Coats campaigns for MourdockJune 1st, 2012 at 2:48 pm by Jim Shella under Jim Shella's Political Blog
The U.S. Senate race between Richard Mourdock and Joe Donnelly is a tossup and independent voters could be a deciding factor in November. That’s why labels matter to the candidates. It’s also why the Democrat has formed a group called Republicans for Donnelly and why the Republican is trying to avoid the Tea Party label.
Republican Senator Dan Coats toured a factory in northeast Indiana along with Mourdock in the latest show of GOP unity. Party leaders want voters to know that they consider Mourdock to be a mainstream Republican. “Cause Richard and I come from the same place,” said Coats.
It’s part of an effort the governor launched on the day after the primary election. Mitch Daniels and all of the statewide elected officials endorsed Mourdock publicly then. They know that the divisive primary that saw incumbent Dick Lugar defeated split the Republican party.
Mourdock would rather talk about Democrat Joe Donnelly. “My opponent certainly supported Obamacare,” he says unprompted. “I wouldn’t have.” He glosses over the negatives. “People who supported Senator Lugar were quick to get on board and we’re proud to have their support,” he says.
But that’s where Senator Coats steps in and tells people that he has known Mourdock for 25 years. “We need to unite because the principles we stand for are those that we think Washington needs to hear,” says Coats. And neither Coats nor Moudock made any mention of the Tea Party.
Mourdock, meantime, makes light of the half a dozen or so voters who yesterday launched Republicans for Donnelly. He says at least half of them are known to vote for Democrats. But today’s event just shows that he is concerned about his ability to attract marginal Republicans.