September 19th, 2010
10:25 AM ET
4 years ago

Murkowski: I was victim of 'smear' campaign

(CNN) – Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is defending her choice to mount a write-in campaign in the wake of her defeat to a Tea Party-backed candidate, telling CNN’s Candy Crowley she was the victim of a “smear” campaign.

“What happened in my particular race, you had the Tea Party Express, this California-based group, come in at the last minute in a campaign, run a mudslinging, smear - just a terrible, terrible - campaign with lies and fabrications and mischaracterizations,” Murkowski told CNN’s Candy Crowley in an exclusive interview. “They came in, dumped $600,000 into a small market here in Alaska, and they absolutely clearly influenced the outcome.”

Murkowski lost her bid to political novice and Alaska attorney Joe Miller late last month in an upset that stunned national Republicans. But party leaders have since said they are supporting Miller, and have urged Murkowski not to mount a write-in bid. Murkowski herself resigned from her leadership post last week ahead of the write-in decision.

Speaking on CNN, the Alaska Republican said she is not concerned with making the Republican leadership happy.

“I am listening to my constituents. That's what it's all about,” she said. “It's not about trying to make the Republican Party happy … it's trying to respond to the people of the state of Alaska. I'm going to give them a choice.”

Since her announcement of a write-in bid Friday, Murkowski has faced fire from several members of her own party, including Sen. Jim DeMint, who called her a “hypocrite,” and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who said she was “cheating.”

“It's trying to respond to the people of the state of Alaska,” Murkowski told CNN in response. “I'm going to give them a choice. And if the people on November 2 say, we don't like her, that's fine. But that's part of what we're doing here. That's part of the process as well.”

Murkowski also suggested that DeMint – who has repeatedly supported Tea Party-backed candidates over establishment picks this election cycle – may be waging a civil war within the GOP.

“I think he has made people uncomfortable. I think that he has kind of rattled the cages, whether it advances to a full-on civil war, I don't know. What I’m looking at right now is what's going on in my state. I'm responding to that. And quite honestly, what's happening within the conference is - I’m not focused on that. I'm focused on what's going on here back home,” she said.


Filed under: Lisa Murkowski
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Steve851

    Poor baby. What a victim! Obviously, she belongs in the Democrat party.

    September 19, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. Marie MD

    Ya think! The half term governor targeted you and there's no match, in Alaska anyway, for this woman. Anywhere else she is just a gnat.
    BTW – where is she keeping her special needs child? She seems to spend more time running around with her children who, obviously, don't go to school than at home nurturing.
    The real Grizzly bears take better care of their young than this woman.

    September 19, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. vic, Nashville TN

    Tea party comments about our president socialist, Muslim etc

    Now look Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell supported by Tea Party
    Answer Karl Rove questions about Christine O’Donnell
    We can’t point the fingers if we are not perfect

    Tea party must stay out of GOP

    September 19, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Willa-PA

    I am not a replican, but, we are in big trouble if any of the teapartiers get into office. It is a shame that the moderate republicans, who, sometimes, at least compromise...are all voted out. I am sure Pres. Obama will have a lot to veto and then absolutely nothing gets done. It is good he did what he did already because eventuall people will see that he did the right thing.

    September 19, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. Willa-PA

    Correction: "republican"

    September 19, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Linda Ermalinski

    The will of the people said step down. Your lost the primary. Why have a primary.

    September 19, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    That's right Lisa, YOUR PARTY is GREAT at smearing people!

    September 19, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. GI Joe

    The republican far right sure learned how to do the "swift-boating" - they're using it on their own to generate more hate and fear.

    September 19, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. Fed Up

    Lisa was an incumbent. People are fed up. She did enough of a smear campaign on herself. Vote 'em in. Vote 'em out.

    September 19, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. Cindy

    What a frealling cry baby. You ran you lost – get over yourself.

    September 19, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Stop whining and accept the decision of the people. You seem to have forgotten whoyou work for!!

    September 19, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. ChumBucket

    Murkowski lost. She should now find another way to make a difference if she wants, then run again in another election later, not act like a spoiled little brat.

    Having said that... If she runs, she's just going to split the democrat vote, not the repub vote, no repub in their right mind would vote for her now.

    September 19, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. ruty

    I agree with this lady. It SHOULD be against the law to mention the name of anyone you are running against. The smear tactics are unfair down right tacky. The public would NOT have to listen to all the BS until election time.

    September 19, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. Get A Grip

    She's just upset her money train has come to a end. Put your big girl panties on Murkowski and get a real job....time to move on.

    September 19, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. Anthony Patrick

    Maybe it was the same group of people that smeared Sen John Kerry and falsified his Vietnam War record in 2004 when he ran against Bush Jr... the Republicans!

    September 19, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. jim

    It's so obvious this lady is adopting a page from Obama's playbook,"I'm a victum of a smear campaign"

    September 19, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. guy

    sounds familiar.......A Utah Mormon group channels money into California to promote Prop 8.....politics is dirty, what else is new?

    September 19, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. reggie from LA

    I feel her pain, but how can she be so naive to think that her party's race is about responding to constituent needs. You know, the poor and middle class. "They are about winning, ma'am." They don't give a flying rat about what happens after. They never really do. I see Senator Demented has inserted "hisself from way down in South Carolina." He should just summarily brush aside Alvin Greene and get on with his business and let Ms Murkowski attend to hers. Man, that Alvin Greene thing is a real piece of work. I don't blame Mr Greene, I'd gamble my only $10,000.00 away on a race I could hardly, possibly think about winning too. Mr Clyburn, I smell the same rat you do.

    September 19, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. Annie, Atlanta

    Personally, I think she was needlessly attacked by Miller. What I find interesting is why didn't Big Oil come to her defense? Do they own Miller just a little more than they owned her? Interesting.

    Steve851 – So much for Americans working for a common cause, huh? I guess these days its just "them and us," right?

    September 19, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Snow

    Hey Marie MD-For a gnat she has has been very effective all across the country getting Tea Party Candidates into the general election this November. The only one who has done more to mobilize the Republican Party is obama and that is bad news for the democrats.

    September 19, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Courtney

    I am not a Republican, but I hope this lady wins. The Tea Party needs to be defeated in November. They are a bunch of screwballs. I hope the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies on October 30th in Washington changes the election for good and gets rid of those tea baggers, one and for all.

    September 19, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. pkb

    This is YOUR party, Ms. Murkowski. This is what Democratic leaders can't get thru their heads: These extremist Republicans do not have values and turn about is fair play. Playing partisan politics DOES NOT work! If we Dems had wanted Republicans, we'd have voted for them!!! Get with Dems!!

    September 19, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. Safely in the lower 48

    Apparently she isn't "listening to her constituents. If she were, she'd bow out gracefully. Maybe if more of "her constituents" showed up at the polls she would be in this mess. Move along lady, nothing to see here.

    September 19, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Linda C

    It was Bush's fault.

    September 19, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. OneMoreCarol

    Me Me Me Murkowski.

    Pride goeth before a fall.

    September 19, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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