With one week remaining until Sen. Dick Lugar faces a tough primary challenge in Indiana, the longtime lawmaker's campaign released a new attack ad Tuesday criticizing his opponent Richard Mourdock.
"Treasurer Richard Mourdock: Bad judgment. Bad decisions," the announcer states in the commercial. "Mourdock gambled Hoosier pensions on junk bonds, wasted millions covering up his mistake and risked thousands of Hoosier jobs suing to shut Chrysler down. Richard Mourdock has a record of failure. And his ethics?"
The ad highlights campaign controversies that have dogged Mourdock, including charges he overstated property tax exemptions (Mourdock contends this was a clerical error by the previous owner) and had campaign staffers use a state party database, which Mourdock's camp said was fair play.
As the Republican primary race heads into its final days before the May 8 primary election, there has been little public evidence of a Lugar groundswell. On Friday, a major super PAC backing Lugar, the American Action Network, announced it was ending its involvement in the race.
Next week's primary is the first time Lugar has faced a primary challenge since his election to the Senate in 1976. Mourdock is backed by the tea party and various groups on the right including the American Conservative Union, FreedomWorks and the National Rifle Association, who argue that Lugar has become too moderate to continue representing Indiana.
Lugar's name identification, experience and bipartisanship would benefit him in a general election race against Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, making Lugar the presumably stronger GOP candidate.
Mourdock's campaign this week is publicly pressing Lugar's team to confirm that the senator will support Mourdock if he wins the nomination.
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