Louisiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards’ latest campaign ad attacks incumbent Sen. David Vitter over his connection to the “D.C. Madam” controversy, NPR reported.
“The choice for governor couldn’t be more clear,” the ad states. “John Bel Edwards, who answered his country’s call and served as a ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division, or David Vitter, who answered a prostitute’s call minutes after he skipped a vote honoring 28 soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our freedom. David Vitter chose prostitutes over patriots. Now, the choice is yours.”
According to the Monroe Daily Star, the commercial references a February 2001 vote the senator missed honoring US troops killed during Operation Desert Storm in February 1991. Vitter has admitted to being a patron of the “D.C. madam,” Deborah Jeane Palfrey in 2007.
Edwards’ campaign also released a list of phone calls allegedly made by Palfrey, including one to Vitter on the day of the vote — though not during the vote.
The ad is slated to debut around the state on Saturday.
“John Bel Edwards lives his values every day. Sometimes the Republican Party has tried to take owenership of the values discussion. They can’t do that in Louisiana,” state Democratic Party chair Karen Carter Peterson said. “We’re going to elect a great Democrat — a West Point grad who has been a good father and had been a good husband to his wife — a faithful husband to his wife did I mention? — and someone that’s going to represent Louisiana well.”
The senator’s campaign released a statement from retired Col. Evans Spiceland, who co-chairs a veterans’ group backing Vitter.
“As a veteran, I think it’s disgusting that John Bel Edwards is using veterans’ grave stones in a gutter political attack ad,” Spiceland said. “This is a disgrace to those of us who actually live by the honor code.”
Vitter’s campaign has been hit with various accusations in recent weeks. A woman saying she was his former mistress has argued that Vitter asked her to abort a child believed to be his, which runs counter to his anti-abortion stance; and Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said that the senator hired a person to record his private conversations.
Watch the ad, as posted online on Friday, below.