Democrats are hoping that Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s decision to challenge 36-year veteran Dick Lugar for his Republican Senate seat may give them an advantage in the upcoming election.
But in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, the pro-Tea Party candidate says that he’s more confident than ever that mainstream, moderate Americans are ready to go Red. What they’re looking for, Mourdock says, are conservative candidates who are ready to stand up to unfriendly crowds--and that they want to elect Republican leaders with the charisma to convert liberals.
Apparently, Governor Sarah Palin agrees with him because she just endorsed Mourdock on Friday:
Richard Mourdock is the conservative choice for Indiana. Senator Lugar's 36 years of service as a Senator are appreciated, but it's time for the torch to pass to conservative leadership in Washington that promises to rein in government spending now.
Here’s what Mourdock had to say to Breitbart News in the midst of this hotly contested primary, which comes to a vote on May 8.
BREITBART NEWS: You must have been very happy to see the endorsement from Governor Sarah Palin.
RICHARD MOURDOCK: I was indeed delighted to see it. It certainly was an endorsement that shows the national focus on this race is here…without question. Sarah Palin is where a lot of conservatives look to see where the focus should be. We’re glad to get her endorsement and that she’s signed on with what we’re doing, and that we’re going after a 36-year incumbent who’s been there too long and isclearly out of touch.
BREITBART NEWS: What do you say to people who are accusing you of risking losing a secure Republican Senate seat by challenging Senator Lugar?
RICHARD MOURDOCK: First of all, are we looking just to hold office to maintain the status quo? If I wanted to see Washington, D.C. hold the status quo I wouldn’t be doing this. By trying to make deals with the Democrats, we’ve only lost ground. [Democrat Majority Leader] Reid has demonstrated he’s not going to make deals, he’s not going to abolish ObamaCare or repeal Dodd-Frank. The idea that somehow we have these experienced statesmen that are going to negotiate this truce with the Democrats is just not true. I want to make the arguments to the unfriendly crowds because we’re going to make some converts. I want people to know we have an option; it’s called conservatism and yeah, it works. So, bring it, bring it. I’m ready--we’re ready.
BREITBART NEWS: Do you think part of the problem with your opponent is that he’s simply been around for 36 years and has become what some call an "Establishment Republican" who is out of touch with the current vibe within the GOP?
RICHARD MOURDOCK: Out of touch? I couldn’t have said it any better. One of the reasons I got in this was when I had members of the Republican committee say, “Please, will you consider running?" Well, I was stunned. Then, when I started hearing more county chairmen say, “I’ve never met Dick Lugar or talked to him. I can’t remember the last time he had a town hall meeting,” I started getting it. Lugar has a world view, but not a Hoosier View. People in Indiana like to see their politicians at the county fair or the Rotary Club. He’s a very respected person, but there’s a sense that it’s time.
BREITBART NEWS: What makes you the more conservative candidate?
RICHARD MOURDOCK: We had our debate the other night. Why am I the more conservative candidate? The last ten years--Senator Lugar believes government is the answer to every problem, [and] I believe it’s the source of every problem. He’s been struggling to raise the debt limit. If you look at taxation, gun rights, and property rights -- even on foreign policy issues -- I think most conservatives look back at the START treaty, a lot of conservatives thought it was going the wrong direction--and [to] weaken our position and let the Russians build up, we were worried that what was happening in Russia wasn’t going to hold up, and now Putin is back and so that position was justified. Obama has a leading from behind posture, and I don’t think Lugar speaks up enough. He was the first to come out for the Saudi plan to recall Israel to withdraw to their 1967 borders. Any time we send a message to the Middle East that we’re weakening Israel, we embolden Israel’s enemies.
BREITBART NEWS: The Republican Party has been somewhat divided into different positions and factions lately. Do you think the Tea Party position will ultimately prevail as the mainline position of the Republican Party?
RICHARD MOURDOCK: That is a great question--and "yes" is the answer. I do think the Tea Party position will prevail, and I am often asked: what has the Tea Party done and is it even still alive? People think because there have been no demonstrations with the Don’t Tread on Me flag it’s gone, but it hasn’t… We’ve had thousands of volunteers that are helping us, and most of those people are helping us from the Tea Party. They are helping us redefine the Republican Party, the party of balanced budgets and living within our means. They are bringing our party back to its roots. This is Indiana, it is a very conservative state. Yes, for the first time since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, a Democrat got the presidential election in 2008 with Obama, but in 2008 Lugar appeared in a commercial for Barack Obama, and it was like a tacit endorsement. Obama didn’t break 50%, but he did win 11 electoral votes here. That can’t happen again.
BREITBART NEWS: How does your position on firearms differ from your opponent and why do you think it is a better position?
RICHARD MOURDOCK: As Chris Cox said the day of the endorsement, they seldom get involved in primaries, but they said Lugar got his rating by the NRA of “F” because he earned it. We have one of the leading bills in the Indiana legislature to have reciprocity with all other states to have your permit status carry here. It was meant to be a model here, it passed in Indiana. Our positions are very different… Second Amendment issues are very big here.
BREITBART NEWS: What’s the most dangerous thing about President Obama and why is it so important Republicans rally together to defeat him this year?
RICHARD MOURDOCK: He has no sense of economic reality. This Keneysian position that we’ll keep making more money and that it will fix everything scares every person I know… who has any economic sense at all. Weakening the dollar, and spending ourselves to prosperity, having class warfare, you don’t have to be an economist to know that taxing the wealthy, the mantra of "we’ll do okay if we tax the wealthy" is flawed, because there isn’t enough money there to keep taxing them given our current budget. So, it’s really more about class warfare than real governing. This guy has to leave, he’s got to be gone--and those who accept him as a pragmatic politician, well they don’t understand the danger he’s bringing to the health of the United States.
BREITBART NEWS: How can Republicans emerge victorious in this upcoming presidential election? What does this party have to do to come together and win?
RICHARD MOURDOCK: I think the best thing we can do is sell that idea of smaller government -- of fiscal responsibility vs. the Obama record. Obama made promises, and on every promise in which he’s actually delivered, things have gotten worse instead of better. He said if we get ObamaCare it’ll help, but health care prices went up. Energy prices were lower and now they’re up. His track record is a failure. The entire Democratic Party is the problem…they are the party of bankruptcy. The fact the US just had our credit downgraded should be warning shot as to what their policies will lead to. Frankly, I’m more frustrated with Republicans than Democrats. With Democrats I know they’re the party of government, but the reason I‘m frustrated is that not enough Republicans will stand in front of a microphone in front of an unfriendly crowd and make the point as to why conservatism is the better option. We cannot cut spending enough. We can’t raise taxes enough to solve the problems we have. We have to grow the economy. All of Obama’s policies are working against economic growth, not for it, and Republicans ought to be talking about it and they’re not. We need to take a stand.