Political Notebook

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Lugar, Mourdock make nice

Politico reported Tuesday that Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who defeated Lugar in the May 8 Republican primary election, "have apparently buried the hatchet."

Politico's Scott Wong wrote that six-term incumbent Lugar introduced Mourdock at the Senate Republicans' weekly luncheon Tuesday.

Wong reported that after Lugar learned Mourdock would attend the luncheon, "Lugar asked National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn if he could personally introduce Mourdock. Mourdock repaid the favor, praising the 80-year-old Lugar's lifetime of public service to Indiana and the country."

"Lugar was 'incredibly, incredibly gracious,' Mourdock told reporters upon leaving the lunch," Wong wrote.

Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher said in an email: "Arrangements were made in advance for Lugar to make the introduction. It is a closed Senators-only meeting so I don't know more."

Mourdock's campaign did not respond to a request for a comment.

Wong wrote that Lugar's introduction of Mourdock "signified that the GOP is unified behind Mourdock as he heads into the November general election against Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly."

The National Republican Senatorial Committee even emailed the Politico story to news media.

Donnelly's campaign said last week that a group called Republicans for Donnelly has attracted about 60 members in the two months since its formation. The group was organized by Lugar supporters after his primary-election loss to Mourdock.

Mourdock, his campaign and its backers had accused Lugar of being too moderate in his Senate votes and took him to task for not having lived in Indiana since 1977. Lugar's camp called Mourdock too inflexible in his conservatism and contended out-of-state interests were trying to sway the outcome of the race.

The night of the election, Lugar said in a statement: "If Mr. Mourdock is elected, I want him to be a good senator. But that will require him to revise his stated goal of bringing more partisanship to Washington.... In effect, what he has promised in this campaign is reflexive votes for a rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition to the actions and proposals of the other party.... This is not conducive to problem solving and governance."

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., was at Tuesday's luncheon. He told Politico, "I've gotten the sense that Senator Lugar has reached out to (Mourdock) in friendship, and Richard has acknowledged receipt of that, and I'm very pleased with what took place today."

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