“If Dick Lugar, having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”
– John Danforth, former three-term Republican senator from Missouri and UN ambassador under President George W. Bush, in a November 2010 interview
“Today, with their permission, I present you with the names of the 77 percent of the Republican chairman of Indiana who are willing today to support me in this campaign. What’s important to note also, is that the remaining twenty-three percent are not telling me they’re committed to Mr. Lugar; they simply have a policy of not endorsing in a primary…. Honorable Chairmen, Republican leaders, Tea Party activists and friends, we must begin, because it IS OUR time, and so I’m proud to announce to you my candidacy for the United States Senate on behalf of the Great People of the Great State of Indiana!”
– Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, announcing his 2012 primary challenge to Lugar
In 2006, Lugar won re-election with 87 percent of the vote; the Democrats didn’t even bother to put a name on the ballot against him. In his previous three Senate elections, Lugar won with at least a 2-to-1 margin of victory.
But if Mourdock really does have the public commitment of three-quarters of Indiana’s GOP chairman — and there’s no evidence on which to question his claim — Lugar is in big trouble in next year’s primary.
– Jay Bookman