Sen. David Vitter (R) was the first to air a TV ad addressing his position on whether Louisiana should accept refugees fleeing civil war in Syria in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, where one attacker is thought to have entered the European Union while carrying a fake Syrian passport. And now his opponents and allied groups are piling on with just three days to go until the Nov. 21 election.
The Fund for Louisiana’s Future, a pro-Vitter group, is out with a new spot saying, “Louisianans are worried about terrorism, but state Rep. John Bel Edwards (D) said he would be partners with Obama and accommodate Syrian refugees in Louisiana.” (release)
Edwards contests the notion he’d work with President Obama to bring more refugees to the state, saying he merely meant he would keep in touch with federal authorities on the status of things.
Edwards responded with an ad saying, “It comes as no surprise that David Vitter is distorting the facts and trying to use this tragedy to save his desperate campaign,” accusing him of skipping Senate committee hearings on the refugee crisis, saying he “was AWOL when he could have made a difference.” (release)
The anti-Vitter Gumbo PAC also responded with an ad saying, “David Vitter’s lying again, this time on Syria. The truth: John Bel Edwards is against relocating Syrian refugees to Louisiana.”. (release)
OTHER NEW TV ADS. Three groups supporting Edwards also went up with another set of new spots. Louisiana Families First, a pro-Edwards group, is running a TV ad tying Vitter to Gov. Bobby Jindal (R). (release)
Gumbo PAC is also attacking Vitter on his use of a private investigator and the ordeal now allegedly under review by the FBI. (release)
The Louisiana Water Coalition is also up with their first TV ad of the runoff. It’s a positive spot promoting Edwards. The group is backed by a law firm. (release)
JINDAL ANNOUNCEMENT. Both Vitter and Edwards reacted Tuesday to news that Jindal was dropping out of the presidential race. Despite typically criticizing Jindal on the campaign trail, Vitter praised Jindal in a statement.
“Whether you agree with his politics or not, Bobby took on a great challenge of running to serve this nation at the highest level. … I’m sure Bobby is looking forward to spending time with his family.” (The Advocate)
Jindal’s announcement briefly overshadowed coverage of the governor’s race. Some analysts interpreted the timing as beneficial to Edwards. (The Advocate)
UNSAVORY CONNECTION. The Vitter campaign is questioning the role of former Rep. Cleo Fields (D) in Edwards’ campaign. Fields “remains toxic politically among many voters for having been videotaped in 1997 receiving $20,000 from Edwin W. Edwards at the former governor’s law office and stuffing the cash into his pockets.” (The Advocate)