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. Alex

    Nah nah nah nah... hey hey hey... goodbye! Maybe you shouldn't have tried introducing that ridiculous anti-climate bill.

    September 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Julie

    Wouldn't surprise me if the Tea Party sways the outcome of "Dancing with the Stars".

    September 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Speakclearly

    Correction on the below....thats when daddy became "Governor" of Alaska in 2002.

    September 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. harley883

    You go girl!!! the tea party has totally embarrassed the GOP and the loony tunes they have running is just insane!!!! They want to court the GOP...but the tea partys true motive is to obviously destroy the rebublican party

    September 19, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. PaulC

    There should be no doubt in anyone"s mind that the Republican party is fully capable and willing to lie on a stack of bibles and beat the fear drum with a great deal of success. They proved that in 2000 and 2004 as well as the primaries.
    Anyone who can convince a blue hair on social security and medicare that gov. run health care is a bad idea has my admiration.

    September 19, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. John

    The GOP let the Tea Party genie out of the bottle and now it won't go back in.

    Too dang bad, eh?

    September 19, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. not rich

    It is striking how easy Tea Party supporters are manipulated. With little more than 19% support nationwide, the Tea Party plays their flute like the pied piper with lofty rhetoric about saving the constitution and fiscal responsibility and the loyal rats follow. For the majority of the country they don't buy into cheap politics or rhetoric. Go Tea Party GO!

    September 19, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. Bob

    What good will it do her constituents if a democrat wins. Just another case of an elitist I am entitled loser. Some of you democrats need to get on the band wagon with the tea party. It is so time to get new blood into the system so that these elitists (whether repub or dem) are removed. Our political leaders are not listening to people of this country anymore. These elected offices are the people's offices and they don't belong to one person or one party. Term limits please.

    September 19, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Bamc

    Lisa is out for LISA and only Lisa. She has no respect for the people or voters of Alaska. "victim of a smear campaign" Who hasn't been that has ever run for office. She was voted out by the people and should stay out. She has done a great deal of smearing herself, and lost the respect and the vote of the Alaskan people. Shame on you Lisa

    September 19, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Seattle Sue

    Welcome to the Tea Party politics Lisa.

    September 19, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Clwyd

    The Repulsive Party is just plain gone to the dogs sick!

    September 19, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. rich

    We don't care about DeMints views, just another radical Republicans. Where are the wise, smart Republicans. They are uncover, not being able to speak because of the Tea Party.

    September 19, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. CBA99

    The great American experiment is over. We can no longer tolerate and live with different political opinions. We are in full verbal civil war. That said, divide up the country and based on your political affiliation and belief system, move there. Let's build large walls to make sure we keep everyone of a different political persuasion out. If you are on the liberal side and you raise a conservative child, throw them over the fence, and vice versa. Bottom line – I am tired of listening and reading BOTH points of view because NEITHER side has it right! Neither side has it totally wrong. Progress is achieved by diverse points of view reaching a compromise. The armchair political pundits don't seem to get that. Neither do the elected idiots running the country – FROM BOTH PARTIES!

    September 19, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Sumsanity

    Waa...mmm...waa, they took my seat...waa...mmm...waa... that was MY seat....waa. Shut up and go home Senator. I know. Change parties like Spector. Or become a lobbyist like Abramhof. Keep voting the bums out whatever the party. Next comes November and we can 86 the democrats en masse.

    September 19, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Enitan

    Good for you Lisa, stand for what you believed and your principle.

    Unfortunately, you have been a part of these smear campaign Republican against the other party, now you see how it feels?

    As the saying goes, what goes around, does comes back around.

    September 19, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Art

    She should stop complaining and join the unemployed ranks.The voters of Alsaka have voted! Get over this.

    September 19, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    This is what American politics has become: big money, fear and smear campaigns, and LIES from Tea Bags and GOP. It's business as usual for them now. No ideas, no policies, just win the election at all costs.

    How stupid are US voters to fall for this crap over and over and over again?

    September 19, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. rashid

    The privelige is gone, man up and go home.

    September 19, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. james

    The people will SPEAK in November , until then,f trying to intimidate people into not running ,seems delusional

    September 19, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. Donna

    Too bad that Lisa didn't worry doing what her constituents wanted BEFORE the election. She, and others like her, have found out that citizens mean business! If they continue to ignore what the majority wants, then the majority will vote representatives out of a job. She should not be permitted to be a write-in vote either. She lost in the primary so she's done. PERIOD......

    September 19, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Marry

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski is known as a reasonable and effective Senator working for the people of Alaska.
    To be attacked with a smear campaign is typical “Tea Party”. I hope, she can do a successful write-in campaign and if she cannot succeed to be elected, at least she might spare the State (and us) a “Joe Miller” future. Even if it means a Democrat goes to Washington!
    Good luck Lisa and all the best to you!

    September 19, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. thomas

    Victim or Volunteer ?
    GOP / TEA = Cannibalism

    September 19, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. james

    'where are all the sane republicans "? Well like me after bush's first term , We decided to sit out the next election, The party was still in denial for what it had done , So i sat out the next election, Now they have lost their way totally ,, So i will sit out another election.

    September 19, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. Jerry Stephani

    They eat their own.

    September 19, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Michael

    Sounds like someone is cheating maybe the Tea Party Express, Sen. Jim DeMint, or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Or perhaps it is Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. In any event, it sounds like a whole lot of cheating going on and the loosers are the residents of Alaska being whipped on by a bunch of outsiders. Another victory for american politics!

    September 19, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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