"The first time I sat down with them, I had not declared my candidacy. I wasn't even sure I was going to be a candidate to be honest with you," Mourdock said. "And I sat down there and they started firing some questions at me, and it was like, whoa, where you going with this? And I think there was some confusion on their part as to whether I was ready because I wasn't ready for all their questions when I hadn't even decided I was going to be a candidate."
Another potential stumbling block could be the poor fundraising numbers Mourdock has posted so far. In the fundraising quarter that ended last month, Mourdock brought in slightly less than $340,000. He made a personal loan of $100,000 to his campaign, but finished the quarter with just over $300,000 in the bank.
Lugar, on the other hand, raised more than $800,000 over the same three months and has about $3.8 million on hand.
But Mourdock said momentum will coalesce around his campaign as the primary grows near, allowing him to bring in more cash. While he doesn't expect to raise as much as Lugar, he said his campaign will have the financial support to compete.
"A campaign like this always raises more money in the last 60 days than it raised up to that time," Mourdock said. "I am absolutely confident we're going to have the funds we need."
Mourdock remains optimistic that his message of fiscal conservatism will resonate with Republican primary voters and carry him to victory. And he thinks Club for Growth will eventually be a part of the winning effort.
"Am I confident that they're going to get in the race? Absolutely. Why? Because I'm the right candidate and Dick Lugar is the wrong candidate," Mourdock said. "This is the kind of race they were made for, and I think they'll be there."