Lugar challenger gets help from conservative group
February 14th, 2012
11:22 AM ET
6 years ago

Lugar challenger gets help from conservative group

Washington (CNN) – Prominent conservative group Club for Growth threw its support Tuesday behind Richard Mourdock in his quest to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Dick Lugar.

The group's president, Chris Chocola, wrote an opinion piece in National Review Online calling for a "fiscal conservative" to represent Indiana, a mantle he said Lugar cannot claim.

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"Lugar is a good man, and in some ways he has served Indiana and our country well, but his 35-year career in Washington proves that he is no fiscal conservative," Chocola, a former Indiana representative, wrote.

He said a recent vote against a permanent ban on earmarks was the "final straw" for the group.

Lugar, the six-term senator, is locked in a tough primary fight with former Indiana State Treasurer Mourdock.

Fundraising and ads between the two candidates have increased recently ahead of the May GOP primary. Mourdock has attacked Lugar's conservative credentials and support of earmarks while Lugar has attempted to distance himself from President Barack Obama and prove his conservative bona fides.

The Senate stalwart has said he represents the best chance for Republicans to hold onto the Indiana Senate seat in 2012.

In spite of Mourdock's endorsements from conservative and tea party-affiliated organizations, Lugar told CNN's "State of the Union" in December that his record lends itself to support from the grassroots movement.

"I have a very conservative voting record over the course of the time I've served," Lugar told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "Certainly unique, I think, in the Senate, of having been a farmer, a small businessman, a Naval officer, a mayor, a school board member. These are grassroots functions that people are dealing with."

Whoever captures the nomination, a Republican is favored to win the seat, according to nonpartisan political handicappers Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg who categorize the race as "likely Republican" and "Republican favored" respectively.

Also see:

Romney seeks to unite conservatives

Protestors disrupt Santorum event, get arrested

National Review calls for Gingrich to leave race

Pro-Romney super PAC increases buy in Michigan

Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Indiana • Republicans • Richard Lugar • Senate
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Al-NY,NY

    The T-B army marches on........hello Germany, circa 1932

    February 14, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Sniffit

    He's getting help? Well, that's good. Are they helping him pray the crazy away?

    February 14, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Sniffit

    "Club for Growth " short for Club for Growth of the Exrtemely Rich's Bank Accounts at the Expense of Everyone Else and the Fiscal Health of the Fedearl Government.

    February 14, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. diridi

    This nation needs to get rid of this old junk, and make a law restricting Term-Limits on Senate and Congress. People need to speak up for this nation. o.k, This old junk, carrier politicians are hurting the nation and its economy. True.

    February 14, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |

    And why is Sen. Lugar be primaried? Oh that's right. He actually worked with the President once upon a time to secure loose nuke material. We can't have that now.

    February 14, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. steve

    your older than dirt, so time to hit the dust

    February 14, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. John in Brooklyn

    I am a lifelong Democrat and, while I do not agree with Senator Luger's stands on most issues, I do recognize him as one of the most honorable, ethical, and truly collaborative members of Congress – in either party, and in either house of Congress. Radical Indianans may choose to replace him with a Limbaugh-esque ideologue who will only contribute to the gridlock in Washington rather than serve as a solution to it – but they will do it at the expense of costing their state, and America, a truly great statesman.

    February 14, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Fair is Fair

    "This old junk, carrier politicians are hurting the nation and its economy. True."
    Interesting, diridi... so tell me. Do carrier politicians use email or do they send carrier pigeons?

    February 14, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The club for growth is a cancerous growth that has gotten out of hand.

    February 14, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. Sasha

    “If Dick Lugar, having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.” – Former Senator John Danforth (R – Missouri), November 2010

    February 14, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    No matter who the republicans put up as a candidate, they will promise that they will not work for the people of our country, but, they will work to attack women's rights, give tax cuts to those wealthy people who do not need it, attack the 160 million workers, eliminate social security and veteran's benefits, eliminate consumer safety, and eliminate collective bargaining.

    February 14, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "Do carrier politicians use email or do they send carrier pigeons?"


    February 14, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  13. Larry in Houston

    Before people make any comments or Posts – Please read the article –

    "Lugar, the six-term senator, is locked in a tough primary fight with former Indiana State Treasurer Mourdock".

    ""Lugar is a good man, and in some ways he has served Indiana and our country well, but his 35-year career in Washington""

    35 YEARS ?? and a 6th TERM SENATOR ?? and "He's Struggling for a Win" ??

    Hello ? HELLO ? Does anyone see anything wrong with this scenario ?

    February 14, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Linda

    Funny how the Republican party can only be conservative and the more conservative the better, while the Democratic Party maybe be liberal, moderate and even moderately conservative......that is why the GOP is losing and will continue to lose because they make no room for anyone who thinks outside of the conservative box. They don't want anyone who thinks differently. They want to do away with all that the middle class has worked so hard for and as Romney said he isn't worried about the poor......while they give it all ot the rich.....

    February 14, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    I could only imagine what they would do to Reagan, who tended to distance himself from Gingrich in the 1980s.. Once upon a time, Gingrich was one of the most hard line conservatives in DC 10-30 years ago. Today, he's a moderate.

    February 14, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |