Larry Craig has David Vitter's back

One Republican sex-scandal subject is rallying to the aid of another.

By Steve Benen

Published April 9, 2008 3:46PM (EDT)

It's nice to see one subject of a Republican sex-scandal rally to the aid of another.

Embattled Louisiana Sen. David Vitter (R) is getting support from fellow Republicans who say he should not resign over a public sex scandal -- including from someone who can speak from experience.

Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho was among several GOP senators who say Vitter's testimony in the "D.C. Madam" prostitution case should not compel his resignation.

"First and foremost, in these kinds of issues, it's the state and the relationship you have with your state that really determines where you ought to go," Craig said. "That was certainly my case. The Senate itself wasn't going to judge me. I would allow the citizens of my state to do so. And there is still strong support there."

Actually, Craig's Senate colleagues tried to judge him, but he wouldn't leave.

Nevertheless, it's hard to say whether Vitter considers Craig's endorsement good news or bad. Vitter, who has been called on to testify in the "D.C. Madam" case, not only is facing calls for his resignation but is apparently getting into car accidents over it. Does support from his scandal-plagued colleague really help?

Under the circumstances, Vitter will take whatever help he can get.

The Louisiana Democratic Party, meanwhile, has already called on Vitter to resign, calling his scandal a "continuous distraction," and adding that it's a "continuous blight on the state of Louisiana to have a sitting senator connected to a prostitution ring."

New York Republicans said the same thing about Eliot Spitzer last month and he quickly bowed out rather than suffer prolonged humiliation. If Vitter chooses a similar course, Louisiana's Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, would choose a replacement.

Steve Benen

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