Bill Clinton Takes Exception to Mourdock's No-Compromise Rule

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 03:11 PM

By Dan Weil

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Richard Mourdock won Indiana’s Republican Senate primary over veteran incumbent Richard Lugar last week with principled conservative views. But former President Bill Clinton is upset with what he sees as Mourdock’s unwillingness to compromise — though Clinton said he likes Mourdock personally.

“The Republican position that tends to prevail in these primaries as expressed by the gentleman who beat Sen. Lugar, who says, ‘I’m just against compromise, we need to stop it, it’s weak, it’s foolish, our views are irreconcilable, we have to force the American people to choose which one of us is right’ — if that prevails, we’re toast,” Clinton said at a conference in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Politico reports. “We’ll look like a bush league country.”

Mourdock’s victory will make Republicans reluctant to cooperate with their Democratic counterparts in Congress, Clinton said. “The Republicans would be scared to do it after what happened to Sen. Lugar, although there were other factors in his defeat,” he said. “There should be a big bipartisan coalition, [but] we may just have to wait until the election is over.”

Mourdock doesn’t see compromise as a winning strategy on big issues – for conservatives or for liberals, according to Politico. “You never compromise on principles,” he told CNN after his victory.

“If people on the far left have a principle they want to stand by, they should never compromise. Those of us on the right should not either. Compromise may come in the finer details of a plan or a budget. But the real principles that I’ve mentioned about having government rolled back in size, lowering taxes — those things are the principles that caused me to get in this race.”

For his part, Clinton sees bipartisanship making a comeback after November, Politico reports. “As soon as this election’s over, I think the incentives will be for both parties to make more principled compromise than they have in the past,” he said.


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