David Vitter: ‘I’m on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values.’

Earlier this week, Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) told the Columbus Dispatch that the GOP was “being taken over by southerners” and that the party has “too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns.” Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) responded today by slamming his colleague for being a “moderate, really wishy-washy” Republican. Vitter decried the influence of “moderates” in his party, saying that the GOP has not stuck to “core conservative values:”

“I’m on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values,” said Mr. Vitter, Louisiana Republican and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “There are a lot of us from the South who hold those values, which I think the party is supposed to be about. We strayed from them in the past few years, and that’s why we performed so badly in the national elections.”

Vitter is an unusual standard-bearer for the “conservative values” wing of the Republican Party. As Steve Benen writes, “[E]very time Vitter mentions the word ‘values,’ it elicits the same response: ‘Aren’t you that ‘family-values’ guy who got caught with prostitutes?’” After confirming his involvement with the “DC Madam” escort service in 2007, Vitter admitted to a “very serious sin” but refused to resign, despite having previously called upon Bill Clinton to resign for marital infidelity.

Ben Bergmann