FACT CHECK: Mourdock Inflicted His Disrespect On Senator Lugar During “Juvenile,” “Outrageous” Primary Campaign

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Just after his primary victory, Mourdock sent out a fundraising letter to supporters alleging Senator Lugar “routinely betrayed conservative voters.” “Against all odds and with the establishment working day and night to defeat me, we retired a 36-year entrenched incumbent senator, who routinely betrayed conservative voters to push through some of the most radical aspects of President Obama's agenda,” the letter read. [Howey Politics Indiana, 8/8/12]

Rothenberg: Mourdock’s Website Included “Its Share Of Outrageous And Over-The-Top Assertions That Are Obviously Misleading” About Lugar.
In March 2011, Stuart Rothenberg penned a column for Roll Call in which he wrote that “Mourdock’s Senate website also includes a ‘Lugar vs. Mourdock’ section that portrays Lugar as a far-left admirer and supporter of President Barack Obama. The section includes some accurate and fair information, but it also has its share of outrageous and over-the-top assertions that are obviously misleading. For example, in asserting that ‘Lugar appeared in a campaign television advertisement for Obama during the 2008 presidential election,’ it clearly misleads the reader to believe that Lugar offered some sort of testimonial for Obama. The truth is that Obama’s campaign used Lugar’s image in a TV spot about nuclear proliferation to present Obama in a bipartisan light and to tap the Republican’s reputation for thoughtfulness.” [Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call, 3/31/11]

Mourdock Released Video “That Insinuates Lugar And President Obama Have A Closer-Than-Appropriate Relationship.”
In July 2011, The Hill reported “Richard Mourdock, Indiana's Republican state treasurer, posted a new Web ad against his primary opponent, longtime Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), that insinuates Lugar and President Obama have a closer-than-appropriate relationship. The ad, titled ‘Dick and Barry: The Unforgettable Bromance,’ includes video of Lugar and Obama complimenting each other. It then segues into a South Park-like animation in which Lugar and Obama approach each other in front of the White House, with a rainbow appearing above them.” [The Hill, 7/21/11; Video is available here: http://youtu.be/xiucBw6UEOc]

  • Mourdock Campaign Manager Cited Urbandictionary.com To Defend “Bromance” Video. In July 2011, The Hill reported “The ad is up on Mourdock's official campaign page, which states that it was paid for by Hoosiers for Mourdock, the candidate's campaign committee. When asked for comment, Mourdock spokesman Chris Connor pointed to urbandictionary.com's definition of bromance: ‘The complicated love and affection shared by two straight males.’” [The Hill, 7/21/11]
  • Log Cabin Republican Executive Director Called The Ad “Juvenile.” In July 2011, The Hill reported “Log Cabin Republicans deputy executive director Christian Berle called the ad ‘juvenile,’ but said it showed Obama was not the bipartisan president he had promised to be in 2008. ‘From reviewing the video, it comes across as very juvenile,’ Berle said. ‘However, one of Mourdock's unintended consequences underscores that Lugar and other senators recognize that the president is not being the bipartisan person he promised to be. There's a slight subtext from my context of reading it, but I think it's really more juvenile than anything.’” [The Hill, 7/21/11]


Mourdock argued that Senator Lugar no longer had a Hoosier point of view.
“...it was Dick Lugar, he has a worldview, but no longer a Hoosier view. He was an internationalist, more than he is a Hoosier I would hear.” [Tea Party Kickoff, tracking transcript, 6/11/11]

Mourdock argued that Nunn-Lugar, Senator Lugar’s signature achievement, was funneling money from Russia to Syria and Iran, and claimed that Senator Lugar had abandoned Indiana.
“And the fact that the Nunn-Lugar amendment was a remarkable piece of legislation that helped rid the world of nuclear weapons, I get the importance of that. Especially many years ago when it was first enacted. But more and more as we’ve seen the old Soviet Union disappear, and now we’re paying money to Russia to help them dismantle things while Russia is actively trading with Syria who’s helping Iran. Money is what is called fungible, if I give you ten dollars and you give somebody else ten dollars, it’s not the same ten dollars I gave you, but if you give somebody else ten dollars than in a sense I just gave that ten dollars to them. So money is fungible. [Audience member interrupts] So in a debate format what you would probably say is, if that issue came up is, well Senator Lugar as I’m traveling around Indiana, I’ve meet a lot of people that say they haven’t seen you for years. My constituents are in Indiana, not in Tokyo. That would be something you would probably say. [Mourdock] Yeah, indeed. Next question?” [Whitley County Patriots, tracking transcript, 6/7/11]

The Wall Street Journal accused Mourdock’s campaign of playing “Mickey-Mouse politics” against Senator Lugar.
“If the new conservative opposition makes a habit of routinely using low-rent political tactics to prevail against members of their own party, it will become difficult to argue that it is the enemy of business-as-usual.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/17/12]

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