Club For Growth Noticeably Absent From Roster of Mourdock Supporters
As George Will noted recently, the Senate race in Indiana appears to present this cycle's best opportunity for conservative activists to take down an incumbent Republican senator in a primary. While Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, haven't attracted serious challenges from the right, Sen. Richard Lugar faces his toughest reelection battle in years in his GOP primary matchup against state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
While many conservative leaders and organizations have voiced their support for Mourdock, one conservative group is conspicuously absent from his list of endorsements: the Club for Growth. In April, Club president Chris Chocola, who served alongside Lugar in Indiana's congressional delegation for four years as a House member, told ABC News he thought it was "probably best" if Lugar retire. Since then, the Club has spent money encouraging Lugar to do just that. In July, they released a television ad targeting Lugar and a poll showing Mourdock leading Lugar for the GOP nomination.
In addition to a collection of local Tea Party groups calling themselves Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate, Mourdock has received endorsements from FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Express, as well as the backing of the surprise frontrunner in recent polls in the GOP presidential primary, Herman Cain.
But despite a documented desire to see Lugar's six-term tenure come to an end and a willingness to spend money on the race, the Club hasn't officially made an endorsement. Club spokesman Barney Keller declined to discuss the Club's view of Mourdock, simply saying that the group is still looking at the race.
In an interview with Hotline on Call, Mourdock said he wasn't sure why the group hadn't endorsed him yet. But he acknowledged that his first meeting with the Club could have gone better.