Friday, May 11, 2012

Has Mourdock Already Kicked The Tea Party To The Curb?

A story that ran in Politico following his historic landslide primary victory over Sen. Richard Lugar this week is giving pause to some of Richard Mourdock's most ardent tea party stories.

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.


M Theory said...

If Mourdock is distancing himself from the tea party, maybe the tea party will distance themselves from Mourdock and vote for Andy Horning in November instead.

I'm sorry the campaign did that to Paul.

Thanks for putting this on radar, Gary.

gadfly said...

Politico's spin on this story is carefully designed to elicit exactly the reaction that Advanced Indiana and Hoosiers for Fair Tax have are showing here.

First the comment attributed to Mourdock makes me wonder what the omitted quote was about:

Mourdock, mindful that his task didn’t end with his GOP primary win, has taken pains to avoid being branded a tea party creation.

“It’s hard to label me … as the tea party candidate,” Mourdock said as recently as Monday.

Second it was Diane Hubbard, not Richard Mourdock, who was calling the shots about what was to go down in the victory speech gathering. Those of us who listened to the Mourdock speech went away satisfied that he honored the efforts and loyalty of the Indiana Tea Parities and like organizations.

Finally we cannot blow past this tidbit in the Politico spin:

While undoubtedly conservative, Mourdock’s rhetoric isn’t filled with fire and brimstone.

So who among Tea Party members believes that the we are about "fire and brimstone?"

Monica Boyer said...

Mourdock did not leave the tea party. Labels are just that. Something to marginalize a candidate for a loss. We made our point on Tuesday. Now we need to man up and run THE HARDEST REPUBLICAN RACE OF OUR LIFETIME. No need to sit an sulk about labels. He stands for our values, now lets look evil directly in the eye and FIGHT JOE DONNELLY. I'm glad he is not marginalizing himself. Signed, A Conservative, Tea Party, Republican, Christian, Mom, Wife. Any more labels you need?

Seriously... lets stop getting our feelers hurt and kick some democrat butt.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I only have Paul's word to go on, but he felt that Hubbard said what she did to him in front of Politico's Catanese knowing full well that he was taking it all in and would spin it that way. She did not pull him aside and communicate privately her disapproval that he was wearing the costume he had worn to dozens of prior events. He felt that she communicated it to him for the benefit of the reporter's ears. That's what Paul communicated to me bothered him about the incident.

M Theory said...

Monica, I do not feel as if I have to pick a team. If Mourdock's campaign mistreats its own supporters, it might give me cause not to vote for him.

It might give me cause to throw support behind Andy Horning, who is probably a more honorable person.

I don't feel compelled to pick a team in the fake left vs. right paradigm of American politics.

I want to make sure I support the right candidate.

I know how loyal Paul has been to the Mourdock campaign. The slap in the face he got on election day, when the national cameras were there, was at best RUDE.

Again, Paul is owed an apology and should be honored enough to be allowed to wear whatever he damned well pleases to an event that he worked hard to make happen.

Whether or not that apology comes from Diane and/or the campaign is very telling of the kind of people they are.

So far no apology offered.

LamLawIndy said...

A couple of observations:

1. I doubt that there was some conspiracy between Diane and Dave Catanese. Nobody appreciates grassroots volunteers more than Diane! She literally worked her a** off b4 the primary marshaling hundreds of volunteers in calling, going door to door, and handing out election day materials. If Paul feels slighted by Diane, he should definitely speak to her directly. She's a friendly, warm lady who will not shy away from talking to him.

2. The fact that Chris Connor felt a need to contact Gary shows that the Mourdock campaign is definitely taking the pulse of the grassroots.

IndyDem said...

Then lets see Mourdock come out publicly and align with the Tea Party. He can get with one of those Super PACs and have them cut an ad.

Pete Boggs said...

Sovereign citizens, volunteering support, don't need "handling."

If it's to remain real, the Tea Party will insist on a genuine & acknowledged ongoing affiliation with the Mourdock & other campaigns they support.

Establishment insurgents or step ins who insist "We'll take things from here," should be kept in check, heavily vetted & managed by the campaigns, if they're considered at all.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I will be voting for Andy Horning.

Jezebel said...

Diane Hubbard is one of the most respectable and decent people I have ever met. Many of the same qualities of Mourdock himself. Which is why she is a large part of his campaign. Good lady. I do not believe for a minute it came down this way.

Patriot Paul, also a very good man, ALWAYS dresses in costume for public gatherings. Again, I do not believe he said exactly what is implicated here in this article.

Life is too short people to spend time on this nonsense. Get on with the important things like defeating Donnelly and OBAMA!