Lugar offers counsel, not campaign stops to Mourdock
May 27th, 2012
03:51 PM ET
11 years ago

Lugar offers counsel, not campaign stops to Mourdock

Washington (CNN) – After a bruising primary fight, defeated six-term incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar has no plans to campaign on behalf of his former rival.

But the Indiana senator on Sunday said he has offered advice about how to be a “constructive senator” to Richard Mourdock, the Republican nominee.

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“I hope that he will in fact begin to adopt some of those ideas, but for the time being I don’t plan an active campaign,” Lugar said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

He declined to say if he would vote for the two-term state treasurer while he offered his lukewarm support.

“I hope that Republicans in Indiana will support him because I support my leader Mitch McConnell in getting a Republican majority,” Lugar said.

Although he failed to win his primary in early May, the senior senator pushed back against the suggestion his loss held a larger message for Republicans. He instead blamed outside conservative groups like FreedomWorks and Club for Growth that backed Mourdock early in the election. He particularly faulted the barrage of negative ads against him with bringing down his previously high approval ratings among Hoosier voters.

“(The groups) had no other playground. Indiana was it because this was a place where there was an incumbent Republican senator,” Lugar said. “Not many of us running this time as a matter of fact, so they were able to come in early on.”

Mourdock attacked Lugar’s work across the aisle throughout the election while vowing to remain true to his conservative principles at the expense of bipartisanship, something of which Lugar is an ardent supporter.

"A large part of the Republican Party of Indiana believed, apparently, in the idea of individualism as opposed to community, a sense of no compromise as opposed to talking across the aisle," he said.

Lugar, a foreign policy expert, was also plagued by criticism he was no longer in touch with his constituents, an argument aided by his decision to reside primarily at his home in McLean, Virginia, outside Washington.

On Sunday, Lugar said he understood the criticism that he was not as present at local events but maintained his “priorities were right.”

"We've been very much involved in Indiana throughout this period of time with all sorts of programs, but this was just not a year in which that was necessarily appreciated," Lugar said.

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Filed under: 2012 • Dick Lugar • Indiana • Richard Mourdock
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. B

    Washington is already broken, and sending this extremist Mourdock to the senate will only exacerbate the problem.

    May 27, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. GonzoinHouston

    Indiana will eventually regret tossing Lugar. The mainstream GOP had better wake up to the fact that the TP's are actively working to take over the party, and if the mainstream doesn't take the TP's head-on, the TP's will win.

    May 27, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. King

    All repubs are.worthless, you guys onstictionism during the worst crisis of our lifetime is treasonous. You guys shout that government doesn't great jobs business does, yet when Obama took businesses from the pit of hell and set them up, so that they are making more money than ever in their wildest dreams, you guys gave every excuse for them not to reward this president and the country, and hire Americans when the president ask them to. You've called the president divisive and that he's playing class warfare. I applaud this resident for creating jobs in a time of computer system, robots and internets. This president found a way to create jobs while human labor is getting more and more obstilete every day.

    May 27, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. SciGuy

    Dick, we don't need another compromiser of principles representing us. You've done your damage, go home, play with the grand kids, draw your unconstitutional pension, and leave us alone.

    May 27, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    "Mourdock attacked Lugar’s work across the aisle throughout the election while vowing to remain true to his conservative principles at the expense of bipartisanship, something of which Lugar is an ardent supporter."

    And that, in a nutshell, is the problem with today's un-American GOBP cult.

    May 27, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. B.

    I am not a Republican, but Lugar is a moderate who was willing to cross over and work with Democrats freely and Get Things Done. More moderate Republicans are leaving because the GOP has been Highjacked buy the extremist Tea Party and will only get worse.

    Obama will look better and better as time goes buy put up against the Republican extremists which do not connect with Most Americans. Hate and divisiveness will never win anything and they will not win with it.

    May 27, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |

    Lugar,like Mitch Daniels knows that the inmates are running the nuthouse in Congress. They are glad to be out of the GOBP .

    May 27, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Sadly, Mourdock is one of the new breed of neo-con republicans who is not interested in how to be a constructive senator. He will join the party of NO, and cooperate on nothing, unless it's for the wealthy who own the neo-cons.

    May 27, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. Larry L

    He's wasting his breath. Modern conservatives are all about bigotry, radical support of the uber-rich, and Fox news talking points. They have no intention of compromising with the other half of America.

    May 27, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  10. Tommy Mack

    Democrats continue to go to the center... and Republicans go further to the right. The scary/fascist/corporatist right.

    Well done.

    May 28, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  11. CraigM

    By his own comments Richard Lugar is showing how far he has strayed from representing the people of Indiana who had send him to Wahington over the years and how far he has come in believing that to support Mitch McConnell is more important than supporting his constitutents and in reality this great American Republican. The good people of Kentucky shoud oust Mr. McConnell as he is the type of Senator that is holding our party back and our country.

    May 28, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |