Sen. Lugarís Remarks to
Supporters, Prepared Follow-Up Statement
May 10, 2012
Remarks by Senator Richard G. Lugar
Hoosier Republican primary voters have chosen their candidate for the
U.S. Senate. I congratulate my opponent on his victory in a hard fought
race. I want to see a Republican in the White House, and I want to see
my friend Mitch McConnell have a Republican majority in the Senate. I
hope my opponent prevails in November to contribute to that Republican
I am deeply grateful for the remarkable efforts of thousands of
volunteers who devoted countless hours to my campaign. The enthusiasm of
good friends and loyal supporters over many months was tremendously
encouraging. I thank my campaign team, who made enormous personal
sacrifices and never stopped working hard or seeking a path to victory.
Most of all, I want to thank my loving wife, Char, our four sons Ė Mark,
Bob, John, and David ó and the entire Lugar family for their
understanding, support, and love. Char and my family have been
indispensible to every aspect of my public service from the Indianapolis
School Board, onward.
My public service is not concluded. I look forward to what can be
achieved in the Senate in the next eight months despite a very difficult
national election atmosphere. First among my goals will be passing a
good farm bill that saves taxpayers billions and gives farmers the best
chance to prosper. I also will use this period to advance the work of
the Nunn-Lugar program and other initiatives that benefit U.S. national
At the end of my term, I will look forward to new opportunities to serve
Indiana and our nation. I will embrace projects where I can deliver the
most benefit. I will continue to support the Nunn-Lugar program in every
way that I can. I also want to build on my work related to nutrition and
energy issues, both locally and globally.
I have no regrets about running for re-election. All of us should
believe in the nobility of standing before the public and asking for
their vote, even if doing so can be a very daunting task. I still
counsel young people to consider elective public office, and I hope some
listening to me tonight will do just that.
Serving the people of Indiana in the U.S. Senate has been the greatest
honor of my public life. Hoosiers deserve the best representation
possible. They deserve legislators who listen to the entire spectrum of
citizenís views and work to achieve consensus. They deserve legislators
who, each day, go to work thinking about how they can solve problems
that matter to Hoosiers. I am proud of the solutions we have brought to
problems over the years and the initiatives we have undertaken to build
Indiana and to protect our country.
We are experiencing deep political divisions in our society right now.
These divisions have stalemated progress in critical areas. But these
divisions are not insurmountable. I believe that people of good will Ė
regardless of party Ė can work together for the benefit of the country.
I remain optimistic about the future of Indiana and the United States.
The news media and political leaders spend a great deal of time talking
about what is broken in our country. To some degree, that is the nature
of the business. But we should also have confidence that the unique
American experiment is alive and well. Our political system still can
We possess the resources, human talent, and entrepreneurial energy to
sustain our status as the economic envy of the world. Our culture still
is the global reference point for progress among modern societies.
People from all over the world still want to come here to study, live,
and invest. And we still enjoy unprecedented freedoms that billions of
people in our world can only dream about. The task before us is to come
together as Americans to sustain the American dream at home, while
protecting our security and advancing our leadership abroad.
I cherish the confidence that each of you has placed in me, and I urge
you to join me in a determination to continue to serve our country and
our state. God bless each of you and God bless America.
Prepared Statement of Senator Richard G. Lugar on the Concluded
Indiana Senate Primary
May 8, 2012
would like to comment on the Senate race just concluded and the
direction of American politics and the Republican Party. I would
reiterate from my earlier statement that I have no regrets about
choosing to run for office. My health is excellent, I believe that I
have been a very effective Senator for Hoosiers and for the country, and
I know that the next six years would have been a time of great
achievement. Further, I believed that vital national priorities,
including job creation, deficit reduction, energy security, agriculture
reform, and the Nunn-Lugar program, would benefit from my continued
service as a Senator. These goals were worth the risk of an electoral
defeat and the costs of a hard campaign.
Analysts will speculate about whether our campaign strategies were wise.
Much of this will be based on conjecture by pundits who donít fully
appreciate the choices we had to make based on resource limits, polling
data, and other factors. They also will speculate whether we were guilty
The truth is that the headwinds in this race were abundantly apparent
long before Richard Mourdock announced his candidacy. One does not
highlight such headwinds publically when one is waging a campaign. But I
knew that I would face an extremely strong anti-incumbent mood following
a recession. I knew that my work with then-Senator Barack Obama would be
used against me, even if our relationship were overhyped. I also knew
from the races in 2010 that I was a likely target of Club for Growth,
FreedomWorks and other Super Pacs dedicated to defeating at least one
Republican as a purification exercise to enhance their influence over
other Republican legislators.
We undertook this campaign soberly and we worked very hard in 2010,
2011, and 2012 to overcome these challenges. There never was a moment
when my campaign took anything for granted. This is why we put so much
effort into our get out the vote operations.
Ultimately, the re-election of an incumbent to Congress usually comes
down to whether voters agree with the positions the incumbent has taken.
I knew that I had cast recent votes that would be unpopular with some
Republicans and that would be targeted by outside groups.
These included my votes for the TARP program, for government support of
the auto industry, for the START Treaty, and for the confirmations of
Justices Sotomayor and Kagan. I also advanced several propositions that
were considered heretical by some, including the thought that
Congressional earmarks saved no money and turned spending power over to
unelected bureaucrats and that the country should explore options for
It was apparent that these positions would be attacked in a Republican
primary. But I believe that they were the right votes for the country,
and I stand by them without regrets, as I have throughout the campaign.
From time to time during the last two years I heard from well-meaning
individuals who suggested that I ought to consider running as an
independent. My response was always the same: I am a Republican now and
always have been. I have no desire to run as anything else. All my life,
I have believed in the Republican principles of small government, low
taxes, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and trade expansion.
According to Congressional Quarterly vote studies, I supported President
Reagan more often than any other Senator. I want to see a Republican
elected President, and I want to see a Republican majority in the
Congress. I hope my opponent wins in November to help give my friend
Mitch McConnell a majority.
If Mr. Mourdock is elected, I want him to be a good Senator. But that
will require him to revise his stated goal of bringing more partisanship
to Washington. He and I share many positions, but his embrace of an
unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of
governance and my experience of what brings results for Hoosiers in the
Senate. In effect, what he has promised in this campaign is reflexive
votes for a rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition to the actions
and proposals of the other party. His answer to the inevitable
roadblocks he will encounter in Congress is merely to campaign for more
Republicans who embrace the same partisan outlook. He has pledged his
support to groups whose prime mission is to cleanse the Republican party
of those who stray from orthodoxy as they see it.
This is not conducive to problem solving and governance. And he will
find that unless he modifies his approach, he will achieve little as a
legislator. Worse, he will help delay solutions that are totally beyond
the capacity of partisan majorities to achieve. The most consequential
of these is stabilizing and reversing the Federal debt in an era when
millions of baby boomers are retiring. There is little likelihood that
either party will be able to impose their favored budget solutions on
the other without some degree of compromise.
Unfortunately, we have an increasing number of legislators in both
parties who have adopted an unrelenting partisan viewpoint. This shows
up in countless vote studies that find diminishing intersections between
Democrat and Republican positions. Partisans at both ends of the
political spectrum are dominating the political debate in our country.
And partisan groups, including outside groups that spent millions
against me in this race, are determined to see that this continues. They
have worked to make it as difficult as possible for a legislator of
either party to hold independent views or engage in constructive
compromise. If that attitude prevails in American politics, our
government will remain mired in the dysfunction we have witnessed during
the last several years. And I believe that if this attitude expands in
the Republican Party, we will be relegated to minority status. Parties
donít succeed for long if they stop appealing to voters who may disagree
with them on some issues.
Legislators should have an ideological grounding and strong beliefs
identifiable to their constituents. I believe I have offered that
throughout my career. But ideology cannot be a substitute for a
determination to think for yourself, for a willingness to study an issue
objectively, and for the fortitude to sometimes disagree with your party
or even your constituents. Like Edmund Burke, I believe leaders owe the
people they represent their best judgment.
Too often bipartisanship is equated with centrism or deal cutting.
Bipartisanship is not the opposite of principle. One can be very
conservative or very liberal and still have a bipartisan mindset. Such a
mindset acknowledges that the other party is also patriotic and may have
some good ideas. It acknowledges that national unity is important, and
that aggressive partisanship deepens cynicism, sharpens political
vendettas, and depletes the national reserve of good will that is
critical to our survival in hard times. Certainly this was understood by
President Reagan, who worked with Democrats frequently and showed
flexibility that would be ridiculed today Ė from assenting to tax
increases in the 1983 Social Security fix, to compromising on landmark
tax reform legislation in 1986, to advancing arms control agreements in
his second term.
I donít remember a time when so many topics have become politically
unmentionable in one party or the other. Republicans cannot admit to any
nuance in policy on climate change. Republican members are now expected
to take pledges against any tax increases. For two consecutive
Presidential nomination cycles, GOP candidates competed with one another
to express the most strident anti-immigration view, even at the risk of
alienating a huge voting bloc. Similarly, most Democrats are constrained
when talking about such issues as entitlement cuts, tort reform, and
trade agreements. Our political system is losing its ability to even
explore alternatives. If fealty to these pledges continues to expand,
legislators may pledge their way into irrelevance. Voters will be
electing a slate of inflexible positions rather than a leader.
I hope that as a nation we aspire to more than that. I hope we will
demand judgment from our leaders. I continue to believe that Hoosiers
value constructive leadership. I would not have run for office if I did
not believe that.
As someone who has seen much in the politics of our country and our
state, I am able to take the long view. I have not lost my enthusiasm
for the role played by the United States Senate. Nor has my belief in
conservative principles been diminished. I expect great things from my
party and my country. I hope all who participated in this election share
in this optimism.