[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/11/art.vitter.gi.jpg caption="Vitter is apologizing for a comment poking run at Rachel Maddow."]
(Updated with additional context)
(CNN) – Republican Sen. David Vitter apologized to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow Friday after jesting on a radio program that she only looked like a woman “a long time ago.”
“Regarding my remark during a radio conversation today, I apologize,” Vitter wrote in a letter to Maddow. “The hosts made their comment and I obviously chimed in. While we do not usually agree on the issues, I do not think you deserved that comment.”
Vitter’s comments came during an appearance on Rush Radio 99.5 in New Orleans Friday morning, during which the radio hosts joked about a high school photo of Maddow with long blond hair. The MSNBC host currently has short brown hair.
“Must have been a long time ago,” Vitter joked when the hosts said the photo portrays Maddow as “looking like a woman.”
Maddow has not responded to the comments.
Vitter is currently in a primary battle against former Louisiana Supreme Court justice Chet Traylor. 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.
Should Vitter win that race, he will face Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon in the general election. Despite a tumultuous first term, Vitter's favorability rating has remained high and Melancon has as yet struggled to gain serious footing.