"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter, 46, said in a statement, which his spokesman, Joel DiGrado, confirmed to the Associated Press.
"Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling," Vitter continued. "Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there -- with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."
From Swaggart to Haggard to Cunningham and Gingrich, there's no more handy escape than to assure America that God is totally cool with your adultery/corruption/drug addiction. After all, that makes anyone who does criticize you anti-God, right?
Swaggart? Haggard? Gingrich? Yep, he's part of the same illustrious crowd. With all that implies. A 2004 Salon article written on the eve of his victory has a few troubling phrases describing Vitter's neo-fascist credentials:
*"A family-values far-right conservative" (it's all downhill from here, of course)
*"sharp-edged and uncompromising, but enormously talented at self-promotion"
*"campaigns with under-the-radar help from white supremacist David Duke"
*"many Republican politicians and operatives see Vitter as duplicitous, and many African-American leaders call him racist"
*"known for sneakily calling solo press conferences -- sometimes just hours before his fellow Republicans had planned to make a joint announcement -- in order to take credit for group initiatives that he would pass off as his own"
And Vitter's favorite issue is opposing gay marriage-- because, clearly, he's all about the sanctity of marriage. Like Swaggart, Haggard, Gingrich, etc. Interestingly enough, the Republican Vitter replaced in the House of Represenatives in 1999 resigned because of his own extramarital affairs. Something Vitter frequently used as ammunition in his own bid.
UPDATE: Vitter's other qualification for being a leading 20th century Republican? He was having another affair during the height of the Clinton impeachment mess. And while you might find this hard to believe (I'm kidding, of course), Vitter called for Clinton's resignation at the time.