INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Senator Richard Lugar said he wouldn't campaign for the man who beat him in the Republican primary this past May. But a new mailer looks a lot like Senator Lugar is campaigning for Richard Mourdock. So much so, that Lugar's office said it doesn't like the mailer and the senator is not campaigning for Mourdock.
On one side of the mailer, there's a picture of Senator Lugar with the words, "He's now looking to a new leader to keep Indiana moving forward." On the other side, one hand passes a torch to another with the words, "Indiana's torch has been passed from one great leader to another."
Jim Bopp, the man who runs the super PAC that’s paying for the mailer defended it. When asked by 24-Hour News 8, "Why bring Senator Lugar into this at all. Why put a piece like this out?" Bobb said, “Because it's truthful and accurate."
Truthful or not, Senator Lugar doesn't like it. A statement sent to 24-Hour News 8 by Lugar's Communications Director Andy Fisher said: "During the primary, Mourdock and his supporters perpetuated misleading statements about Sen. Lugar. Unfortunately that has continued with this mailer funded by a committee that spent over $100,000 to defeat Sen. Lugar." It goes on to say, "It was clearly unauthorized and done without consultation with us." The statement also says, "Lugar clearly stated on September 17th that he would not campaign for Mourdock in the general election for Senator from Indiana.”
24-Hour News 8 asked Bopp if the mailer is misleading.
"It's not misleading at all. He said he wanted Mourdock, the night of the election he said that he wanted Mourdock to win so that his friend Senator McConnell would become majority leader," he said.
Bopp claims the mailer is needed because the Donnelly campaign is saying Senator Lugar is neutral in this race. But State Democratic Chairman Dan Parker told 24-Hour News 8, "Joe Donnelly has never said that. Joe Donnelly has expressed repeatedly that he has worked with Senator Lugar on key issues for Hoosiers like the auto industry rescue."
When asked about the mailer, Richard Mourdock said he knew about it because someone had mentioned it to him, but he hadn't seen it.
"My only thought was independent expenditure campaigns, as always, get to do what they do," said Mourdock.
USA Super PAC spent more than $100,000 on Mourdock's behalf to defeat Senator Lugar in the primary. But Bopp said that money went for pro-Mourdock campaign materials, not anti-Lugar. And Bopp said on primary election night, Lugar said he wanted Mourdock to win. And Lugar still doesn't disavow that. But Senator Lugar's communications director said Senator Lugar still isn't campaigning for Mourdock, no matter what the mailer might indicate.
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