Dick Lugar: Tea Party Cost Republicans The Senate In 2010

Here's to hoping they do it again. From TPM -- Lugar: Tea Party In 2010 ‘Killed Off’ Chance For Republican Senate: Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) appeared Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, with an important message for Republicans on
up

Here's to hoping they do it again. From TPM -- Lugar: Tea Party In 2010 ‘Killed Off’ Chance For Republican Senate:

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) appeared Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, with an important message for Republicans on Christmas: Don’t let the Tea Partiers — like the one challenging Lugar in his primary — cost the GOP in 2012.

Lugar, who was first elected to the Senate in 1976, is being challenged from the right in the Republican primary, by state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

Notably, Lugar slammed Tea Party activists and candidates from the last cycle — for costing the Republicans the chance to win the majority in 2010.

“They were people who claimed that they wanted somebody who was more of their tea party aspect, but in doing so, they killed off the Republican chances for a majority,” said Lugar. “This is one of the reasons why we have a minority in the Senate right now.”

No mention of course from Candy Crowley or Lugar about the fact that the so-called "tea party" is nothing more than the far right, TeaBircher, Koch brother funded arm of the Republican Party and that there's nothing "grass roots" about them.

Transcript via CNN below the fold.

CROWLEY: You have -- let me switch you a little bit to politics here. You have, among other challengers, a Tea Party candidate who would like go into the primary and to be the U.S. senator from Indiana. What do you think in general of the Tea Party and its effect first on legislation and its effect on politics?

LUGAR: Well, the Tea Party groups have been very effective. In Indiana, they are separate groups usually by community, as opposed to one large situation. They are very conservative Republicans. They believe in less government spending, less government, period. And they are hopeful of finding candidates who are going to be on that ticket.

CROWLEY: They think that's not you.

LUGAR: Well, I would say to them respectfully, it is me, that I have a very conservative voting record over the course of the time I've served. I'm certainly unique, I think, in the senate of having been a farmer, a small businessman, a naval officer, a mayor, a school board member -- these are grassroots functions...

CROWLEY: Do you think this is something you should have to be selling to Republicans in Indiana at this point?

LUGAR: It's not my option.

CROWLEY: I know it's probably not your preference, but you've been in congress more than 30 years, and something has changed in the atmospherics, I think, of politics that makes you I think it was the Washington Times called you one of the most vulnerable Republicans. How did that happen?

LUGAR: Well, I'm not certain I'm most vulnerable. I'm not certain it's happened. In other words, I would just say that our campaign has already enlisted hundreds of volunteers from all the backgrounds that I've talked about. We've made 517,000 calls already just to the spectrum of people who might vote in the Republican primary. They put about $4 million in the bank for me through very good fundraising at the grassroots level. I have visited with many Tea Party groups. They've not pledged support, but they understand my position, and some even are going to be voting for me.

The point I'm trying to make is that I think it is useful to understand a Republican majority in the senate is very important. And Republicans who are running for re-election ought to be supported by people who want to see that majority. And so I think the majority of Tea Party people understand that, too. What they're hopeful is...

CROWLEY: Just so I know what you mean, is you think that you have the best chance of keeping this seat Republican and that's what you're arguing?

LUGAR: Yes, no doubt from all of our polling and understanding that that is the case, and that as a matter of fact, if I was not the nominee, it might be lost. That I think is important, whether it is Tea Party or anybody else to understand, because Republicans lost the seat before in Nevada and New Jersey, for example, and Colorado. There were people who claim that they wanted somebody who was more of their Tea Party aspect, but in doing so they killed of the Republican chances for majority.

This is one of the reasons we have a minority in the Senate right now.

About Heather

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.