, and his mother had traveled very near the time of his birth... *AND* if he were a republican, this would be Watergate 2.0 to the media... and someone would win a pulitzer for investigative journalism for sniffing this one out.

    As it is now, if the current batch of journalists had existed in the 1970s, Watergate would have never happened and Nixon would have simply finished his term and walked into the sunset.

    Instead, we get, "Oh, you birthers... there is nothing to see here... these are not the droids you're looking for. We found his real birth certificate on the internet... right there next to Dan Rather's Dubya Nat'l Guard memo."

    I mean really, who are you going to believe... the media who did a bang up job of ignoring the John Edwards Baby Daddy scandal until it literally hit them upside the head (wow, you were scooped by the freaking "BatBoy" newspaper!) or your own tingling Spidey Sense?

    July 13, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. John Adkisson

    I think we need to see Vitter's birth certificate to be sure he was born on this planet.

    July 13, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. I Love My President

    LeAnns, well said, I totally agree with you. Obama won the election, get over it!

    July 13, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Katie

    The birth certificate was substantiated to everyone's satisfaction. Everyone who matters, that is. Why some people can't let it go is a complete mystery. Why they insist that it was never verified (like the Roberts conservative Supreme Court would ever let that happen!) and why they don't believe the facts as presented and accepted just shows how bitter some people are and how racist others are.

    Get a life, people!! Obama is the president. We could have done much worse.

    July 13, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. cel

    Hate is justthe Republican way. Lies and inuendo support that hate. these immarutre liars need to get over it. WE THE PEOPLE are not afraid. We have rights and we're standing up for them. It's time for a showdown at the polls that will once and for all put an end to these radical righters pulling one over on us.

    July 13, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. Wisconsinite - the GObP Loves Big Oil, But Hates Suffering Americans

    hillary July 13th, 2010 4:08 pm ET

    so.....where exactly IS the birth certificate? It has never been substantiated to everyone's satisfaction

    Oh you are so, so wrong. It HAS been substantiated to everyone's satisfaction who is NOT A COMPLETE AND UTTER MORON! Guess what that makes you??!!!

    July 13, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. Connie in Tennessee

    Somebody should lock this nutcase up for his own good. After the sex scandle, why would anyone in La. listen to Vitter??

    July 13, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Hugo

    I don't care where he was born, open the school records and passports and let's see the student loan and Federal grant applications Mr. Transparency.

    July 13, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. charlie from the North

    They think that if they keep saying the same lie over and over again it will become true. Like him or not Barack Obama is not only eligible to be President he was elected. Case closed. I don't disagree on much with our President and I think he is doing a fine job (especially better than the last guy).
    But if I did not want him to be President I would take issue with his policies I would complain about what I thought were his mistakes and complain about his leadership. All harping about his citizenship does is prove that his policies must be sound or his opponents would not have to make stuff up.

    July 13, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. American

    How many birthcertificates of presidents has anyone seen. I never saw bush's or clinton"s. Obama would have to fool the FBI, CIA, Legislative dept. Judicial dept, the house and senate, just to name a few. But he can't fool the birthers, Being the top notch sleuths that they are. LOL...... What we have here people is a failure to THINK.

    July 13, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. cjr

    the republicans have totally trashed the Senate – time for all of them to go. the party is dead – Lincoln would be horrified at what they have done. No to the party of No!

    July 13, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. R.E.B.

    This guy had so many prostitutes that it affected his brain. He is a typical southern idiot. He and Palin should get together be cause they both have diarrehea of the mouth.

    July 13, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Marge

    For a senator who perfers "diapers" anything is possible. Wonder if he uses pacifiers also. Just shows republicans are big old babies.

    July 13, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Babs

    "Certificates Of Live Birth are issued to people coming from other countries."

    OMG. Certificats of live birh are issued to people born and any country. EVEN THIS ONE.
    To say that a COLB is not a Birth Certificate just shows how stupid some people are. Unreal.

    July 13, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. dont worry

    Yooooooo word worry about BP freeing these dmn terrorist while you accept your contribution teatards, birthers and vitter.

    July 13, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. joe

    willard bullock.. you are a believer without proof. typical idiot. Hey it doesnt matter what you believe

    July 13, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Doug

    @Dave: What long form are you talking about? I just have birth certificate from Vital statistics thats half the A4 page size..
    I'm guessing, the form that McCain submitted that he was born in Panama Canal (Panama) which is not part of the 50 states, is a full A4 size..and you expect everyone to see that ? 😉

    July 13, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Mr. Davidson

    The only document that was ever produced,good word ,or furnished,it wasn't that either was a reasonable fascimile and it was actually faxed to the fleet of attorneys hwo were juggling the whole affair.I voted for Obama but I question the need of a fleet of high power attorneys to provide a faxed copy that isn't acceptable under the Patriot act in order to get a drivers license in PA.

    July 13, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Panterazero

    Actually, the argument for Obama's ineligibility that seems to have the most traction is that any electable President must be a "natural born citizen" of the US and that no one is such a "natural born citizen" unless BOTH his/her parents were US citizens at the time of the birth - which Stanley Ann Dunham was but BHO Sr. probably was not. This devolves into complicated, nitpicky arguments as to whether nationality follows the mother's or the father's citizenship, which have been made and propped up with all manner of documents, most of them forged. But SCOTUS invokes the 14th Amendment and says: born in US is a US citizen, end of story.

    July 13, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. jerseylou

    Hmm....vitter sounds like a Nazi German name to me;wonder if he can show his Birth Certificate ?

    July 13, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Phil from Huntington Beach

    There are still people out there that are stupid enough to go along with this fantasy – it scares me that many of them can vote and it definitely says something about Vitter's perception of his constituencies level of intelligence!
    Louisiana – if this is the best you can do to chose leadership, it makes sense that you're still reeling from Katrina.

    July 13, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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