Will Indiana Republican senator Dick Lugar face a Tea Party–based primary challenge? Looks pretty darn likely:
Hoping to head off a primary challenge from the right, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, sat down with Tea Party leaders last month but did little to persuade them of his conservative credentials.
The two-hour meeting, which took place over breakfast on Dec. 13th at a Marriott hotel in downtown Indianapolis, was described by participants on both sides as “cordial,” but the Tea Party activists left vowing to oppose Lugar’s bid for a seventh term. “The Senator said he hoped he could earn the support of the Tea Party, and that he is conservative,” said Greg Fettig, the co-founder of Hoosier Patriots. Fettig was joined in the meeting by Monica Boyer of Kosciusko “Silent No More,” a Tea Party group in northeast Indiana.
“We obviously would beg to differ that he is conservative, and our experience is that he won’t get the support of any Tea Party group across the state,” Fettig told CNN. “This is something that has really been building for years. A lot of Tea Party people have said, ‘Who is this guy? He might as well have a ‘D’ in front of his name.’”
It probably doesn’t help to hold that meeting when you are the most prominent Republican endorsing the “pass the START Treaty now” argument.