Lugar makes rare stop in Northwest Indiana with primary drawing near
By John Robbins Post-Tribune correspondent May 3, 2012 12:54PM
Portage mayor Jim Snyder, left, looks on as U.S. Senator Dick Lugar speaks during a campaign stop at Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor Thurday May 3, 2012. Lugar, locked in a tight primary battle with state treasurer Richard Mourdock, was joined by David Fagan, right, Indiana Lunch Pail Republicans PAC chairman who recently endorsed Lugar. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 5, 2012 11:36AM
Sen. Richard Lugar, in the midst of a close primary campaign struggle, stopped at the Port of Indiana Burns Harbor Thursday to discuss the importance of infrastructure on jobs.
Port Commissioner David Fagan and Portage Mayor James Snyder accompanied Lugar. They were met at the Federal Marine Terminals facility by a number of officials and port workers.
“Lugar understands the vision Eisenhower had of the importance of infrastructure, and because of this support (it) has resulted in the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Fagan said in introductory remarks. Fagan serves as chairman of the Lunch Pail Republicans PAC that recently endorsed Lugar over challenger Richard Mourdock in the May 8 primary.
“The Port represents a very important part of the infrastructure of Indiana,” said Lugar, noting its importance for international trade and job creation in Indiana.
Lugar talked about the importance of the pending highway bill stalled in Congress.
“We’re in a battle right now in Congress trying to get the bill moved,” Lugar said.
Reconciling the importance of continued funding for infrastructure development with attempts to cut federal spending, Lugar observed, “We get more profit from building.”
“Our legislative success only comes from sheer persistence,” Lugar said, and in the nature of compromise in the intensely partisan atmosphere of Washington, Lugar stressed how achievements are incremental and the importance of “moving things along as amendments.”
Taking a jab at his opponent, whom he claims will take a “my way or the highway” approach of no compromise, Lugar said, “As a junior senator, my opponent will get the highway.”
“I’ve had to learn the importance of balance to move Portage forward,” Snyder said, echoing Lugar. “We need to find common ground. That takes statesmanship.”
At a fundraiser in Fort Wayne earlier this week, Mourdock said of Lugar, “We’ve tried to point out the differences in policies, where I’m more of a conservative than he is. I think to the conservative base of the Republican Party that’s been the right message.”
The Associated Press
contributed to this report.