May 8th, 2012
03:51 PM ET
2 years ago

On primary day, Lugar defends his value in Senate

(CNN) – At the close of one of the toughest primary challenges dealt an incumbent this year, Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana argued in an interview Tuesday that he is one of the bright spots in a body many see dimly.

"The public as a whole may be unhappy with one party or the other, but they're very unhappy with the Congress as a whole for their inability to make decisions," Lugar told CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash. "I'm a person who makes sure we do get on with it, that there is progress, and with personal vigor I argue with people.

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"I try to persuade people, I try to get votes on issues, and I hope to continue to do that," he said, touting his work on jobs and national security.

Lugar, the longest-serving Republican in the US Senate, is known for his foreign policy expertise, and especially his nuclear weapon anti-proliferation efforts. He pointed out that he has worked on the issue through "several administrations" - over a 36-year Senate career, which has included advice given to President Barack Obama.

"Whenever the president has called for me to come to the White House for consultation, either by myself or with others, I have come," Lugar said. "He has not frequently taken my advice, but I give it as an American. I think it's very important that the president hear the point of view of foreign policy that I've studied, and believe it's very important."

The senator and his conservative challenger, Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock, have split the endorsements of prominent Republicans, and the most recent poll shows Lugar trailing Mourdock by 10 points.

Polls close in the Indiana primary at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday.

He said in the interview that he was warned of the challenge and "knew that we had a campaign from the beginning," but believes that his conservative credentials are strong.

"I would just say simply my voting record has been one of almost constant opposition to the president because I am conservative," he said.

"I have 100% with the Chamber of Commerce, with the NAM, NFIB, obviously the president would not have," he continued, pointing to his voting scores with the National Association of Manufacturers and National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Reflecting on three decades in Washington, Lugar sounded reflective when asked what the Senate would be like without him.

"I think I've grown in the experience," he said. "We have learned as we have visited with Hoosiers all these years about a whole variety of objectives and goals…. I've learned a lot about the rest of the world, about the dangers that we face, and ways that I could be effective."

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Filed under: 2012 • Indiana • Richard Lugar • Senate
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    "I'm a person who makes sure we do get on with it, that there is progress, and with personal vigor I argue with people."
    -------------------------------------------------
    We need bipartisanship in Congress. Sen. Lugar is the last of a bying breed. The moderate.

    May 8, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Where are all the moderates in the Democrat Party? Oh yeah, there are none.

    May 8, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    Too bad almost none of the GOBP senators have any actual value anymore given they all march in lockstep to their GOBP cult's insane and slavish devotion to the disproven ideas of Ayn Rand.

    May 8, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. The REAL Truth...

    Once Lugar is gone, the Teapublicans can truly re-label the Grand Obstructionist Party Taliban as the party of "?No!"...
    No candidate, no platform, no policies, no impact, no compromise, no work done, and no chance in Nov.

    May 8, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. HoosiersFORMourdock

    Look at the country when lugar took power now look at it and tell me we need 4 more years of Tricky Dicky Lugar.

    May 8, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. HoosiersFORMourdock

    The GOP is going to try to flip flop on illegal immigration and LUgar with his dream act woud fit right in.

    May 8, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE
    Where are all the moderates in the Democrat Party? Oh yeah, there are none.
    -----------------------------------------
    Wrong moron. Quite the opposite. We've got quite a few Blue Dog Dems. You should be more concerned about the fascist regime your party has turned into.

    May 8, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Bruno

    "Where are all the moderates in the Democrat Party? Oh yeah, there are none."

    That may seem to be the case to those who buy into the polarizing rhetoric of the right wing fringe that claims that anyone who is not an ultra-conservative is, by definition, a liberal. Most of Americans are moderates, either somewhat right or somewhat left of center. The sooner that voters realize this, the sooner they will be able to thwart the extreme right wingers who want to turn America into a bananna republic. Just so you know, the latest Harris poll that asked Americans to define themselves on the political spectrum had the following results: 32 % said conservative, 11% said they were liberals and the rest were in the middle. Memo to the far right: Stop beating a straw man get down to the hard work of moving this country forward.

    May 8, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. HoosiersFORMourdock

    GRover Norquist is a e So you want me to choose Communist over Fascist wow what a choice death to both parties would be a gift from heaven.

    May 8, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    We've got quite a few Blue Dog Dems
    ==============================
    More lies. Name them. Many lost in 2008, the few remaining ones are leaving the Democrat Party having been labelled DINOs by the radical progressives/socialists/communists that control the Democrat Socialist Party. All were given the Lieberman treatment by the radicals. Nancy Pelosi is what passes for "moderate" in the Democrat Party these days.

    May 8, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Reagan

    Primary closing time in Indiana is actually 6pm. I work in a voter registration office in Indiana. Just wanted to let you know! :)

    May 8, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Nancy Pelosi is what passes for "moderate" in the Democrat Party these days.
    ----------------------------------------
    You just say stupid things to aggravate me don't you. This republiKlan party is not the party of Lincoln. Lincoln is rolling over in his grave.

    May 8, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS
    You just say stupid things to aggravate me don't you. This republiKlan party is not the party of Lincoln. Lincoln is rolling over in his grave
    ============================================================================================
    Like I said. Lies. Where are the names of all the moderate or Blue Dog Democrats? In case you didn;t know, Lincoln was a Republican now get that list of moderate Democrats posted or admit you're a lyin liar libtard that caught caught telling lies.

    May 8, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    After the GOBP teabaggers take Lugar out, they will join hands with the Ron Paulbots to march on Tampa to take Mitt McCain down. That will be a blast!

    May 8, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "More lies. Name them."

    Manching. Gee, that was easy and took two seconds. Is that what passes for a tough question on your planet?

    May 8, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines – Manching
    ===================================
    Oi vay.... Wrong dummy. Nobody by that name in Congress. His name is Joe Manchin!!! Now stop trying to help the dummy that originally lied about tthis. And one name is not "quite a few" as he stated.

    May 8, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. BigTBone

    Poor Dick Lugar. He'll pay the price dearly for agreeing with Obama one time on something in the past.

    Keep it up GOP/TP. Every day you alienate more and more people. Permanent vacations starting in Nov.

    May 8, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "His name is Joe Manchin!!! Now stop trying to help the dummy that originally lied about tthis. And one name is not "quite a few" as he stated."

    Ah, so you're a stickler for detail, though you don't apply that rule to yourself. Typical GOBP hypocrisy. Anyway, surely you already know you're full of it on conservative or "blue dog" Dems. Here's a partial list anyone can find online:

    Webb
    Backus
    Hoyer
    Steney

    So do you have anything to contribute besides your usual noise?

    May 8, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Today's Republicans are so radical, Reagan would now be considered a liberal if he were around today.

    May 8, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. acajunthatsagun

    Maybe Lugar needs to pull a Lieberman and run as an independent? He would certainly be a better choice for the entire country than the loon Murdock.

    May 8, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  21. tony

    I'm an independent voter. The postings on here help me decide which way to vote later. The intelligent, factual ones that is.

    May 8, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |