Outgoing Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) said Sunday that he has no plans to campaign for Richard Mourdock, who handily beat him in a primary race earlier this month with the strong backing of Tea Party conservatives.
Asked by host Bob Schieffer on CBS' Face the Nation whether he'll lend Mourdock a hand in the general election, Lugar suggested that his support will be extremely limited.
"I've indicated that I hope Republicans in Indiana will support him," Lugar said. "I would say that I've offered advice to my former opponent as to the kind of way he might be a constructive senator. I hope that he will in fact begin to adopt some of these ideas.
"But for the time being," Lugar said, "I don’t plan an active campaign."
Mourdock, Indiana's current state treasurer, took about 60 percent of the vote to Lugar's 40 in a closely watched primary fueled largely by outside money. Conservative groups, disenchanted with Lugar's willingness to compromise with Democrats, dumped millions of dollars into the effort to unseat him after 36 years in the Senate.
On Sunday, Lugar, 80, argued that national conservative groups had painted a misleading picture of his record, managing to undo his long-term favorability ratings with Hoosiers.
"I think Indiana was unique in the sense that outside groups, whether it's FreedomWorks or the Club for Growth or the NRA or whatever, had no other playground. Indiana was it," Lugar said. "They were able to come in early on with hundreds of thousands and finally millions of dollars. I had 60 or 70 percent [approval] all these years, and it came down in this mirage."
Lugar previously told HuffPost that he wouldn't comment on whether or not he'd campaign for Mourdock.
Senators on both sides of the aisle have said they regret losing Lugar, who had a reputation for bipartisanship. President Barack Obama issued a statement upon Lugar's primary loss, saying, "While Dick and I didn't always agree on everything, I found during my time in the Senate that he was often willing to reach across the aisle and get things done."
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