Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) on Wednesday fired back at a fellow Republican senator who declared southern conservatives the party's biggest problem.
Sen. George Voinovich, the former governor of Ohio, made waves when he told The Columbus Dispatch "we got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns."
"It's the southerners," he said. "They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr.' People hear them and say, 'These people, they're southerners. The party's being taken over by southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?'"
Vitter -- who is looking at a potential re-election battle against adult-film star Stormy Daniels -- responded to the comments in an interview with The Washington Times, where he criticized Voinovich for voting last week against an amendment, sponsored by Vitter, which would have made it easier for people to carry concealed weapons.
"He's a moderate," the Louisiana senator said, "really wishy-washy."
Vitter -- who admitted to a "very serious sin" in 2007 after his telephone number appeared among those associated with an escort service -- said that the GOP should focus on restoring conservative values.
"I'm on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values," he said. "There are a lot of us from the South who hold those values, which I think the party is supposed to be about. We strayed from them in the past few years, and that's why we performed so badly in the national elections."