Perkins Endorses Vitter

Posted March 13, 2009 at 3:44pm

After taking flak for his air travel antics this week, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) on Friday received a strong vote of confidence from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins (R), who had been considered a serious potential primary challenger in 2010.

“I am grateful for those who’ve encouraged me to consider returning to elected office, but this is not the right time,— Perkins wrote in a letter to Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere on Friday. “Along those lines, I would like members of the State Central Committee to know that I support Senator David Vitter’s bid for re-election in 2010.—

The statement comes at the end of a tough public relations week for Vitter, who, according to a report in Roll Call on Wednesday, caused a scene at a local airport when he tried to walk through a security gate after showing up late for a flight. Vitter has downplayed the incident but an inquiry by the Transportation Safety Administration is underway.

Those allegations have been a setback for the Senator, who has been working to rehabilitate his image, which was tarnished in 2007 after his name was linked to a Washington, D.C., prostitution ring.

In recent months, the names of several possible Vitter primary challengers have surfaced, the most well-known of which is Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne (R).

Perkins announcement Friday comes a little more than a week after former Rep. John Cooksey (R) announced he would not challenge Vitter. In his letter, Perkins, who runs a conservative Christian think tank, had nothing but praise for Louisiana’s junior Senator.

“I routinely work with David on a number of issues important to America’s families and I’ve been able to count on his support,— Perkins wrote. “David is a strong advocate for conservative principles in the U.S. Senate.—