Lugar Loses To Tea Party Challenger

Six-term Republican senator from Indiana Richard Lugar was defeated by Tea Party-backed primary challenger Richard E. Mourdock on Tuesday, marking yet another loss for moderates within the Republican party.

Mourdock, the state’s treasurer, had questioned Lugar’s conservative credentials and accused Lugar of losing touch with Indiana and its voters. Mourdock will now face Joe Donnelly, a Democratic member of the House, in November.

Lugar was one of the longest-serving members of the Senate. Lugar, 80, leaves after three decades of service and as one of the Senate’s leading foreign policy experts. If they still exist in the Republican party, Lugar was considered a moderate.

But that image of Lugar as a moderate is ultimately what doomed him this time around. His challenger Mourdock repeatedly accused Lugar of not being conservative enough for Indiana. He pointed to Mr. Lugar’s votes to confirm President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, his support for the DREAM Act, and his backing of bank bailouts during the economic crisis.

The Indiana Democratic Party released a statement Tuesday evening thanking Lugar for his service and criticizing Mourdock as an “extremist” who is “out of touch with Hoosiers.”

“Like all Hoosiers, we owe Senator Lugar a debt of gratitude for his long and storied career,” said Dan Parker, the Democratic Party chairman. “Hoosiers deserve real leadership that will reach across the aisle in Richard Lugar’s successor, not Richard Mourdock’s Tea Party extremism.”

If Lugar’s loss means anything, it’s that our country isn’t moving toward common political ground any time soon.

Photo from scriptingnews via flickr.


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David H.
David H.5 years ago

Although I wait to be proved wrong following the actual presidential election in 2012, my feeling is that it will pretty much be of a piece with the 2008 one. The Tea-Party may be grabbing hold of the Republican party (and that may well prove a disaster for it) but at the same time it is likely that they are scaring the bejaysus out of the American people rather than grabbing it's heart. They make a lot of noise, shout loudest, make banner headlines for the media, and pronounce on what the American people want and deserve (always the same as what they want, and think they deserve). They do not, however, listen to anyone but themselves which serves to confirm them in their narrow and mean minded bigotry. The Tea Party shout at the American people, they do not (to my mind) speak to them, or for them. The American people are more or less the same as people anywhere else, I do not believe they want an extremist government, and the Tea Party make George Dubya look positively moderate. They may well be hijacking the Republican party to the wrong side of history.

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

If we ever want to restore sanity to our Country we must never vote for a tea party fanatic...they are taking our Country back to a a very dark place.

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P5 years ago


Terry T.
Terry T5 years ago

And On to Support Joe Donnelly in NOVEMBER, Just say NO to Republicans, especially the hatemongering Tea Party!

Barbara V.
Barbara V5 years ago

To CJR: Well, if we're screwed, as you say, we've only ourselves to blame. The government is so corrupt at this point, it would be a miracle if it was overhauled into decency. However, if we don't fight this corruption, the result will always be the god-awful members of government that we have at present. It will only grow worse because people are too complacent to fight, or they are too out of it to realize that the GOP and Tea Partiers are planning to eradicate our civil rights, Medicare, Social Insecurity, etc. Paraphrasing Lincoln, "A country gets the government it deserves." Wanna fight?

Debra P.
Debra Prisk5 years ago

Thank God! Viva la Tea Party!!!!

Adam S.
Adam S5 years ago

Lugar wasn't a moderate. He was a whiny, parasitic Liberal pretending to be a Conservative. Good riddance.

Roseann D.
Roseann d5 years ago

Unbelievable! He was one of the last voices of sanity in the GOP. Giving up a seasoned lawmaker for an ignorant junior extremist is none too bright. The Hoosiers have just hosed themselves.

Carol O.
Carol O5 years ago

This guarantees a Democratic win in November.