Friday, April 27, 2012

Lugar Plays Military Service Card Against Mourdock

I previously reported on a misfire Lugar's 1974 Senate campaign manager Mitch Daniels made when he allowed letters to be sent out to military veterans touting Lugar's former service in the Navy and implying that his opponent, Sen. Birch Bayh, an Army veteran, had not served his country. Daniels quickly fessed up to the "mistake": "It was a mistake…an honest mistake and we admit it . . . Daniels said about 600 letters went out to Indiana military veterans by a campaign volunteer." There's no mistaking the latest attack Lugar has launched against Richard Mourdock questioning why he never served in the military. The Indiana Legislative Insight's Ed Feigenbaum reports on a recent letter Lugar's campaign mailed to Hoosier veterans:

"Why vote for a guy who didn't have the time for his country and doesn't have time for us?" The letter reminds vets that Lugar is a veteran who volunteered because he believed it was his duty, and he is a great advocate for our troops. Most importantly, he's one of just a few Senators who truly knows what it takes to keep the military strong" and "On veteran's issues, he's got the most dedicated staff in Congress working for us."
I guess former Gov. Joe Kernan, a Vietnam POW veteran, could have asked why Hoosier veterans would consider voting for his then-Republican opponent for governor, Mitch Daniels, who also sat out the Vietnam War and joined in the anti-war movement as a student at Princeton University where he was busted for dealing drugs out of his dorm room, but he was too decent of a man to do so. If Lugar is so offended by Mourdock's lack of military service, why is he using Gov. Daniels in TV ads urging his re-election? It looks like we've yet to see the bottom when it comes to running negative campaigns. Dick Lugar sets all records in that regard.


Downtown Indy said...

Mourdock should come out with a 'look, we've both taken shots at the other guy. We need to stop that pettiness and focus on the issues from here on out' statement -- and then stick to it regardless of the opposition.

patriot paul said...

Lugar was never in harm's way, never under attack and after his 1957-1960 'service' as paper pusher, he did not renew and returned to his family farm in Indiana. This is not to demean Lugar; just stating the record.

gadfly said...

Those of us who are about Dick Lugar's age know the real story about military service options back then. All high school and college graduates faced the military draft in the 1950s and through the Viet Nam conflict.

So all young men planned to dedicate at least two years to the service of Uncle Sam. It was accepted and many of us went the ROTC route while in school to give us a leg up in the military. Since Lugar attended Dennison College, he likely did not have the ROTC path to his Lieutenant, JG grade - but he served just one stint in the Navy which tells me everything that I need to know about why he volunteered.