(CNN) – Several Republican senators have announced their intent to retire rather than run for re-election in 2012, but Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar is gearing up for his campaign "with boots on the ground."
In an interview with CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King, on "John King, USA," Lugar said of the race, "Oh I'm in til the end."
"I'm enthusiastic about a great campaign that our supporters they're waging, much more prematurely than perhaps we would have anticipated, but with fundraisers every week, with boots on the ground literally in Indiana who are out working the precincts," Lugar said.
Lugar, the most senior Republican member of the Senate, is seeking a seventh term in office. He has been criticized, particularly by Tea Party activists, for his willingness to work across party lines and for voting in favor of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2008. Lugar is also among several senators up for re-election in 2012 who are being targeted by the Tea Party Express.
There will be at least one challenger to Lugar in the May 8, 2012 GOP primary–last month, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock announced his bid for the seat currently occupied by Lugar.
Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.
Good Monday to all. The bloody stalemate in Libya poses a difficult and potentially defining challenge for President Obama. There are more and more calls for some form of military intervention: some want a no-fly zone, others propose arming the anti-Gadhafi forces. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry suggests a more limited initial step: taking out Libyan runways so military jets can’t be used to bomb the anti-government forces. In any event, the administration is being cautious. One reason is history: it would be the third time in a decade the United States used force in a Muslim nation. Another is a lack of clarity about the anti-Gadhafi forces: there is no one opposition leader, so no clear sense of what a post-Gadhafi Libya would look like. But pressure is mounting, and the week ahead should prove interesting. If it is domestic politics you crave, Iowa is busy with 2012 GOP hopefuls this week. Just 336 days to the Iowa caucuses, after all. I’m usually one to get excited early about campaigns, but this still feels more like spring training than the major leagues. Erick and Mario help us kick off the work week with some ideas and observations, including thoughts about two prospects in that yet to turn very scintillating 2012 Republican tug of war. Enjoy the day. – John King
Talk Show Host and Online Editor of MyLatinoNews.com Mario Solis-Marich:
– Jen-grich from the Block: Newt opens a new web site in Spanish – a language that he has referred to as being of the “ghetto”, welcome to the hood!
– Bachmann-Tuner Overdrive: Michele Bachmann runs over a Sunday TV talk show host by repeating her hypnotic mantra on hidden billions in heath set asides without receiving any requests for proof, where is my channel changer?
– Public Enemy – Gas prices soar and child poverty is headed to 25%, yet Congress is about to spend days talking about “Radical Islam”, apparently times in the beltway are great!
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
– Speaker Boehner and Senator Reid are making a terrible mistake. Frank Buckles, the last veteran of World War I, should be allowed to lie in the Capitol Rotunda.
– Conservatives keep asking themselves a question: when will Mitt Romney begin the walk back on ‘RomneyCare’? Many who'd consider supporting him won't do so until that happens.
– Wisconsin Democrats are returning to Madison led by General Pyrrus.
Editor’s Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors