Updated 10:44 a.m.
The frosty relationship between Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Richard Mourdock, who beat him in a nasty Senate primary earlier this year, hasn't thawed much at all.
Howey Politics Indiana reports that a mailer sent out by the pro-Mourdock USA Super PAC claiming a Lugar endorsement of the GOP nominee was done without Lugar's consent -- and he's not happy about it. "Indiana's torch has been passed from one great leader to another," says the mailer, which provoked Lugar's office to reiterate that the senator will not campaign for Mourdock. Howey:
The mailer said that "Indiana's Lugar Backs Mourdock in Senate Run." It cites a Human Events article September in which references Lugar's primary election night statement in which he said he intended to vote for Mourdock so that his "friend" - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell - could lead a majority caucus. "I congratulate my opponent on his victory in a hard fought race. I want to see a Republican in the White House, and I want to see my friend Mitch McConnell have a Republican majority in the Senate," Lugar said. "I hope my opponent prevails in November to contribute to a Republican majority."
But in a separate statement Lugar expressed concerns. "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."
The Lugar Senate office told HPI that it did not authorize the flier and reconfirmed that Lugar has no intention of campaigning for Mourdock. "During the primary, Mourdock and his supporters perpetuated misleading statements about Sen. Lugar," said Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher. "Unfortunately that has continued with this mailer funded by a committee that spent over $100,000 to defeat Sen. Lugar. It was clearly unauthorized and done without consultation with us. Lugar clearly stated on September 17 that he would not campaign for Mourdock in the general election for Senator from Indiana."
When Mourdock and Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly debated earlier this week, Donnelly emphasized his work with Lugar in Congress, in an appeal to voters who supported Lugar in the primary.