Tea Party Rousts Lugar In GOP Primary
Six-term Senate veteran Richard Lugar was soundly defeated in the Indiana state Republican primary Tuesday by an opponent backed by the Tea Party and other conservative groups.
Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock won by more than 60-percent of the vote, beating all expectations from political pundits.
Mourdock waged a campaign critical of Lugar’s voting for U.S. President Barack Obama’s two Supreme Court nominees, his vote to end a filibuster on the DREAM Act, and, perhaps most importantly – a perception that he is not fiscally conservative on federal spending.
Conceeding defeat on Tuesday night, Lugar told supporters, “I hope that Richard Mourdock prevails in November so he can contribute to that Republican majority in the Senate.”
But he added that unless Mourdock “modifies his approach, he will achieve little as a legislator.”
Democrats were quick to portray Mourdock as an “extremist” and “a right-wing Tea Party ideologue who questioned the constitutionality of Medicare and Social Security, says there should be more partisanship and less compromise in Washington, and actually compared himself to Rosa Parks.”
Top Republicans have already showed support for Mourdock, who faces Democrat Rep. Joe Donnelly in the general election this fall. Leading Senate conservative Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina urged supporters of his Senate Conservatives Fund to donate heavily to Mourdock’s campaign, which has been depleted in fighting the primary battle.
“We need to act quickly to replenish Mourdock’s war chest so he can get the truth out about his record and vision for the future of this country,” Senator DeMint said.