While the 2016 Republican presidential candidates were debating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Tuesday night, another debate was taking place in Louisiana. John Bel Edwards (D) and David Vitter (R) locked horns in their bid to be the state’s next Governor. Louisiana’s run-off election between Edwards and Vitter will be held on Saturday, November 21st.
As is often the case in Louisiana politics, the exchange turned nasty with both candidates hurling accusations and insults at one another. Vitter took issue with a hard hitting Edward’s campaign ad that ends by announcing that Vitter “chose prostitutes over patriots” while he served as Senator.
With respect to the negative ad, if it’s a low blow it’s only because that’s where you live, Senator. It’s 100 percent truthful. The fact of the matter is you didn’t say it was untrue. You want me to take it down because you don’t like it. I understand that you don’t like it. It hits you where you live.
In doing so, Edwards seems to be invoking the age old adage, attributed to Adlai Stevenson in 1952, as well as to other Democrats before him:
If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.
Edwards was unrelenting in the debate, continuing to hammer Vitter for his unethical behavior, without mincing words. As the debate drew near a close, Edwards didn’t hold back. Referring to Vitter, Edwards asserted:
You’re a liar and you’re a cheater and you’re a stealer and I don’t tolerate that.
Three recent polls have Edwards leading Vitter in the Louisiana Governor’s race, but John Bel Edwards saw what happened in Kentucky, where a Democrat leading in the polls lost on election night. Edwards is not taking any chances, and he seems determined to stay on the offensive, right up until the polls close on November 21st. He is probably wise to continue to pursue that no holds barred strategy. Vitter’s record of personal conduct as well as the political decisions Vitter has made make the truth about Vitter, Edwards’ best weapon. Its also a weapon the Louisiana Democrat isn’t afraid to use.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.