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Lugar Says ‘Mean-Spirited’ Rivals May Doom Gop

Fri., Nov. 10, 1995

Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar said Thursday his “mean-spirited” Republican presidential rivals have turned off mainstream voters and would be “dead on their feet” in a race against President Clinton.

Lugar said the increasingly conservative Republican presidential campaign may please party activists, but it makes Clinton look better and better to voters.

“To the raw meat, many people respond, but I don’t think they’re responding around the country,” Lugar said.

Lugar said surveys show growing negative ratings for leading Republican contenders such as Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.

“They are out there walking around as candidates, but they’re dead on their feet,” Lugar said.

“After several candidate meetings at which I’ve listened to all of my fellow candidates, it offers a competition as to who is the most mean-spirited, the toughest, pounds them in the head the most times that night,” Lugar said.

Lugar’s comments came during a taping of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press program.”

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