Democratic political consultant James Carville has issued a statement condemning Sen. David Vitter's controversial TV ad that blasts Rep. John Bel Edwards for supporting bipartisan incarceration reforms as "racially charged, vicious, dishonest" and contradictory to Vitter's own statements about prison reform.
Carville also foresees a coming endorsement for Vitter from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), which he described as "one of the most pro-Jindal organization in the state and the group most committed to continuing Bobby Jindal’s policies."
In his statement, a copy of which was sent to Gambit by Carville, the veteran consultant and New Orleans resident says he hopes that if LABI chooses to endorse Vitter that the group will "accompany its endorsement with a statement expressing discomfort with Sen. Vitter’s universally condemned ad, and a statement that LABI has received assurances that Sen. Vitter’s future ads will be ideological and not racial in content and tone.”
Here is the full text of Carville's statement:
“I have watched with growing alarm and dismay as Senator David Vitter has stooped to new lows in his desperate attempts to discredit the exemplary military and public service record of Rep. John Bel Edwards. I can no longer just watch. As a lifelong Louisianan, I must speak out.
“Columnists and political observers from conservative Jim Beam of the Lake Charles American Press to the more liberal Bob Mann of the New Orleans Times-Picayune have called out Sen. Vitter for his racially charged, vicious, dishonest TV ad that distorts Rep. Edwards's support of bipartisan incarceration reform efforts. The ad is not only dishonest, but it also contradicts a direct statement that Sen. Vitter himself made in the Oct. 1 WDSU-TV debate. In that debate, Sen. Vitter joined every other candidate in the governor’s race in endorsing prison reform by saying, ‘We warehouse way too many nonviolent criminals in Louisiana.’ So now Sen. Vitter can add hypocrisy to the new lows of his campaign.
“A big endorsement coming this week for David Vitter may be from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, one of the most pro-Jindal organizations in the state and the group most committed to continuing Bobby Jindal’s policies. Endorsing Vitter, if LABI chooses to do so, makes perfect political sense for that organization. LABI has every moral, legal and constitutional right to advocate for the continuation of Jindal’s policies. But I would humbly ask LABI to accompany its endorsement with a statement expressing discomfort with Sen. Vitter’s universally condemned ad, and a statement that LABI has received assurances that Sen. Vitter’s future ads will be ideological and not racial in content and tone.
“Louisiana has many pressing problems with our budget, our disappearing coastline, our underfunded hospitals and universities, our dilapidated highways and bridges, our high poverty rate and our need to invest heavily in early childhood education. Let’s not add ‘overcoming Sen. Vitter’s lowbrow campaign’ to that God-awful to-do list.”