(CNN) – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels stars in a new television ad released Sunday by Sen. Dick Lugar’s re-election campaign, defending the longtime Republican senator against intra-party opposition.
“The truth can take a beating in campaign time, and this year it’s Dick Lugar on the receiving end,” Daniels says in the ad. “It’s funny in a way, these folks from elsewhere, here telling us who’s a real Hoosier.”
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Major conservative groups have rallied behind State Treasurer Richard Mourdock in his campaign for the Senate, marking the first serious primary challenge against Lugar since the senator first won the seat in 1976.
Painting Lugar as a Washington insider, critics point to the incumbent’s history of working across the aisle with Senate Democrats in search of bipartisan agreements, as well as his votes in favor of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominees.
In this cycle, Lugar was hit especially hard when opponents questioned the senator’s eligibility, highlighting the fact he hasn’t lived in the state for decades.
The Indiana Election Division, however, ruled in February that Lugar's situation was legal due to a loophole in the state's election law, which states an individual does not need to maintain residency in the state while serving in its capacity.
Recent polls show the race in a dead heat, with only weeks to go until the May 8 primary.
Daniels, a popular governor who flirted with a presidential bid last year, has long supported Lugar over Mourdock.
“The way he votes, the way he lives, I can’t think of anyone so reflective of the thinking, principles, and ideals of our state,” Daniels said. “I’m not for Dick Lugar for what he’s done, but for what he can do.”
Daniels is also rumored to be a promising Republican vice presidential pick, though he has repeatedly pushed back against the idea.
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Sen. Luger has been an outstanding senator. However, the Republican Party courted the Tea Party and now they are having to deal with them as the Tea Party, very well funded by the crazies, tries one by one to take-out Republican senators and representatives who act decently, are willing to compromise and who vote for the best interests of the country. There is an old saying that "if you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas." And the Republican party has become infested with fleas. Myself, a former lifetime Republican, now votes only Democratic. Obama in 2012.
Really being a statesman and working for whats best for your country makes you ineligable for republican party support? Who'd guess!
This is why I quit giving money to the GOP. The lesser of two evils they are, but the established leadership will stand behind the likes of Lugar, Specter, Chaffee, etc. so when you give them your money, it winds up in the pockets of RINOs. A professional politician is a professional politician, period.
"Daniels is also rumored to be a promising Republican vice presidential pick, though he has repeatedly pushed back against the idea."
He's just one of many. It's a shame we can't harness all that "push-back" energy.
"If you don't run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we'll lose." – Ann Coulter (Fox News)
This guy reminds me of Mr. Potato Head except not as cute.
“I’m not for Dick Lugar for what he’s done, but for what he can do.”
Not that I know much about this Lugar fellow but that's...like...a really bad argument.
Mitch Daniels is not a popular governor. Lugar is 80 years old as well, time to retire. I don't like Mourdock, but I don't like Lugar either. Indiana is awful.
Who's the "real hoser?" They're both Republicans. I don't understand the question...
Let the blood flow and mud be slung!
This pretty much sums up the mind-set of the Republican Party these days... kick anyone out who has the gall to compromise with those across the isle.
That governor just signed his own career end with the t-party.
These 2 dinosours of a politions, need to let young minds come in and take down some of their traditions that won work in the 21st century. We need pragmatist to deal with a new set of ways of life, thoughts and disciplines. These old 1960s and 70s mind frames wont cut it, in this fast pace global society. If we want to stay on top for the foreseeable future, we need to pragmatist, that means do what works, and put some of the old traditional ways aside, because what worked in the old days wont work today. Go obama
Support Lugar who does not even live in the state? Support Lugar not for what he has done but for what he will do? Not a smart move, Mitch!