September 20th, 2010
10:28 PM ET
8 years ago

Miller: Murkowski broke her word

(CNN) - Joe Miller hit back at his on-again opponent Sen. Lisa Murkowski Monday, saying she broke her word to voters by announcing her plans to run as a write-in candidate in the Alaska Senate race.

"I won the Republican primary with the largest Republican voter turnout in the history of this state, and we've had an extraordinary number come behind this campaign in the days following that, and even more coming behind this campaign after [Murkowski] announced her write-in campaign, which of course contradicted the word she gave just a few days before the primary that she would support the victor of the Republican primary," Miller told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

Murkowski was defeated in Alaska's GOP primary by the once-little-known Miller, who enjoyed the backing of Tea Party activists and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Just a few weeks after conceding the race, Murkowski announced that she would mount a write-in campaign, following an outpouring of support that gave her a "moment of pause from her previous plans to wrap up her career as a senator," a Murkowski spokesman told CNN.

On Sunday, Murkowski blamed her loss on the Tea Party Express, telling CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that the group unfairly influenced the outcome of the race.

"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 Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union."

"They came in, dumped $600,000 into a small market here in Alaska, and they absolutely clearly influenced the outcome."

But Miller dismissed the criticism, calling Murkowski "hypocritical," and pointing to reports that Murkowski met with lobbyists in Washington prior to announcing her write-in campaign, to drum up financial support.

"We have some out-of-state money coming in, but the people supporting the campaign have a vested interest in saving this country, this is the American people saying that the system is broken and we see people moving things in the right direction," Miller said.

In a previous appearance on "John King, USA," Miller charged that the country is heading toward socialism, and went after Democrats for "expanding the entitlement state."

It's a charge that has not gone unnoticed by Democratic leaders, who have sought to portray Miller as a fringe candidate whose small-government convictions fall to the right of most Republicans.

In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," former President Bill Clinton weighed in on the Alaska race, saying of Miller: "I understand it said that [Miller] thought unemployment compensation was unconstitutional. Well putting 10 million more people in bread lines is not my idea of how to bring the economy back or balance the budget."

But Miller denied that he would abolish unemployment payments and instead called for an eventual transition back to the state level for such programs, contending that they are unsustainable at the federal level.

"The federal government has kept down the American worker, has kept down the American economy, whether it's by Obamacare, that 1099 requirement, whether it's taxation. The party of Bill Clinton is the problem," Miller said.

Filed under: 2010 • Alaska • JKUSA • Joe Miller • John King USA • Lisa Murkowski
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Bob of Lompoc

    There were 109,000 Republican votes cast. This Palin Puppy "won" by 2000 votes. That means that a shift of 1000 votes and he loses. Of course Murkowski should go back at him (and Palin).

    September 20, 2010 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  2. Clwyd

    Thank you Lisa! Anything that can be done to stop the takeover of the Republican Party from these nut cases that somehow get voters to agree with their crazies on the brain! Maybe that is just typical of all people who are residents of the state and the states of Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, California and New york to mention a few!

    September 20, 2010 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  3. Hunter of the lib hunter

    But Joe, in America Lisa can run for office in any way she wants. Being a write in is not the easiest way for her to win. You still have the inside track to declare unemployment benefits unconstitutional. If it was just about winning or losing, the republicans should have gotten a message in 2008, but it hasn't stopped them from trying to destroy the middle class.

    September 20, 2010 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  4. ruty

    Now come on Joe. Don't be catty. Oh, I forgot, you took lessons from your friend Sarah.

    September 20, 2010 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess that Miller doesn't allow people to change their respective minds. Murkowski didn't think that the primary fully relected people's views.

    September 20, 2010 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    Now be honest Republicans, I was honest with you when I ssid what Murkowsi is doing is bad, can you admit that what Joe Lieberman did was bad too???

    ...I don't think so, it is called hypocrisy and a double standard on your part, but then again, you are a Republican, you already made a deal with the Devil, and one more sin, is just one more in a million....

    ...but the Devil will get his 🙂
    ...he will

    September 20, 2010 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  7. blue

    A woman can change her mind. Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 20, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  8. John

    Want do you think that Saran Palin,TEA PARTY do nothing but Lies and racist.So i think you are the same way or Saran Palin wouldn't have back you MR MILLER.

    September 20, 2010 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  9. Griff_in_Fairbanks

    I wouldn't count on Miller's chances in the general election ... unlike other parties, the Republican Party's primary in Alaska is a closed primary. In other words, only a select few people can vote in that party's primary.

    A far wider group of people will be deciding things in the general election, many who favor Murkowski regardless of her party affiliation. Many more are worried about Miller's rhetoric and apparent catering to right wing extremists.

    September 20, 2010 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  10. Snow

    When she loses with her write in vote, her political career will be over because of this stunt. She acts like a liberal...

    September 20, 2010 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  11. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Miller is owned by Big $ Lobbyists too...who you kidding Joe? You won't be any different than Lisa hypocrite.

    September 20, 2010 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  12. Jim in Bisbee

    Wow, party of Clinton. Who was the last president who actually ran a surplus? Everyone but a ditto head knows that one.

    The whole Tea Party thing would be funny except that they are serious. I think the GOP is wondering what they were thinking of when they promoted it. Now, it is like a wildfire raging through a housing development, and the GOP is sorry they were playing with matches and gasoline.

    Maybe if the right would run on reality they wouldn't look so silly.

    September 21, 2010 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  13. Aaron

    So what if she broke her word or lied? Miller won via the spreading of lies and distortions about Murkowski via his financiers, the Tea Party and the billionaire Koch brothers. Sounds like buddy boy knows the number of votes for him in Nov will shrink dramatically with Repubs now having someone half-way sane to vote for. Besides, the Constitution did not give Dems and Repubs the sole right to run for political office in this country. It's Murkowski's right as an American citizen. Neither of the 2 major parties own the electorate.

    September 21, 2010 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  14. Ken, AZ

    If he is so sure that the American people are behind his campaign, Why is Joel crying? And just to show how uninformed Joel is, President Clinton not only reduced the size of government he also balanced the budget, created a budget surplus, and began paying down the national debt, which the GOP's hero Ronald Regan ran up.

    September 21, 2010 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  15. Anonymous

    WHAAAH! What a whiner!
    First- the election was never completed since100% of the ballots were not counted. She was down less than 1500 with 15000 to count.
    Second- less than 30% of eligable voters voted in the election- most are not even registered, so no majority gave you anything!
    Every Tea Party candidate so far has the misgiven impression they have actually won something.
    TP'ers- you have won nothing yet. You are nominees to now run in an election. Rand Paul was not annointed. O'Donnell was not a land slide winner as she cliams. Angle can't put a sentence together and barely won, so get over yoursleves.

    September 21, 2010 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  16. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    Now the Tea Party will be turning their Koch Brothers millions on Scott McAdams. He's about to be buried under an avalanche of TV attack ads. Want to actually make a difference in this election? Send McAdams a little money.

    September 21, 2010 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  17. Luke

    stop whining man, you are in the big time.

    September 21, 2010 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  18. thomas

    Miller needs to grow up to the real world !
    Mama Bears have been known to eat there young !

    September 21, 2010 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  19. maf

    So you would dish unemployment off on the State??? Many of the States already need financial assistance (ahem – the Stimulus). How are the States that can't afford it able to fend off the millions of unemployed????

    That's one of the Republican solutions??? Wow, can't wait for more fantastic ideas from the Party of NO!!

    It's not the federal government's problem. Sounds like a Republican, were OK (cause we're not spending). But the problem still exists, well, since it is a State level issue, we're still OK (cause we're not spending).

    Moronic, circular thinking, not solution based.

    September 21, 2010 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  20. Danny Cali

    I think the Joe Miller and the Tea Party is the party of "PROBLEM" for Americans.

    September 21, 2010 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  21. Not my cup of tea!

    America The Tea Party is very exetreme and have taken the GOP hostage! Guess whose next? Us! Joe Miller talks and looks like a real dirt bag. He thinks unemployment benefits, social sercurity and medicare is unconstitutional! That's big business talking points. Stop this madness!

    September 21, 2010 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  22. steven harnack

    These people seem to support everyman a candidate until someone rocks their boat by running against them. All that the primary means is that she can't run with an R next to her name, other than that she has every right to run just as everyone else in Alaska. Poor Joe is worried that he might not be going to Washington after all.

    September 21, 2010 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  23. steven harnack

    What is wrong with these folks? All of a sudden they are speaking in Palinese! He said one true thing and that is that the koch brothers have a vested interest in paying no taxes and attempting to get rid of any and all oversight of their business practices.

    September 21, 2010 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  24. Barry

    Lisa Murkowski was not is not and will never be a conservative Republican. She was beat and it is obviously she has a entitlement mentality. We don't need career politicians in the House and Senate. We need more average Americans that serve as their civic duty for a period of time and go back to their careers. It will cut down on the corruption. There should be term limits just like we have for our President. These career politicians feel we work for them and that isn't the case.

    September 21, 2010 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  25. McCain-in-4

    You have to admire Bill Clinton for one thing – he can sum up any situation simply and clearly. Joe Miller sounds very much like someone burdened with an Ideology founded in an incomplete understanding of The Constitution. Watching him back down on his original statements to abolish the Department of Education and eliminate Social Security – both not spelled out in The Constitution – speaks volumes about ulterior motives and hidden agendas.

    September 21, 2010 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
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