Indiana Senate Primary Heating Up
5:02 PM, Feb 21, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
At Politico, David Cantanese reports on how Indiana’s underfunded underdog, state treasurer Richard Mourdock, is getting some help in his challenge of six-term Senate incumbent Dick Lugar in that race’s Republican primary:
Lugar seems to be responding to this threat with a couple new television ads. The first says that his “record on cutting government spending is clear.” Watch it below:
The Club for Growth, which, as Cantanese notes, recently endorsed Mourdock, shot back at the ad with a press release calling Lugar’s spending record “abysmal.” The Club’s president, former Indiana congressman Chris Chocola, called Lugar a “pro-bailout big government Republican” in a statement.
The second ad obliquely addresses an issue the Mourdock campaign and its Tea Party allies have raised--Lugar’s Indiana residency:
The Lugar campaign dimisses the issue as a non-controversy. Here’s the second Lugar ad, which implies Mourdock, a “desperate, 11-time candidate,” is just slinging mud:
“For a 36 year incumbent U.S. Senator to lash out at his primary opponent with negative ads this early after airing only one positive ad about his own record, is a clear sign of desperation," said Mourdock spokesman Chris Conner in a statement posted on the campaign's website. Conner rebuts the ad's claim that Mourdock "[failed] to show up to his taxpayer-funded job: "Since 2007, the State Treasurer’s Office has been represented by Treasurer Mourdock or a senior staff member at over 99% of the board meetings for which he or his designee serve as a member."