The Corner

Mourdock: Donnelly a ‘Brad Ellsworth’ Democrat

In an interview with NRO, Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock, fresh off his primary victory against Senator Dick Lugar, says he feels “really badly” for his opponent tonight. “I know what it’s like to lose,” Mourdock says. “It’s a tremendous feeling of disappointment. I feel really badly for him; I really do.”

At the time Mourdock spoke with NRO, he hadn’t heard from the senator personally, though he was quick to add that he had been preoccupied with preparing for his victory speech. Asked if he would like to campaign with Lugar in the fall, Mourdock replies, “I would certainly welcome that if that’s something he would like to do.”

In his concession speech earlier tonight, Lugar, who had long refused to say whether he would support Mourdock after the primary, told supporters that “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 majority.”

Now, Mourdock will face off against Democratic congressman Joe Donnelly. Some pundits consider Donnelly an “Evan Bayh Democrat” — that is, a Democrat conservative enough to win in Indiana. In response, Mourdock jokes, “I consider him a Brad Ellsworth Democrat,” referring to the former congressman who lost to Indiana’s other senator, Dan Coats, in 2010 by 14 points, 54–40. 

In his victory speech, Mourdock took pains to stress that Lugar “will never be my enemy.” The race, Mourdock said, “is not about animosity; it is about ideas; it is about the direction of the Republican party; it is about the direction of our country.” Surrounded by family, friends, staff, and supporters (most clad in red campaign T-shirts), Mourdock promised to beat Donnelly and to “move the Senate to a more conservative place” and “to move the country to a better place.”

With 95 percent of precincts in, Mourdock led Lugar by 60.4 percent to 39.6 percent.

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