Monday, September 24, 2012

Lugar Reaffirms Support For Mourdock

A consummate pot stirrer desperate for attention recently got his name in the news by suggesting that Sen. Richard Lugar's comments that he was not actively campaigning for Richard Mourdock's election should be interpreted as meaning that he is not backing the Republican candidate's campaign against Joe Donnelly to succeed him in the Senate. Human Events' John Gizzi gets a different take from the senator's staff:

“Yes, the senator is supporting Treasurer Mourdock,” Lugar press secretary Andy Fisher told us Friday. “On the night of the Friday election (when Mourdock defeated Lugar by a margin of 3-to-2), he said he would vote for him in November.”

Fisher also pointed out that, in July, Mourdock “was introduced by the senator to a luncheon of Republican senators.”
Confusion as to whether Lugar is supporting the Republican who defeated him stems from an interview with the senator and onetime Indianapolis mayor posted five days ago on IndyPolitics.org. In that interview, Lugar said he would not campaign in the fall for Mourdock, who won the nationally-watched Senate primary in May with strong backing from the tea party movement as well as most GOP county committees in the Hoosier State.

“I’ve not been a factor in the campaign, and I do not intend to do so,” Lugar told the online political journal.

Spokesman Fisher confirmed to Human Events that the 80-year old Lugar “indicated he won’t do other activities” in the fall campaign, but emphasized “he is supporting Treasurer Mourdock.”
I don't think anyone would have expected the 80-year old Lugar to go out and actively campaign for Mourdock or any other Republican candidate this fall after losing the primary election in May. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't be out campaigning for other candidates either. His 36 years in the Senate are coming to a close and it's time to move on. If he wasn't supporting Mourdock, he wouldn't have shied away from saying so but he didn't.

There's been a lot of talk about Mourdock having a tough time selling himself to so-called Lugar Republicans, who will supposedly decide the race. That's not his problem. Voters could care less whether Lugar is backing him or not. His problem has been poor messaging since he won his upset victory over Lugar. His media campaign has been piss poor, and he has essentially allowed his opponent to define him as the "It's my way or the highway" candidate without any effective response. There has been absolutely no attempt to humanize the man, who has been demonized non-stop on TV and radio ads this past year. Mourdock is having a difficult time closing the deal with voters because he's allowed himself to be defined by his opponents. I'm not sure that there's enough weeks left in this campaign to rescue his candidacy. At this point, he may have to rely on Mitt Romney's coattails or anti-Obama sentiments in the Hoosier state to carry him on election day, and I have my doubts as to whether either will be enough to make a difference.

4 comments:

Josh Featherstone said...

Riding Romney's coattails?

True, Romney will probably win Indiana. But I don't think many are excited about him.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I agree that Romney will carry Indiana easily on the strength of anti-Obama sentiment as opposed to his personal strengths, sort of the same way the Bushes carried Indiana easily.

Indy Student said...

I think if anyone has coattails on the GOP side, it'd be Mike Pence. A few joint appearances or Pence making an ad for Mourdock could really help.

Gary R. Welsh said...

People thought that Evan Bayh's coattails would help Joe Hogsett when he was running against Dan Coats for the Senate back in 1992, but he didn't wind up helping him much at all, even as Bayh won his race against Pearson in a landslide.