Sen. Craig: Decision not to run for re-election pre-dated airport controversy

April 9, 2008 

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig is among the Republicans who say Louisiana GOP Sen. David Vitter’s testimony in the “D.C. Madam” prostitution case should not force his resignation, according to The Hill, a Washington, D.C., publication.

“First and foremost, in these kinds of issues, it’s the state and the relationship you have with your state that really determines where you ought to go,” Craig said in The Hill Wednesday. “That was certainly my case. The Senate itself wasn’t going to judge me. I would allow the citizens of my state to do so. And there is still strong support there.”

Craig said he intended to resign and then decided to stay in office after his arrest and guilty plea in a restroom sex sting in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. Craig has since tried to reverse his guilty plea. He told The Hill that support from Idahoans convinced him to reverse his pledge to resign last year — and that his decision not to run again pre-dated the controversy.

According to The Hill and media reports, lawyers for Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called D.C. Madam, have called on Vitter to testify in the upcoming case. The Louisiana senator last year acknowledged a “serious sin” but has spoken little about it since, and his office did not respond to calls for comment Tuesday.

Craig told The Hill he has told Vitter he regretted the fact that his case seemed to cause the media to dredge up and rehash Vitter’s situation.

“My story became a situation where my wife and I watched it almost as if it were caricatures out there being talked about,” Craig said. “It certainly wasn’t me, but that was quite typical in a 24/7 news cycle like we have today.”

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