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Young Guns Support Elderly RINO

6:05 PM, Apr 25, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Politico reports that the Young Guns Network, "a group affiliated with two former aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor," just spent $104,628.00 to support six-term incumbent senator Richard Lugar in his primary battle to hold his seat against state treasurer Richard Mourdock. The money, according to disclosures, went to "mailers" in favor of the 80-year-old Lugar, who now looks likely to lose to his more conservative challenger.

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"Young Guns ... was designed to help leaders like Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy chart a new course for the center-right movement and the House majority,” Young Guns Action Fund super PAC founder John Murray has said. It's not clear how this donation to Lugar furthers that cause. And it's not clear why Young Guns is meddling in a GOP Senate primary. Indeed, Mike Pence, another young gun-type House member who's now running for Indiana governor, has conspicuously failed to endorse Lugar for reelection.

More important: $100,000 could go a long way to supporting a Republican against a Democrat this year in a competitive House race. Is helping a six-term Senate incumbent who's not so conservative try to beat back a conservative primary challenge by someone who would hold the Senate seat for the GOP really the best use of that money? Is it the use donors to Young Guns expected? And if Lugar loses (as many expect), won't this expenditure be particularly embarrassing?

UPDATE: It's also worth noting that Indiana's junior senator, Republican Dan Coats, has also withheld an endorsement of Lugar.

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