When a man walked into Mourdock’s election night party dressed in a colonial outfit, his grass-roots organizing director asked him to change into a campaign T-shirt.
“This is not about the tea party tonight,” Mourdock aide Diane Hubbard firmly told the man. “This is about Richard.”
Hubbard, a co-founder of the Indianapolis Tea Party, said the tea party drifted toward Mourdock, not the other way around.
“I am actually from the tea party, and I don’t consider him [tea party],” she said. “I define a tea party candidate as someone who came through the tea party. In that way, no, he’s a Republican.”
The man referenced in the story is Paul Wheeler, who confirmed the account to me. He left Mourdock's victory party sad and disappointed. Paul has been Mourdock's strongest supporter over the past year. As I told Paul, who also worked in the trenches with some of us Tea Party types to help the unknown Greg Ballard win his upset victory over Bart Peterson only to be thrown to the curb just minutes after he secured victory, that I'm not surprised. I've been an ardent supporter of Mourdock as well. I haven't gotten so much as a thank you or kiss my ass from any one associated with his campaign. I would have hoped that Mourdock was a more honorable man than Ballard but maybe not. Was Hubbard acting on the orders of the Mourdock campaign? I don't know, but it was a totally stupid move on her part and should result in her immediate removal from the campaign if she wasn't just following orders--or at least an apology to Patriot Paul. See the message Mourdock was preaching when he announced his campaign and Patriot Paul's words in the video below:
UPDATE: Chris Connor, spokesperson for the Mourdock campaign, contacted me this afternoon to assure me that Mourdock is not putting any distance between himself and his Tea Party supporters. He was not familiar with the circumstances of the exchange Tuesday night between Wheeler and Hubbard, but he assured me that it was not a reflection of any shift in opinion by Mourdock or the campaign towards the Tea Party movement and its supporters.