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Vitter Re-emerges, Asks for Privacy

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and his wife, Wendy, made a plea for privacy Monday night in their first public appearance since news reports revealed the first-term Senator’s name was included on “D.C. Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s list.

Vitter, who has missed Senate business for more than a week, is expected to return to Washington, D.C., today. At the Monday press conference, Vitter apologized again for disappointing his friends and family, pledged to regain people’s trust and said he is anxious to return to work.

Vitter, who refused to take questions, also blamed the media and his “political enemies” for trying to use the events to their advantage. And he said he would not continue to answer questions about it.

“Now having said all this, I’m not going to answer endless questions about it all over and over again,” Vitter said. “That might sell newspapers, but it wouldn’t serve my family or my constituents well at all.”

In addition to Vitter’s involvement in the D.C. Madam case, press reports also have alleged that he had a relationship with a Louisiana prostitute. Vitter said Monday, in apparent reference to those reports, that “those stories are not true.”

Vitter’s remarks made little news on Capitol Hill, especially as many wondered whether he had any plans to resign his Senate seat. Vitter was first elected in 2004.

Wendy Vitter called the matter a private one, and while acknowledging her marriage “is not perfect,” she stands behind her husband. She added that their marriage “is stronger than ever.”

“When David and I dealt with this privately years ago, I forgave David and made the decision to continue to love him and recommit to our marriage,” she said. “It was and is the right choice for me and for our family.”

— Erin P. Billings

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