Mourdock: Reports of Tea Party’s death exaggerated

Tea party activists rallied behind Senate candidate Richard Mourdock on Saturday as he drew closer to a possible upset over six-term incumbent Dick Lugar in the GOP primary.

A few hundred people gathered in downtown Indianapolis at the rally sponsored by FreedomWorks, the Texas-based tea party umbrella group that sees a Mourdock victory as the way to spur other tea party-backed candidates to wins across the U.S., The Indianapolis Star reported.

Mourdock, the state treasurer, said the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon earlier Saturday provided "a wonderful metaphor."

"This [campaign] isn't a sprint. It's a marathon," he said.

As you near the finish line, Mourdock said, "if you change your pace in the last few miles, you cramp up." He said the key is to not move faster or slower but to "just keep going."

Recent polling has shown Mourdock leading Lugar.

Mourdock said the support of tea party groups like FreedomWorks has been "incredible."

"People who think the tea party disappeared—reports of their death has been greatly exaggerated. They have been from the very beginning helping us, going door to door since last October every weekend," Mourdock said. "They've been critical to all this."

Hoosiers for Conservative Senate, an Indiana Tea Party group, helped organize Saturday's rally. Monica Boyer, co-chairwoman of the group, said before the event that the Mourdock campaign has proven the tea party's strength.

"We truly have done what we have been told was impossible," she said.

Lugar on Friday lobbied Democrats and independents to cross party lines and save him in Tuesday's primary.

Moderate Republicans have flocked to Lugar's defense. The pro-labor Lunchpail Republicans endorsed Lugar this week and former Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan pleaded with voters to return Lugar to the Senate.


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