Lugar: Will Not "Actively Campaign" For Mourdock
Senator critical of "former opponent" and Indiana Republicans during CBS appearance
Dick Lugar still seems to have hard feelings about his primary election loss to Richard Mourdock.
During an appearance on CBS's Face The Nation, the Republican Senator said for the first time he would not actively campaign for Mourdock in his battle with Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly. Lugar reiterated what he said in his concession speech on primary night - that he wished to see a Republican majority in the Senate. But Lugar also says he gave advice he claims to have previously given to Mourdock in hopes that he will moderate his message. "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."
In the written version of his primary night concession speech, Lugar chided Mourdock. "His embrace of an unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results for Hoosiers in the Senate," Lugar wrote. "In effect, what he has promised in this campaign is reflexive votes for a rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition to the actions and proposals of the other party." Lugar omitted the criticism from the speech he delivered to supporters after his primary loss.
During the CBS appearance, Lugar also reverted to his campaign habit of refusing to say Mourdock's name, referring to him Sunday as "my former opponent, and now candidate." The only time Lugar uttered Mourdock's name publically was in the opening paragraph of his concession speech - Mourdock's name was not in the written version of the speech.
Lugar says he still thinks "most Hoosiers" still support him, and he was critical of Indiana Republicans whom he said believe in "individualism as opposed to community," and "a sense of compromise and talking across the aisle." The 80-year-old Senator says he thinks some people voted against him because they thought he was too old, but he still lays most of the blame for his loss on outside groups like FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth, and Americans For Tax Reform spending money in support of Mourdock. "So they were able to come in early on with hundreds of thousands and finally millions of dollars in negative ads which turned around what usually is an approval I've had of 60-to-70 percent for all these years, and it went down really fast in the last two or three weeks," Lugar said Sunday.
Follow me on Twitter @WIBC_RaySteele