The Eric Cantor-affiliated Young Guns Network has recently jumped into the Indiana Senate primary on behalf of Dick Lugar, paying for mailers that criticize Lugar's opponent, Richard Mourdock, for wanting to cut federal education funding. Politico's Jonathan Martin reports why this could backfire--on House Republicans:
The group’s mailer, first reported on by POLITICO’s Maggie Haberman, calls the cut “extreme.” That’s ammunition not only for Lugar, who would be counted a surprise winner should he hold off Mourdock, but also for Democrats running against House Republicans who want to eliminate the Department of Education.
For starters, there’s the whole crew that voted to adopt the 1995 Newt Gingrich budget that assumed the elimination of the departments of Energy, Commerce and … Education. That includes current Speaker John Boehner, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who was chairman of the House Budget Committee that year.
While Boehner, Camp and Rogers have never had to worry about that vote coming back to haunt them – they’re in very safe districts – the Young Guns’ argument could easily be turned on House GOP candidates in tougher districts, including Jesse Kelly who is running to succeed former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.), who voted for the 1995 budget, Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), Allen West (R-Fla.) and others.