September 19th, 2010
10:25 AM ET
11 years ago

Murkowski: I was victim of 'smear' campaign

(CNN) – Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is defending her choice to mount a write-in campaign in the wake of her defeat to a Tea Party-backed candidate, telling CNN’s Candy Crowley she was the victim of a “smear” campaign.

“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 CNN’s Candy Crowley in an exclusive interview. “They came in, dumped $600,000 into a small market here in Alaska, and they absolutely clearly influenced the outcome.”

Murkowski lost her bid to political novice and Alaska attorney Joe Miller late last month in an upset that stunned national Republicans. But party leaders have since said they are supporting Miller, and have urged Murkowski not to mount a write-in bid. Murkowski herself resigned from her leadership post last week ahead of the write-in decision.

Speaking on CNN, the Alaska Republican said she is not concerned with making the Republican leadership happy.

“I am listening to my constituents. That's what it's all about,” she said. “It's not about trying to make the Republican Party happy … it's trying to respond to the people of the state of Alaska. I'm going to give them a choice.”

Since her announcement of a write-in bid Friday, Murkowski has faced fire from several members of her own party, including Sen. Jim DeMint, who called her a “hypocrite,” and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who said she was “cheating.”

“It's trying to respond to the people of the state of Alaska,” Murkowski told CNN in response. “I'm going to give them a choice. And if the people on November 2 say, we don't like her, that's fine. But that's part of what we're doing here. That's part of the process as well.”

Murkowski also suggested that DeMint – who has repeatedly supported Tea Party-backed candidates over establishment picks this election cycle – may be waging a civil war within the GOP.

“I think he has made people uncomfortable. I think that he has kind of rattled the cages, whether it advances to a full-on civil war, I don't know. What I’m looking at right now is what's going on in my state. I'm responding to that. And quite honestly, what's happening within the conference is - I’m not focused on that. I'm focused on what's going on here back home,” she said.

Filed under: Lisa Murkowski
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. martyjm

    She realy should respect the primary outcome. Reminds me Leiberman

    September 19, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Bill

    Boo hoo

    So when the Lisa Murkowski refers to the supporters of the winning primary candidate as 'extremists' that's not a smear?

    It politics senator... you lost fair and square

    and the GOP has been doing a excellent job of smearing any and all who are not acceptable to the 'establishment'

    So if a write-in campaign can keep you in your public sector parasitie job – go for it

    September 19, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. Omarp

    Save this beatiful country...close the border..repeal Obama care..stop kissing the hand of islam..get all these liberal bums out.

    September 19, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. rockothethemobster

    Wa-wa-wa...get over it , you LOST....go do the dishes or make a pie..just go away, we sent you a message

    September 19, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. ron

    The TEA party is a smear campaign .

    September 19, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. josephine

    VOTE DEMOCRATIC ACROSS THE BOARD!!!! It may be a struggle right now but the country is back on the right track. Let us keep up with the progress albeit slow rather than regress even more.

    September 19, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Mark

    Well, it worked for Lieberman, maybe it will work for her.

    September 19, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. jim

    This is like crawling into a dumpster and complaining because you get dirty! People don't "play fair" in the dirtiest "profession" in the world!

    September 19, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. CBR

    It is Senator Murkowski's right to run as a write-in. If she feels the odds were unfair in the race then she should run. The primary is to nominate a person in a party thus Joe Miller got the nod. It ls up to all the voters in Alaska to decide the Senator's fate.

    September 19, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. Amy

    I am not a fan of Lisa, but she's wayyy better than Joe Miller and this neo-nazi's known as the Tea Party. They want a return to traditional Constitutional values? Those values of freedom got us where we are today, so how is today NOT already a return to traditional Constitutional values?

    Don't propose taking people's freedoms away (or denying freedoms) and say it's for the Constitution.

    September 19, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. not rich

    I love it when the insurgent splits the party and wins and then the ousted incumbent decides to split the party even further to mount a write in campaign. I think the Alaska is the future of the Tea Party and it doesn't bode well for Republicans in November.

    September 19, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. TeaBaggerIgnorance

    Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, where have you been?? Smears is all the Baggers AND the GOP has. Must really hurt to have it turned on you. Fortunately, the Baggers are fading fast and are taking the GOP with them.

    September 19, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. William Wallace

    What a sore loser! Sounds more like a Democrat.

    September 19, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. Bengus81

    I LOVE watching these clown car Republicans battle other Republicans. That whole party is totally fractured. What a HOOT!!!!

    September 19, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. nowar

    maybe if she wins, she can resign and write a book and get a slot on fox. repubs=more$

    September 19, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Bengus81

    Suppose those Tea Bangers just happen to have 600k laying around to dump into a campaign?? Nope,you just got bought out by the billionaire Koch brothers who OWN the Tea Party and let them do THEIR dirty work for them.

    September 19, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Publius Novus

    Why should she "respect" the primary outcome? She is respecting it. The outcome of the primary was simply that she cannot run with an "R" reside her name, and the RSCC will not be sending her baskets of money. She has the right to run a write in campaign, just like any other citizen of Alaska. We call this "democracy." Take it or leave it.

    September 19, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. sun52shine

    keep up the good fight – you desire to be treated better!

    September 19, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. nopology

    A sitting senator- an incumbent-a legacy- and obviously respects the system that bore her to the halls of congress. Crazy ass Tpaty-ya think! Too bad nobody paid attention 1 1/2 yrs ago. While I'm at it I gotta say I love the effects of all that wonderful legislation passed by the CURRENT administration. 26% plus on credit cards, a bunch of charges by the bank, increased (upon increase) in insurance costs. .
    Tea, coffee, koolaid. . ?

    September 19, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Rich

    The Republican party is dead.

    It was a suicide.

    September 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. Clwyd

    As republican Colin Powell said today, "The slogans from the right of my party are fine, but they need to give us an agenda!" As an observer, we've been told this agenda was coming in May, then Aug, then after the primaries! So where the heck is it? These right wing nuts are too busy working witchcraft to get down to business. I loved Miller's call in Alaska that Unemployment benefits are Un-Constitutional. So let's cut 6 million more in the in the ranks of the unemployed with no benefits and raise the rate to 12%. Is that what these teabuggers are calling for? The republicans almost ruined us economically once with 8 years of bush and now they want to finsh the job?

    September 19, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Rose

    To everyone who claims the GOP is great at smearing tactics, look back at the 2008 Presidential election. Obama smeared McCain with some pretty awful statements. Laughing because he could not send an Email as soon as they found out he couldn't do it because of injuries they pulled the ad. Obama did nothing but smear Bush in every speech he made. The Dems are pro's at smear campaigns. They have no room to talk. Pelosi is the Queen of smear calling people who are Grass Roots astro turf and un-american.

    September 19, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Northdakota

    O M G.... who IS this person. Is this what Alaska wants, a whiner, a VICTIM??? Someone who THINKS she owns the Senate seat?? WOW... what a loser!!

    September 19, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. Alan

    It's not over till it's over...Senator Murkowsky is a brave person and I applaud her for presenting herself on the write in ballot. All the analysts, pundits, newscasters, and lunatics like myself and others who write in comments have no idea how it will play out in November. Some Democrats will vote for this woman. Some Republicans will vote for her. We do not yet live in a country where others citizens are breathing down your back as you vote. Mind you...we are awfully close to that!

    September 19, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. ccm123

    Again, when your party courts crazy,this is the result. It simply does not matter if what they say is totally a lie or lacking in facts. To them, they either do not want to hear facts or they truly believe in their own reality. In their world, Obama is a Muslim, a socialist and a Kenyan.

    September 19, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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