Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock says his GOP Senate primary race against five-term incumbent Richard Lugar “is going to define the heart and soul of the Republican Party.”
“Certainly there are a lot of establishment folks who don’t like to see the boat rocked. But there are also a lot of conservatives. And we are concerned as conservatives that too many in our party wanted to make too many deals, kick the can down the road instead of making hard decisions. That’s what this race is about,” Mourdock told Newsmax.TV.
Mourdock called Lugar “out of touch” because he lives in Washington, D.C., and “returns so rarely” to Indiana.
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Lugar has admitted to media outlets that he uses the address of a family farmhouse in Indiana for voting and political purposes only. He defended the practice because it is allowed under Indiana state law and has been upheld by two attorneys general of Indiana. His campaign has said Mourdock and others are using the residency issue for “mischievous purposes.”
Mourdock said, “It is not Indiana law that sets the standard to be a U.S. congressman, it’s the United States Constitution. There is, I believe, a real constitutional issue whether or not he would qualify as a senator should he be elected.”
Another reason Mourdock said he “was sort of drafted” by Indiana Republicans for this Senate race was a 2008 campaign commercial for Barack Obama in which Lugar appeared.
“It was seen as a tacit endorsement. And understand, Barack Obama was the first Democrat to win the presidential Electoral College votes of Indiana since Lyndon Johnson.”
Mourdock, who is a geologist and spent 31 years as an executive in the energy industry, said his resume would give him a unique perspective if he were elected to the Senate.
He also said he would work to eliminate subsidies in the energy industry and replace the Affordable Care Act with a plan like Georgia Rep. Paul Broun’s “Option Act” which would allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines and promote the use of healthcare spending accounts.
Mourdock also said, “There is nothing more important in this country today than getting our economy on track. If we have to keep sucking more and more out of our economy just to pay the bills of government and the debt, that’s a very bad sign for the future.”
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