Sen. Richard Lugar is in a tough GOP Primary battle with Richard Mourdock out in Indiana and in an exclusive interview with The Brody File, he says that he has, “the misfortune of being one of the few Republican incumbents who is up for re-election this year.”
Lugar says out of state conservative groups who are trying to defeat him because he’s not conservative enough would run the risk of the Republican Party losing the Senate seat in the fall if Mourdock is the nominee.
“There's not necessarily a very good chance my opponent will win…people will have to at least consider, are we interested really in having a Republican president, two houses, and a program that proceeds on? Or, are we busy trying to settle scores in various locations?”
Watch the video and transcription below. More clips coming Tuesday.
Mandatory Courtesy: CBN News/The Brody File
David Brody: If you end up losing this primary, what message is that going to send? Because folks all over the country are going to have their interpretation of this. What do you think that will mean if you actually lost this primary?
Sen. Richard Lugar: As a practical matter, that I've got too few votes.
Brody: Right, right, beyond the practical.
Lugar: I'm not going to try to make some sort of overreach of significance.
Brody: Some will. Some will want to do that.
Lugar: I appreciate that. I'd just simply say that this was a time at least, in electoral history in the United States in which there were several aspects that were different. One of them being that we have been in an economic recession. There is a buildup of great anger and disturbance over the fact that people are still unemployed, and we're not moving very fast in that direction. And that despair, and that anger really pervades almost all of the political dialogue.
I think secondly, there is a very great opposition to President Obama's opposition. Feeling that as opposed to trying to solve the economic crisis of the country, he overreached with Obamacare, the medical business, with the banking regulations, with cap and trade, which was defeated thank goodness, but would have been ruinous to Indiana. Not concentrating on jobs and the economy, but sort of a now or never thought of 'we've got 60 Democrats in the Senate, that's enough to stop a filibuster, if we don't pass these things now, they'll never make it.'
So, that was repudiated in the election of 2010 by a wide margin as new House members came in, and have made a very big difference. And it was a big change in the Senate, 53-47 as opposed to 60-40, but not enough. Still a majority of Democrats in the Senate unfortunately, so we've had gridlock on most issues, and likewise the president vetoes it some way or another. So, the Republicans happen to win a few. It's a very unpleasant situation, but that's the period in which I'm running.
I have, I think, the misfortune of being one of the few Republican incumbents who is up for re-election this year. Some have retired. Others have very, very safe seats. My friend John Barasso out in Wyoming is busy helping everybody else. And that's the case. I think Scott Brown in Massachusetts has a tough race against Mrs. Warren there, but that's in the general election, not the primary. Orrin Hatch has been challenged out in Utah. Maybe Dean Heller will be challenged out in Nevada, but that's about it.
Essentially, there's much more action on the Democratic side regarding incumbents and so forth, and of course, in the event that we're not careful, we could reach the situation where despite all of the hullabaloo, we don't get a Republican majority. In the 2010 election, we had a great opportunity to take control of the Senate, but various groups came in to various states, elected people that turned out to be not very good general election candidates, and so they bombed out, literally, and we don't have a majority.
I hope we don't repeat that process again. I would just say that in Indiana, I'm grateful that the Democratic party and others that have published some polls that I have a 20 point lead, or maybe more over my prospective opponent, if I'm the nominee. So, there's a very good chance we'll win. There's not necessarily a very good chance my opponent will win.
So, once again, people will have to at least consider, are we interested really in having a Republican president, two houses, and a program that proceeds on? Or, are we busy trying to settle scores in various locations?