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.
Louisiana’s statewide primary election on Oct. 24 provided lots of fireworks and a few surprises. In the governor’s race, state Rep. John Bel Edwards garnered an impressive 40 percent of the vote while erstwhile frontrunner David Vitter sputtered into second place with a mere 23 percent. Given the events and revelations of the primary’s final 10 days, if the election were this coming Saturday instead of this past Saturday, Vitter might have finished out of the money entirely. Timing is everything.
Here are the unofficial returns, according to the Secretary of State’s office:
John Bel Edwards, 40 percent
David Vitter, 23 percent
Scott Angelle, 19 percent
Jay Dardenne, 15 percent
All others, 3 percent
Before I dissect Saturday’s returns, I want to say that the gubernatorial runoff is anything but a foregone conclusion. Edwards’s strong finish gives him needed momentum going into the four-week runoff (the general election is Nov. 21), but anyone who underestimates David Vitter is a fool. Louisiana’s senior senator may be the most disliked politician in the state, but he’s also the most capable when it comes to waging electoral combat. And while Edwards clearly has momentum on his side, history in on Vitter’s side. Louisiana hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office since 2008.
That could change by Nov. 21. Indeed, the Edwards-Vitter runoff will be the ultimate test of the notion that a Dem cannot win statewide in Louisiana. Edwards is as close as the Democrats can get to a perfect candidate for governor — West Point grad, U.S. Army Ranger and 82nd Airborne commander, solid legislative record, history of working well with Republicans as well as Democrats, Catholic, pro-life, pro-gun, rural but with appeal to urban voters. Vitter, meanwhile, is about the most flawed Republican you could imagine — disliked intensely even by members of his own party, self-righteous, hypocritical, ruthless, hounded by scandals (note the plural these days). If you tried to invent a tainted candidate, you’d be hard pressed to come up with somebody worse than Vitter.
National polls will be used to determine a candidate's eligibility and placement on the stage. To be eligible to appear in either segment, a candidate must have at least 1% in any one of the methodologically sound and recognized national polls conducted by: NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN and Bloomberg, released between September 17, 2015 and October 21, 2015.
To appear in the 8pm debate a candidate must have an average of 3% among these polls. The polls will be averaged and will be rounded up to 3% for any candidate with a standing of 2.5% or higher. Candidates who average below that will be invited to the 6pm debate.
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