GREENSBURG — Richard Mourdock, Indiana Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, appeared at a small rally Friday afternoon at Aspen Place Health Campus.
The conservative, Tea Party-backed Mourdock briefly covered several issues during the session, touting his accomplishments as the state’s 53rd Treasurer and arguing that his experience in state finance and budgeting would translate well to Washington.
“In the last year, as the national credit rating has gone down, Indiana’s credit rating has gone up,” Mourdock said. “In Ind., we have the lowest number of state employees on a per capita basis.”
The senatorial candidate decried current Federal spending, which he said amounts to $1.3 trillion more spent per year than is collected, translating into around a $50,000 per second deficit.
The candidate promised that, if elected, he’ll serve only two terms.
He added that, after more than 600 days on the campaign trail, visiting every Ind. county and as many cities and towns as possible, he looks forward to the race’s final days. He expressed confidence that Tuesday’s election results would “stun the nation.”
“We’ve got to get Barack Obama out of office,” he said. “We’re headed in the wrong direction, and Tuesday night, the nation will tell Washington that it wants the Federal government to run more like the state of Ind. runs its state government.”
After his appearance, in a brief session with the Daily News, Mourdock stood by his much-publicized opposition to the U.S. Departments of Energy and Education.
Both Departments, he asserted, need to be abolished entirely because neither has accomplished what it was established to do. Asked how he’d replace those two, Mourdock said he’d replace neither and would instead allow each individual state greater power and flexibility in dealing with those issues for itself.
He also stood firmly by his well-known opposition to the “ObamaCare” Healthcare Act.
He acknowledged that Republicans need a viable alternative to ObamaCare and that such an alternative should include less government red-tape and intervention in the day-to-day activities of practicing doctors, which “slows productivity.”
“ObamaCare also forbids doctors from owning hospitals and other healthcare facilities,” he said. “But the numbers show that such facilities are among the most efficient and best-run in the industry. Why would you work to drive the most successful healthcare entities out of business?”
Mourdock also suggested allowing healthcare insurance companies to advertise across state lines, a prospect currently outlawed by Federal law.
“I also believe that individuals should be able to claim a tax deduction for every dollar spent on healthcare,” he added.
Mourdock’s stop in Greensburg comes on the heels of a poll released Friday showing he trails his opponent, Indiana Congressman Joe Donnelly, by 11 points among likely voters.
According to the Courier-Journal and Yahoo! News, that poll was released by Howey Politics and DePauw University. It shows Donnelly at 47 percent versus 36 percent for Mourdock. The poll further indicates that Mourdock’s drop is largely due to a loss of support among female voters, who now favor Donnelly 50 to 32 percent.
The poll is the first to gauge voter sentiment in the hotly-contested race since Mourdock caused a firestorm during an Oct. 23 debate. During an exchange about abortion, Mourdock expressed opposition to the procedure even in the case of rape because the pregnancy in such cases is “something that God intended to happen.”
During his appearance at Aspen Place, Mourdock downplayed the poll, arguing that his own internal polling, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, shows the race remains a virtual tie.
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.