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Romney stumps for Indiana tea party Senate candidate Mourdock

August 04, 2012|By Seema Mehta
  • Scott Olson / Getty Images
Scott Olson / Getty Images (m891twpd20120804150251/600 )

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Mitt Romney stumped for tea party Senate candidate Richard Mourdock here on Saturday, arguing that as president he will need such supporters in Washington to help him enact policies to restore fiscal order.

“You know, we've got to get this guy elected in the U.S. Senate, you know that. He has proven as the treasurer that he knows how to he makes sure to balance books. He’s also proven as a campaigner that he can take his message to the people of Indiana, they’ll support him. This is a man that I want to see in Washington to make sure that we cannot just talk about changing things but actually have the votes to get things change,” Romney told about 100 supporters gathered in Stepto’s Bar-B-Q Shack. “Will you help me elect this guy as the next U.S. senator?”

The nation’s capital needs people such as Mourdock who understand that the nation cannot continue deficit spending, Romney said.

“You can’t keep spending massively more than you take in without putting America in peril. And so a treasurer knows that, a governor knows that. It seems that everybody in America knows that in their households, businesses know it, families know it. There’s only one place in America that doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t keep spending massively more than you take in every year, and that’s Washington,” Romney said. “And one reason we’re both going there is to change Washington and to make sure that we finally get ourselves on track to a balanced budget.”

Mourdock introduced Romney, noting he had done so four years ago when Romney came to Indiana stumping for 2008 Republican nominee John McCain.

“He is back and he’s here in part because he’s the ultimate team player, and politics is all about being a team. This is not a solo sport,” Mourdock said. “And for that purpose alone, governor, thank you so much for coming here and supporting our candidacy today.”

“But even more important, Gov. Romney … is here to give you a message that he’s been carrying across this great country about what it’s going to take to get this country back on track,” he said. “We cannot have another four years of the bankrupt policies of Barack Obama.”

In May, Mourdock beat six-term Sen. Dick Lugar in the Republican primary, an intraparty dispute that Romney declined to weigh in on. But he is in a tight race with Democrat Joe Donnelly, and Romney’s appearance here was clearly intended to buoy his efforts. Mourdock’s campaign planned to make an ad out of the appearance, and had at least three camera people documenting it.

Democrats highlighted controversial statements Mourdock has made, such as saying he opposed bipartisanship, asking whether Romney shared his views.

But as Romney shook hands and ordered a pulled chicken sandwich, Mourdock noted that he was proud to stand beside his party’s standard-bearer.

“It’s funny, my opponent Joe Donnelly doesn’t want to be seen with their candidate,” he said.

Obama surprisingly won Indiana in 2008, the first Democratic nominee to win the state in 44 years, defeating McCain by less than 1 percentage point. But his prospects this year are not good, with a March poll showing Romney beating him by 9 points.

seema.mehta@latimes.com

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