The Corner

Lugar Camp Blasts Mourdock on Flag-Burning Amendment (Updated)

Senator Dick Lugar’s campaign is slamming state treasurer Richard Mourdock for opposing a flag-burning amendment to the Constitution. In a press release, the Lugar campaign draws attention to National Defense PAC, which is criticizing Mourdock for a comment he made about the proposed amendment in 1990.

“The flag is a symbol of our democracy and millions of Americans have sacrificed their lives to defend it,” said retired rear admiral James Carey, chairman of National Defense PAC. “Burning an American flag is conduct — not speech.  Hoosiers should know that Dick Lugar voted to defend our flag while Richard Mourdock would defend someone’s right to burn it.”

The quotation in question comes from a June 22, 1990, article in the Bloomington Herald-Times. In it, Mourdock is quoted as being against a proposed flag-burning amendment. “I tend to think I would probably be opposed to it,” Mourdock says. “How can we enforce freedom of speech and say we have freedom of speech except in one area? I have a really hard time with that.”

By contrast, the Lugar campaign points out that the sentaor has supported such an amendment nine times, most recently in 2006. 

UPDATE: Mourdock spokesman Chris Conner writes in response: “This is yet another desperate last minute attempt to smear Richard Mourdock. It is sad that Dick Lugar — once a self-proclaimed statesman — has flushed his reputation down the toilet with these last-minute attacks on Richard Mourdock’s patriotism.”

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