Confirmed: Dick Lugar Trying Hard to Lose GOP Primary - UPDATE: Reverses Himself

Posted: Mar 08, 2011 3:21 PM
Republican Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana is no stranger to alienating his base:  He's a new START treaty co-sponsor, an Elena Kagan supporter, and remains a fierce advocate for earmarks.  In case those positions weren't sufficient fodder to fuel a strong primary challenge, this might be his coup de grace:

As Lugar entered the weekly caucus lunch, he indicated he would oppose the House bill in response to a direction question.

I’m opposed to it,” he said.

Lugar had previously raised concerns about the House bill during a television appearance last month.

When CNN host Candy Crowley asked Lugar if he could support the House-passed spending cuts, he said: “No, I would not support the entirety of the House bill, but I think the basic problem presently is there’s very little time.”

If Sen. Lugar cannot stomach $61 Billion in cuts to a $1.6 Trillion 2011 deficit, Hoosier State Republicans have every reason to grant him an early retirement.

UPDATE -  Lugar is furiously backtracking, saying he misunderstood the question, that he supports the House Republican plan, and that he'd prefer to see deeper cuts:

Lugar said Tuesday afternoon that he made a mistake when he told reporters earlier in the day that he would oppose H.R. 1, the House GOP plan to cut an additional $57 billion from the 2011 budget.

“I’m going to vote with the Republicans on the issue when H.R. 1 comes up,” Lugar said. “If it’s strictly an affirmative vote, I will be for H.R. 1 because all the Republicans will be voting for H.R. 1.”

Lugar said he does not like the “formulation” of the spending cuts passed by the House and would like Congress to go even further to cut the deficit.

“My own feeling would be that we probably need to have more extensive savings than $58 or $61 billion,” he said.

Prior to Lugar's clarification, Richard Mourdock could have practically started measuring the drapes.