From The Advocate:
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said Friday that she is not dwelling on Gov. Bobby Jindal’s silence on the derogatory remarks leveled against her by some of his supporters.
Jindal initially publicly defended Landrieu, D-La., but that changed after conservative heavyweights began bashing her for money she got for Louisiana before voting on the controversial health-care bill.
The governor, a Republican, has refused to field media questions about whether it was inappropriate for conservatives to characterize Landrieu as a prostitute.
Landrieu said Friday that she wishes Jindal would be more robust in his defense of her.
When asked Friday to specifically address conservative commentators calling Landrieu a prostitute, Jindal issued a statement in which he said he would refuse to join in any criticism of the state’s congressional delegation. He does not mention Landrieu by name.
Jindal, who last held a news conference Nov. 4 in Baton Rouge and has not returned more than a dozen calls from reporters the past two weeks, also said in the prepared statement: “The bill is awful, but I won’t criticize our congressional delegation for fighting to correct the flawed Medicaid formula that will unfairly cost our state hundreds of millions of dollars in health-care funding if not quickly corrected.”
Conservative commentators last week called Landrieu a prostitute for voting to allow debate on the controversial health-insurance bill after securing up to $300 million in the measure to offset losses for Louisiana’s Medicaid program.
Landrieu had been undecided on the health-care measure, which was cleared for debate Nov. 21 without a vote to spare.
In the next few days, Republican Party officials in Louisiana and nationally criticized Landrieu. Fox television talk show host Glenn Beck and conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh called Landrieu a prostitute.
“So we know you’re hookin’, but you’re just not cheap,” Beck said on his Fox News program.
Limbaugh called Landrieu the most expensive prostitute in the history of prostitution.
The hole in the Medicaid funding is caused by the way the federal government calculates how much money it gives a state to treat the poor and uninsured.
Hurricane Katrina increased the state’s income, largely through insurance payments for storm damage. The temporary spike was factored into the formula, leading to an expected drop in the amount of money the federal government will pay into the state’s Medicaid program.
The state is expected to pick up more of the cost — in the neighborhood of $500 million — despite already deep budget shortfalls.
Jindal had asked Louisiana’s nine-member congressional delegation — seven of whom are Republicans — to help with the problem.
Landrieu’s proposed changes were attached to legislation that would overhaul the nation’s health-care system, a bill which Jindal and most Republicans oppose.
Landrieu said she has not decided whether to support the Senate Democrats’ health bill on final approval. She is on record as opposed to the “public option” portion to provide government-run insurance.
Jindal supported her after the Medicaid money was attached to the bill but before she announced Nov. 21 that she would vote to allow debate.
And where is Diaper David Vitter in all this? Of all the politicians in Louisiana, I think he’s the one who can definitively say whether or not Mary is a prostitute.