Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., left, and the committee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., take part in a news conference, on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010, after the Senate’s ratification of the New START Treaty
Fettig and Boyer originally requested the meeting as representatives of Hoosiers for Conservative Senate, an organization of roughly 60 Tea Party groups formed to find a conservative primary challenger to Lugar, or force his retirement.
Lugar and a pair of staffers discussed a range of federal issues, including the role of earmarks and the Federal Reserve. Fettig and Boyer objected to Lugar’s sponsorship of the DREAM Act, his support for the ratification of the START nuclear arms treaty during the lame-duck session of Congress, and his votes to confirm Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Mark Hayes, a spokesman for Lugar, was in the room and acknowledged that “not everybody is going to agree with everything” the senator has done in his long career.
But, Hayes told CNN, “[Lugar’s] preference is to sit down and have a conversation, to understand where they’re coming from, and really to point out the high degree of similarities, for the most part, on a lot of different issues. It was a good conversation.”
Fettig called Lugar “likeable” and “a lovely human being,” but said Lugar should prepare for a Tea Party challenge.
“We weren’t swayed,” he told CNN. “We equated it to going out on a football field, shaking hands, flipping the coins, and game on. He wants to win, and we want to win.”
Hoosiers for Conservative Senate is convening a “Road To Retirement” event in Indianapolis on Jan. 22 in Indianapolis, where organizers hope that an array of Tea Party groups can unite around one Republican candidate to challenge Lugar in the May 2012 primary.
Fettig named state Sen. Mike Delph and Treasurer Richard Mourdock as challengers who could earn the Tea Party group’s blessing.
Richard Lugar has grown too “RINO” Left on too mnay issues for the conservative red state of Indiana. He will be replaced as the Republican nominee in 2012.
Wonder if South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint’s PAC and/or Club for Growth will involve themselves?