Vitter kicks off campaign in Lafayette

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAFAYETTE, LA (KPLC) - As qualifying for fall elections gets underway, one of the hot races is between incumbent republican U.S. Senator David Vitter and challenger Charlie Melancon. After qualifying, Vitter kicked off his campaign for re-election.

Vitter came to the regional airport in Lafayette to kickoff his campaign before a group of supporters gathered to meet him. A big part of his strategy against Melancon seems to be to associate the Democratic congressman with the president.

Said Vitter, "Charlie Melancon endorsed Obama for president. And when asked about his job performance recently Melancon gave Obama an A. He voted to make Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House three times. He voted with her 93% of the time."

Vitter outlined his platform and top issues briefly-- but did not offer to take questions. "We're not just going to win an election. We're going to take back this country," he said as he wrapped up his comments.

The senator apparently feels he's already responded adequately to questions that thrust him into the national spotlight about a former aide who allegedly attacked his ex-girlfriend. Vitter responded briefly when cornered by reporters on his way out of the rally.  "Actually I have responded. I've answered every detailed question, I just think it's very desperate quite frankly for Charlie Melancon to base so much of his campaign on an ex employee who was dealt with two years ago in terms of this incident. Unfortunately I think he has nothing else, nothing positive, no issues to talk about, when you look at his record it doesn't jive with Louisiana values and Louisiana voters." And Vitter is clearly agitated that the questions about whether he protected the aide persist. "Thank you all," he said walking away, rather than answering additional questions.

In 2004 Vitter became Louisiana's first Republican ever elected to the U.S. Senate.

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