Here’s the text of Republican Richard Mourdock’s, who is also the current Treasurer of Indiana announcement delivered this morning in Indianapolis:
We gather to declare a beginning. A starting point. It is my choice to make this starting point special. Memorable. Perhaps even unique. I want to do something now that I will also do on the evening of May 8th, 2012 when this long primary trail comes to an end, regardless of how it ends.
I ask each of you to join me in offering a sincere and heartfelt round of applause as a tribute to the remarkable career of an honorable public servant, Senator Dick Lugar.
His near half – century of public service has taken him from service with the US Navy, to the Indianapolis school board to the United States Senate. He deserves your respect. He has mine.
I was recently told by one of his supporters that he is a great man. But that does not mean that I am not worthy of standing here today because, I come here not to stand on my own, or even for myself, but for all of you. We, not I, but WE have the right to bring this challenge and so we shall. It is time.
Most of you know, I suspect, of my love of American history and thus, it is not a coincidence that we are assembled on the birthday of George Washington.
Washington is famous for being our revolutionary general. He is famous for serving as our first President. But you may not know that in his day what many considered to be his single greatest act was walking away from power. Presidents were not “term limited” back then and he could have been president for the rest of his life. When he announced that he would retire and turn the reins of government to another, some called him, “simply the greatest man of all time.”
George Washington was described as “The Indispensible Man” but even The Indispensible Man knew when it was time.
During the last two years this nation, this state, has witnessed a resurgence of revolutionary feeling and a style of patriotism that I think would make Mr. Washington proud. In this 21st Century no ships have been boarded in Boston Harbor but without question, the tea is being dumped in protest.
Thousands and thousands of Hoosiers have come together in the last twenty-four months. They have assembled under the banner of the Tea Party to do what most of them had never done before: to speak out, to be heard, to make a difference. To all here who have been motivated to action by the Tea Party, I have but three words: God bless you!
But what has been your reward from Mr. Lugar for your good citizenship and activism? Did you hear: “thanks for being involved!!” or “I appreciate your energy” or even, those typical lines from a congressional office form letter: “your point of view is important to me”. NO! The response from Indiana’s senior senator was sadly, that you’re frustrated and angry, that you speak in clichÃ©s.
Mr. Lugar even went so far as to say that the Tea Party needs to: “get real.” Please understand, I know you ARE real. I understand the “reality” in which you live and it is that of the heartland that IS Indiana. YOU are not disconnected from reality, it is those living in that fantasy land of Washington DC where taxpayers are seen as revenue sources and burdensome regulations are seen as the product of a good day’s work.â€¦ It is the elite of Washington DC who must “get real.”
There will be many, who will take the thoughts I just shared with you and describe me as the “Tea Party candidate”. But the truth is, my name has been on a general election ballot six times, even as recently as last November, and it has always been next to the word “Republican”. And let me add, it has always been there proudly. I love the values of the Party of Lincoln and Reagan because I believe they give the greatest hope for individual liberty and freedom the world has ever seen.
The real truth is â€¦ the campaign that starts today is not an attack of Tea Party activists attempting to storm the walls or gates attempting to take over the Republican Party. To the contrary: this campaign is more accurately to be described as a rebellion within the Republican Party to restore consistent and basic Republican values to a critical seat in the United States Senate.
I need to explain to you how we came to gather here this morning. Last summer, several members of the Republican State Committee, the essence of our party leadership came to me and asked me to consider taking on this challenge. Each time the subject arose my answer was the same: “very nice, very kind of you to think that I should do this, very flatteringâ€¦â€¦. But what did I ever do to you?”
Truthfully, I had no desire to run. Washington DC had no appeal to me. Honestly, it holds no great allure at this moment.
After Election Day ’10, the calls increased dramatically as the lame duck session of Congress placed Mr. Lugar in the national limelight as he pushed the Obama agenda with bills like the Dream Act, the START Treaty, and even his rejection of basic and essential earmark reform.
Out of respect for those who were encouraging me, I began to call the grass roots leaders of our party, the county chairmen. I thought “if twenty-five percent would make a personal commitment to my candidacy” â€¦. it would be a sign I should seriously consider this challenge. But very quickly the support went beyond twenty-five percent to thirty percent, then forty, then more than fifty percent. Then sixtyâ€¦. And so today, with their permission, I present you with the names of the seventy-seven percent of the Republican chairman of Indiana who are willing today to support me in this campaign. What’s important to note also, is that the remaining twenty-three percent are not telling me their committed to Mr. Lugar; they simply have a policy of not endorsing in a primary.
The message of all county chairmen could not have been more clear,
“We respect Mr. Lugar greatly, but Indiana Republicans want a Senator for Indiana, not simply one who was once FROM Indiana.”
I heard that: Dick Lugar has a world view, but no longer a Hoosier view.
I heard that: Dick Lugar has moved to the left.
And sadly, more than anything else, I heard â€¦.and I heard it dozens and dozens of times: Dick Lugar? I haven’t seen him in years.
Hoosiers want more than a globe-trotting Senator; they want a Senator who routinely holds town hall meetings not to talk but to listen. They want a Senator who will walk the parade routes, visit the county fairs and festivals, who will eat a pork tenderloin and an ear of corn.
They told me over and over again, they want a Senator who comes â€¦.. “back home again…”
My friendsâ€¦ it IS time!
Over the last four years it has been my great privilege to work closely with America’s greatest governor, Mitch Daniels. He has defined our party, the Indiana Republican Partyâ€¦. As the Party of Purpose. And we are.
Officeholders for the Party of Purpose know what is expected of us: we take on the tough fights. We accept criticism that comes in this campaign for ideas but on our principles of Constitutional adherence, limited government, lower taxes and financial responsibility we WILL NOT compromise.
These principles define the differences that make up the heart of this campaign.
1. Mr. Lugar voted to use tax dollars to bail out the car companies. When Indiana pension funds, the money of Indiana Teachers and retired State Police officers were looted to pay for the Chrysler bailoutâ€¦ he said not a word. I opposed that theft all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and I would do it again.
2. Mr. Lugar co-sponsored the Dream Act to help the children of illegal aliens obtain amnesty. I believe it will only serve as an incentive that will result in more illegal aliens.
3. Mr. Lugar voted against the elimination of earmarksâ€¦.. I think a vote for earmark reform would have sent a signal that our federal leaders are finally serious about the $14 trillion dollar debt they’ve placed upon us.
4. Mr. Lugar has offered a green energy program to address “climate change” that is simply “cap and trade-light”. As a businessman I know such programs will kill millions of American jobs and as a geologist, I know it would still not address the real source of climate changeâ€¦.. because even in all their vanity and self-righteousness, Washington bureaucrats cannot regulate and control what happens on the surface of the sun.
5. Mr. Lugar helped shove the START Treaty through the lame duck session so that incoming Republican Senators wouldn’t even have a chance to vote on itâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦ my response is, contracts, treaties driven by one side arguing for implementation based on an artificial date, is never fair to both sides.
6. Finally, Mr. Lugar voted for the three most liberal justices on the United States Supreme Court. Some justify his actions by saying Presidential choices should be honored because “elections should have consequencesâ€¦..” I agree fullyâ€¦ BUT elections to the US Senate should have consequences, too, or else “advise and consent” simply becomes “rubber stamp” and that is not what our Founding Fathers intended.
It is time!
All thinking Hoosiers and Americans understand our national government is in deep financial trouble. Our debt is soaring because our government spends too much and has grown too big.
Pork barrel spending, political back-scratching and bipartisanship have carried us to the brink of bankruptcy. If we are rebuild our economy and our international credit, we need to return to Republican principles and the essential foundation of limited government, the Constitution of the United States of America.
But reform does not come easy. It takes energy, tirelessness, effort, enthusiasm, commitment and yes, a personality that charges forward, even when faced against odds as overwhelming as the executive branch of government! I’ve done it once and I will proudly do it again. And again. And again!
Some have said Mr. Lugar’s cooperation with the administration, his bi-partisanship, have caused him to earn the title of the “President Obama’s favorite Republican Senator”â€¦â€¦â€¦. My Friends, as your United States Senator that is a title I will never hold.
But still, I’ve already heard from some Republicans who are upset with me for entering this campaign. These are the same friends who would describe themselves as free-market conservatives who believe competition in the marketplace is a good thing. Well if competition is good in the market place, it is equally good in the marketplace of Republican ideas.
Many years ago after a tough convention campaign fight, I shared with the delegates a favorite Proverb 27:17: “iron sharpens iron.” As individuals we are made better by good competition. As a party we are made better by openly debating the critical issues of the day. And as Americans we adhere to our cherished heritage of democracy when primary contests give voters a choice and so we shallâ€¦ it is time.
Today is the startâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦ Join me pleaseâ€¦ for we have tens of thousands of miles to drive, hundreds of thousands of phone calls to make and yes, millions of dollars to raise.
Honorable Chairmen, Republican leaders, Tea Party activists and friends, we must begin, because it IS OUR time, and so I’m proud to announce to you my candidacy for the United States Senate on behalf of the Great People of the Great State of Indiana!
Candidate Mourdock will be in Fort Wayne this Thursday at 4 pm at the Allen County Republican Party Headquarters.