06/02/2011 - Tea Party’s Mourdock attacks moderate Lugar over taxpayer pledge
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2011
Tea Party's Mourdock attacks moderate Lugar over taxpayer pledge
Conservative challenger demands Lugar take Norquist's oath
INDIANAPOLIS -- Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party candidate who is waging a primary challenge against U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, is pushing Indiana's senior senator to sign Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a conservative political gimmick that preserves tax breaks that encourage U.S. companies to ship jobs overseas.
Lugar has repeatedly affirmed his refusal to sign the pledge. Mourdock told The Hill that "[t]his is one of the definitional issues that separates Sen. Lugar and myself." Norquist's group views the elimination of tax breaks for corporations sending jobs overseas as a tax increase and a violation of the pledge.
"Richard Mourdock wants Senator Lugar to sign a pledge that rewards companies for taking jobs and profits overseas," said Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker. "The more we learn about him, the clearer it becomes that Mourdock is pandering to the Tea Party with right-wing rhetoric, not representing Hoosiers and the pursuit of jobs we so desperately need to keep here."
Parker said he wondered whether Lugar, facing intense pressure from the right, would give in to political pressure and sign the pledge. He has reversed course on several other major policy initiatives, including the GOP budget plan to privatize Medicare, and he has made a concerted public effort to shift his voting record to the right.
According to a recent Politico story, Lugar voted with his party 82 percent of the time in the last Congress but has sided with a majority of his party 97 percent of the time this year.
"The 'definitional issue' in this campaign will be whether Senator Lugar can move far enough right to placate the Tea Party and keep his seat," Parker said.