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City by the, The Voice of Michigan City, Indiana > City by the lake > City Talk > Election Headquarters

WASHINGTON – Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar isn’t helping the Republican who beat him in this month’s primary get elected in the fall.

“For the time being, I don’t plan an active campaign,” Lugar said on CBS’s “Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer” today.

Lugar repeated what he said primary night, that he hopes Hoosiers will vote for state Treasurer Richard Mourdock because he wants Republicans to take control of the Senate.

But Lugar also repeated his criticism that Mourdock won’t be an effective senator unless he drops his position that Washington needs less bipartisanship.

“I’ve offered advice to my former opponent and now candidate as to the kind of way he might be a constructive senator, how he can make any difference whatsoever,” Lugar said. “I hope that he will in fact begin to adopt some of those ideas.”

Mourdock has said he wants to help build the GOP majority in Washington so that bipartisanship will mean that Democrats will have to join with Republicans. During the primary, in which Mourdock won 61 percent of the vote, Mourdock and his supporters criticized Lugar for being too willing to work with President Barack Obama and other Democrats.

Lugar said today that a main reason for his defeat was that “a large portion of the Republican Party of Indiana believed, apparently, in the idea of individualism as opposed to community, a sense of compromise, or a sense of talking across the aisle.”

Asked whether other issues were a factor, Lugar, 80, said some mentioned his age, his 36 years in office, and the complaint by some GOP county chairman that he hadn’t attended their annual fundraising dinners in part because of the time he spent time traveling overseas on foreign policy issues.

“I understand that,” Lugar said. “I’m just saying in terms of service to the country as I saw it, I think our priorities were right. We’ve been very much involved in Indiana throughout this period of time with all sorts of programs. But this was just not a year in which that was necessarily appreciated.”

Lugar said Hoosiers had seemed to agree with his approach, giving him high approval ratings until national groups -- including the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks for America, and the National Rifle Association – ran ads to convince them otherwise.

In addition to being hit with a barrage of negative ads, Lugar and his backers also ran attacks ads against Mourdock.

Lugar said it’s very difficult to get elected running an entirely positive campaign, but it can and should be done.

“The country really is looking for answers, whether it be the taxation problem, the budget problem, our problems with allies or enemies abroad,” Lugar said. “There have to be people who are putting it together, who bring about a sense of community in addition to individualism."

By Dan Carden, (317) 637-9078

INDIANAPOLIS | A new group calling themselves "Republicans for Donnelly" announced Thursday they hope to persuade supporters of Republican U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar to vote for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly.

Using advertising and personal appeals, the six charter members of Republicans for Donnelly said they will reach out to Republicans turned off by State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who defeated Lugar in the May primary election.

"Hoosiers have been lucky to have Dick Lugar for the length of time we had; he was a model for the way somebody should conduct themselves in the Senate," said Kevin Kelly, of Granger. "Joe is much more along the lines of the great statesman that we've had in Senator Lugar than what we would see in the other candidate."

Bob Weaver, of Rochester, said Mourdock's stated refusal to ever compromise with Democrats led him to support Donnelly.

"In talking to Joe I realized you need to compromise to settle differences," Weaver said. "It's better to get a piece of the pie than none of the pie."

Mourdock spokesman Chris Conner shrugged off word of the new group and pointed out Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Lugar supporter, and every Republican statewide official has endorsed Mourdock.

"We are looking forward to the fall election in which the differences between our campaign and Donnelly will be overtly clear to all Hoosier voters," Conner said.

Donnelly said he is the only choice for voters who want to end partisan gridlock.

"I pledge to put my country before my party and work with anyone and everyone to get things done for Hoosiers," Donnelly said.
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