(CNN)– Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said officials have to be "more realistic" in their approach to problem solving in Washington, and that "consensus should not be a dirty word."
In an interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, Murkowski said, "I think what is important is how you achieve the ends here. When we're talking about reducing spending, lets not deceive people into thinking if you eliminate ear marks all of a sudden we will not be operating out of deficit. "
"We need to be more realistic when it comes to how we deal with our entitlements and that kind of spending, but right now there's a lot of very simplistic solutions out there to some very difficult and complex problems that we face as a state and as a nation."
Murkowski conceded to Tea Party-backed Joe Miller after he won the Republican primary in August. But she elected to pursue a write-in campaign after deciding she had a chance to once again win the Senate seat.
Asked about the views of the Tea Party, Murkowski said, "I think it's important to recognize that many of the issues that are brought up in the Tea Party – the issue of pushing back against government regulation, how we deal with debt and spending – these are issues we should all be focused on. Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party, non-Tea Party."
"Consensus should not be a dirty word in the political process," Murkowski said. "And yet there are some who believe that we should never be reaching across the aisle; I couldn't disagree more."
A new CNN/Time Opinion Research Corporation poll out Wednesday showed Lisa Murkowski and Joe Miller tied among likely voters.
If she wins this election, Murkowski would be the first write-in candidate to do so since Strom Thurmond won his write-in bid in 1954.