Last night, Richard Mourdock (R) upset Sen. Dick Lugar (R) in Indiana’s Republican Senate primary. Mourdock, who currently serves as State Treasurer, trounced the 36-year Senate veteran by 22 points, 61-39, due in no small part to his support from Tea Party groups.
Mourdock won by positioning himself well to the right of Lugar. Now, as he enters the limelight as the biggest Tea Party victory of 2012, let’s take a look at the top five things everyone should know about Mourdock.
- (1) Mourdock believes that President Obama deserves the blame for a bad economy, but no credit for its improvement: In an interview with ThinkProgress earlier this year, we asked Mourdock about the economy and who deserves credit in bad times and good. He pinned the blame on President Obama for “killing our economy,” despite the fact that the financial collapse occurred under George W. Bush’s watch. We asked Mourdock whether Obama would deserve credit if the economic recovery continues. “It won’t be because of President Obama when we see recovery,” Mourdock explained. “It will be in spite of President Obama.” [ThinkProgress]
- (2) Mourdock’s take on bipartisanship: it “ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view”: Appearing on MSNBC following his primary victory, Mourdock offered his own unique take on how bipartisanship should work in Washington DC, telling Chuck Todd, “I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.” In other words, the solution for Washington’s ills is not less partisanship and polarization, but more. Dick Lugar had earned a reputation for finding some areas of bipartisan consensus with Democrats, particularly on foreign policy. That is a reputation that Mourdock appears unlikely to uphold. [ThinkProgress]
- (3) His campaign was investigated for accessing voter data: Mourdock’s campaign manager, Jim Holden, “likely violated a user agreement with the state party when he shared a logon to the database with an outside vendor.” In a March 14 email, Holden told staffers that they should “start pillaging email addresses” from the voter database, prompting the state Republican Party to revoke the Mourdock campaign’s access privileges.[AP]
- (4) Mourdock’s model Supreme Court Justice is anti-woman Judge Robert Bork: Asked on MSNBC about how he would approach Supreme Court nomination votes as senator, Mourdock promised to obstruct nominees who didn’t resemble Robert Bork. Bork’s views are so far outside the mainstream they cannot be fully enumerated here, but a few highlights include his description of a federal ban on employment discrimination and whites-only lunch counters as “unsurpassed ugliness,” his belief that it is “silly” to think that women are discriminated against, and that it’s “utterly specious” to suggest that women have a constitutional right to use contraception. [ThinkProgress]
- (5) His candidacy is fueled by dirty energy money and outside spending groups: It is unlikely Mourdock would have won the primary without an infusion of $1.6 million in spending from the pro-Wall Street Club for Growth, as well as over half a million from FreedomWorks, an astroturf Tea Party group. In addition, Mourdock enjoyed a maxed out contribution from Murray Energy’s PAC, which represents the nation’s largest privately-owned coal company. Mourdock, a former coal company executive, received an additional $18,000 in contributions elsewhere from the coal, oil, and gas industries. [ThinkProgress]