Sen. Ben Nelson says the primary election loss of long-time Republican Sen. Richard Lugar in Indiana further discloses the country is deeply divided.
Lugar lost his bid for a 7th term to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party favorite. It wasn’t close. Mourdock won the Republican primary by about a 60-40 margin.
“It is a cause for concern that the people are being, quote-unquote, ‘primaried’. When the word ‘primary’ becomes a verb you know it has a new significance,” Nelson tells reporters during a conference call. “To me, Sen. Lugar was clearly a statesman over the years. He worked across the aisle whenever he could, whenever it made sense. Not always, but whenever he thought he could. It’s just another example of the center closing.”
Nelson, a Democrat, says the loss by a six-term United States Senator says a lot about American politics and about the country.
“And, a new attitude that has developed I think that may have peaked in the general election scenario. ‘My way or no way.’ The American people are asking that we work together back here, but unfortunately some of them are sending folks who are committed to make sure we don’t,” Nelson says.
In a statement Tuesday night, Lugar said: “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. He and I share many positions, but his embrace of an unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results for Hoosiers in the Senate.”
Mourdock will face Congressman Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, in the general election.
AUDIO: Sen. Nelson comments on Sen. Richard Lugar’s primary loss. [2:30]