Friday, May 04, 2012

Lugar Goes Rogue: Says Mourdock Is Unqualified And Urges Democrats To Raid Republican Primary To Save Him

Reacting like the desperate politician he is, to a new poll showing him ten points behind Richard Mourdock in next week's Republican Senate primary, Sen. Richard Lugar told reporters this afternoon at a hastily called press conference in Indianapolis that Mourdock was "unqualified" to serve in the Senate and pleaded with Democratic and independent voters to request Republican ballots in next Tuesday's primary to save him from defeat. Lugar also continued to rebuff attempts to agree to support Mourdock if he wins the Republican primary. The Star's Mary Beth Schneider has the story:

Voters will decide the fate of Lugar, a six-term incumbent, in Tuesday’s primary election. And today Lugar pleaded with all those he has helped in his career, no matter what their political party, to step up and salvage his.
“Every person in Indiana who wants me to continue, every person wherever they might be at this point, I encourage them to come out,” he said. “Come out immediately, as fast as you can.”
The poll’s 10 percentage point deficit for him, Lugar said, is not surprising given the millions of dollars spent by groups that oppose him. Those include the anti-tax Club for Growth and the tea party group FreedomWorks. There has been no similar response from the groups he has helped over the years, he said. He cited farmers, veterans, minorities, students, Jews and others as he appealed for help.
Lugar said he believes he can turn this election around, saying it would take just five additional votes per precinct for him to win.
“Turnout is the key right now, he said in a news conference at his Broad Ripple headquarters.
“I believe that right now if a majority of Hoosiers were to vote in an election, that is all Hoosiers regardless of party — Republicans, Democrats, independents, I would win,” Lugar said. “I want everybody in the state to vote for me on Tuesday. Everybody. I’m not asking anybody to cross over. I’m just saying positively ‘register your vote, because if you do not I may not be able to continue serving you. At this point, help.” . . .
Lugar, at his news conference, repeated his charge that Mourdock is not qualified to step in to the Senate and be an effective voice for Hoosiers, in part because of his inexperience and in part because of his refusal to work across the aisle.
He also has not said he will endorse Mourdock if Mourdock wins on Tuesday, insisting that he will win . . .
Lugar is obviously speaking with a forked tongue. He says he isn't urging anyone to "cross over" to vote for him, but he's asking Democrats and Independents to take a Republican ballot to cast a vote for him in the primary. Under Indiana law, only voters who support a majority of a particular party's candidates in the previous election, or who plans to support a majority of that party's candidates in the upcoming general election, is permitted to cast a vote in a party's primary election. A challenger appointed by the party can challenge a person of the other political party who attempts to cross over and cast a vote in the other party's primary election. Actual challenges are rare because of the practical difficulty in enforcing it. A number of prominent Democrats have stated that they received applications to cast absentee ballots for the Republican primary election from the Lugar campaign, further indicating an overt effort on the part of the Lugar campaign to violate the spirit of Indiana's primary election law.


Vox Populi said...

I'm a Democrat but I've voted in Republican primaries in the past. I also split my ballot in every general election. My tax dollars pay for these primary elections, and I should be able to vote in either partisan primary whether I plan to support one of their candidates or all of their candidates.

That said, I'm supporting Dick Lugar on Tuesday. He's one of the few respectable senators remaining on either side of the aisle.

Gary R. Welsh said...

You have also said you voted for Obama and Carson, Vox, so Lugar is definitely your guy.

Vox Populi said...

I've been reading Robert Caro's latest volume on Lyndon Johnson, which is as much about the politics of the times as it is about the man himself, and it makes me nostalgic for a time when "compromise" and "reaching across the aisle" weren't dirty words.

The moderates in both parties are largely gone, and that sucks donkey balls. Lugar is another of these casualties even if he pulls off a win. The primary forced him to the right and led him to play dirty.