NRA hits Lugar as primary day approaches
April 9th, 2012
09:56 AM ET
11 years ago

NRA hits Lugar as primary day approaches

(CNN) – A tough battle for Indiana's Republican Senate nomination got uglier Monday as the National Rifle Association began airing television ads blasting incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar for failing to uphold gun ownership rights.

The group has endorsed Lugar's challenger, Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock, ahead of the May 8 GOP senate primary. The race against Mourdock has seen Lugar, a six-term veteran of the U.S. Senate, challenged by tea party groups and others who proclaim him to be too moderate.

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In the NRA ad, an announcer claims Lugar has forgotten his Indiana heritage after years in Washington.

"Some things shouldn't change," the announcer says in the 30-second spot. "Our Indiana values. Stewardship of the land. And the protection of our Second Amendment and hunting rights. But over 36 years in Washington, Dick Lugar has changed. He's become the only Republican candidate in Indiana with an F rating from the NRA. It's time for another change. Time to elect a senator who will protect our rights."

The NRA's assessment of Lugar as a Washington insider fits the narrative Mourdock's campaign, as well as state and national Democrats, have used to frame the contest. Lugar's residency in Indiana has been repeatedly questioned, though the senator beat back a challenge in February when the Indiana Election Commission determined he wasn't required to be a resident of Indiana to appear on the ballot – as he had been serving the state as senator while living away from the state.

In March, an election commission in Indianapolis ruled Lugar was ineligible to vote in his former precinct because he no longer resided at the address on his voter registration. Lugar has lived in McLean, Virginia since the sale of his Indianapolis home in 1977.

In their criticism of Lugar, the NRA points out the senator didn't sign onto Congressional briefs filed before the Supreme Court asserting the Second Amendment gives individual Americans the right to gun ownership. The group also points out that Lugar was endorsed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in his 2006 campaign.

"Unlike his opponent, Senator Lugar, who has a clear record of hostility toward our right to keep and bear arms, all gun owners and sportsmen in Indiana can trust that Richard Mourdock will defend their Second Amendment rights," Chris W. Cox, the chairman of the NRA Political Victory Fund, said in March.

Filed under: NRA • Richard Lugar
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. dreucalypt

    This makes me like Lugar rather better.

    April 9, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. CA Cowgirl

    The NRA has way too much power in politics. Something's not right about that. I have no problem with a person owning guns, but I feel there needs to be serious background checks before being able to purchase one. Not only that, there is no reason for anyone other than law enforcement to own automatic assault weapons period! Why do people on the street need those?

    April 9, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Bill

    The NRA ought to be abolished. A useless organization, at best.

    April 9, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. kevin

    There are slack jawed knuckle draggers who vote on this issue alone! I pray for the country.

    April 9, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. Realist

    Moderates win general elections, extremists lose them.

    Lose the center, lose the election.....Lose the center, lose the election.....Lose the center, lose the election.....

    April 9, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Gun Nuts for Christ

    Lugar is one of the fews remaining GOP who are not extremist nut cases. The NRA would be happy to have people walking around town with Uzi's and machine guns without permits. I own guns which are stored safely and handled responsibly. We don't need lunatics driving around town with loaded AR-15's. Praise the lord and pass the ammo.

    April 9, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. Willie K.

    So let's understand the logic behind this rant. A professor who has studied and taught constitutional law for most of his adult life is stupid about the constitution and law. But his critics, mostly un-educated people who have not achieved anything of any significance in their miserable lives, are smart. Makes perfect sense to me! NOT!

    April 9, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. bill

    the nra are nothing but a bunch of special interest morons who'll stop at nothing to protect their fleeting relevancy in American culture. Analogous to the tabacco groups, the nra has long lost its presitage in America

    April 9, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. Don

    National Ridiculous Association

    April 9, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    An F from that group rates an A from me. "too moderate" means death in purity party-speak. It's either go against any and all things Obama or good-bye. Goebbels is smiling on these clowns

    April 9, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  11. Arthur

    When are they going to change their name to what truly reflects their organization...National Gun Association..... ?

    April 9, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. lyn

    There's never enough guns on the street according to the NRA. Someone needs to read the Constitution closely. It mentions we need to carry arms for a well armed militia. We don't need a militia anymore, that was in the 1700's, not in 2012. We have a well armed military, nobody else needs guns except in self defense and no private citizen needs an AK47 for that. Unless they like brandishing it at political rally's.

    April 9, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. Orwell shrugs

    These days the lobbyists who want to control America need narrow minded Republican psycho fascists, which is problematic for reasonable incumbents like Lugar.

    Now if Senator Lugar had promoted the right to own a nuclear weapon he would have gotten the ok from the NRA.

    April 9, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. the dogs of war

    CA Cowgirl: the average person cannot purchase an automatic rifle. just because it has the shape of a machine gun doesnt make it an automatic weapon. it is just like a regular hunting rifle. one pull of the trigger, one bullet. who cares what it looks like. this is over your head. the kitchen is calling.

    April 9, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. BJ Anderson

    Grassley further demonstrates how destructive and vitriolic Repulicans are–totally worthless. They won't be satisfied until they destroy the country.

    April 9, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. vic , nashville ,tn

    Better NRA start their own party

    April 9, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. Uh oh. Off to moderation I go...

    NRA's motto: God and Guns. A Marriage made in Hell.

    April 9, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Michael Q

    He who lives by the gun will die by the gun! Crazy American freedom nuts is what the US of A has become. The fact a black man was elected POTUS was not and is not a reason for all you white christians to arm yourselves, but if that's what you truly believe, you need to get a little education about the world outside the close confines of your circle of friends. Do you understand the concept of peer pressure? Get a life!

    April 9, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. T'sah from Virginia

    That's right NRA – keep 'em coming so you can create more "Stand Your Ground" laws!!! (being sarcastic)

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    April 9, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Randy, San Francisco

    Lugar a moderate? Thought moderates were purged from the GOP/Tea Party some years ago.

    April 9, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Publius Novus

    Although I have never thought of Sen. Lugar as being a "moderate," it strikes me as very odd when it is a negative for a public official to be "moderate." Moderation connotes centrist policies. Centrists and moderates inhabit the great center of American politics, whether left-of-center or right-of-center or dead-on center. Centrists and moderates are the folks who get things done. We need more of them, not less.

    April 9, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. Thomas

    Why isn't it called the National Handgun Association ?

    This is America .My five year old has the right to carrie a consoled weapon to school, all children should be packing a peace. If Kids don't have guns , then only adults will !

    April 9, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Jay

    The sky is falling, Obama is coming for your guns, now watch em run to the local gun store.

    April 9, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. Mom to 3

    After the disasterous "Stand Your Ground" legislation that the NRA has been pushing all over the country, I am MORE likely to vote for any politician who DOES NOT get a good grade from the NRA. The NRA does not care about safe, responsible gun ownership anymore, they keep pushing ridiculous laws that make us all unsafe by letting people have too easy of access to guns, have guns nobody needs (machine guns) for hunting or legitimate purposes, and now enacting laws that allow people to "shoot first and ask questions later" and then face no penalties for their reckless behavior. No thank you NRA!

    April 9, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. B

    An "F" grade from the NRA would be a badge of honor to most Americans. NEW Gun Laws infest sates across this country and all of us have seen the results of these idiots in the NRA with yet more guns and more murder on the streets!

    The rest of the World just shake their heads in disbelief. America, The Great "Shining City on the Hill" More Murder and more people in jail than anyone! We are living as they did in the last century, everyone carrying guns for any reason-

    April 9, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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