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Indiana’s Lugar backs tea party Mourdock in Senate run

After rumors that the long-time Hoosier senator would not support Richard Mourdock in the fall, the office of Sen. Dick Lugar confirms that Mourdock will have his vote.

In response to repeated queries from conservatives as to whether Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) is supporting the conservative Republican who defeated the 36-year incumbent for renomination this year, Human Events called Lugarâ??s office and asked whether the lameduck incumbent is backing State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, now locked in a tight contest with Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly.

â??Yes, the senator is supporting Treasurer Mourdock,â?ť Lugar press secretary Andy Fisher told us Friday. â??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.â?ť

Fisher also pointed out that, in July, Mourdock â??was introduced by the senator to a luncheon of Republican senators.â?ť

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.

â??Iâ??ve not been a factor in the campaign, and I do not intend to do so,â?ť Lugar told the online political journal.

Spokesman Fisher confirmed to Human Events that the 80-year old Lugar â??indicated he wonâ??t do other activitiesâ?ť in the fall campaign, but emphasized â??he is supporting Treasurer Mourdock.â?ť

Lugarâ??s position — that he supports Mourdock but wonâ??t campaign in the fall — is actually quite magnanimous compared to those of a number of the Republican senators who have been denied renomination since World War II. Sen. Robert LaFollette, Jr. (R-Wisc.), upset by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Joe McCarthy in the 1946 primary, simply wired his triumphant opponent a one-word statement: â??Congratulations.â?ť Senate GOP Whip Tom Kuchel, after losing the 1968 primary to Californiaâ??s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Max Rafferty, actually let supporters float rumors he was available to replace Rafferty on the November ballot as the Republican nomineeâ??s campaign began to flounder later in the summer. Liberal Republican Sen. Jacob Javits lost the 1980 primary in New York to Al Dâ??Amato and continued to campaign in the fall as the candidate of the stateâ??s Liberal Party.

The latest statements from Lugarâ??s office comes at a time that the latest Howey-DePauw Poll showed Mourdock and Democrat Donnelly tied at 35 percent each among likely voters in Indiana. Obviously sensing a win, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee recently pumped in $516,000 on TV advertising in the state. The National Republican Senatorial Committee will launch a $650,000 TV broadside on Mourdockâ??s behalf and both Republican Sens. Dan Coats (Ind.) and Rob Portman (Ohio) will campaign for Mourdock. GOP Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan appeared with Mourdock last week and urged Indiana voters to â??please, pleaseâ?ť elected him senator.

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Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ?ť and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ?ť and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â?ť video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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Indiana’s Lugar backs tea party Mourdock in Senate run

In response to repeated queries from conservatives as to whether Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) is supporting the conservative Republican who defeated the 36-year incumbent for renomination this year, Human Events called Lugar’s office and asked whether the lameduck incumbent is backing State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, now locked in a tight contest with Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly.

“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.”

Lugar’s position — that he supports Mourdock but won’t campaign in the fall — is actually quite magnanimous compared to those of a number of the Republican senators who have been denied renomination since World War II. Sen. Robert LaFollette, Jr. (R-Wisc.), upset by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Joe McCarthy in the 1946 primary, simply wired his triumphant opponent a one-word statement: “Congratulations.” Senate GOP Whip Tom Kuchel, after losing the 1968 primary to California’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Max Rafferty, actually let supporters float rumors he was available to replace Rafferty on the November ballot as the Republican nominee’s campaign began to flounder later in the summer. Liberal Republican Sen. Jacob Javits lost the 1980 primary in New York to Al D’Amato and continued to campaign in the fall as the candidate of the state’s Liberal Party.

The latest statements from Lugar’s office comes at a time that the latest Howey-DePauw Poll showed Mourdock and Democrat Donnelly tied at 35 percent each among likely voters in Indiana. Obviously sensing a win, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee recently pumped in $516,000 on TV advertising in the state. The National Republican Senatorial Committee will launch a $650,000 TV broadside on Mourdock’s behalf and both Republican Sens. Dan Coats (Ind.) and Rob Portman (Ohio) will campaign for Mourdock. GOP Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan appeared with Mourdock last week and urged Indiana voters to “please, please” elected him senator.

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