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Mourdock encourages GOP


By Carolyn Crowcroft

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock spoke to students and Bloomington residents Monday night at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs as part of a College Republicans at IU meeting discussing the state of the Republican party.

Fresh off a recent campaign for U.S. senator, Mourdock thanked those in attendance for supporting his candidacy and encouraged them to come out again during the next election season.

“I got my graduate degree in geology, and I never imagined 15 years later I’d be running for public office,” he said. “No matter what your background is, I encourage you to get involved in the public process.”

A self-proclaimed Abraham Lincoln enthusiast, Mourdock used the president’s work in office to draw comparisons to Barack Obama’s presidency.

“(Lincoln) didn’t make the popular decision — he made the right decision,” he said. “There are people today in Washington saying, ‘If we just raise taxes a little bit more, if we spend a little more, we’ll make things better.’ It’s a very popular argument, people love to hear it. It’s an easy answer. But if you’re not paying attention, you’d better, because it’s not the right one.”

Mourdock said it is important for young people to win their peers over to the conservative party, and although this year won’t see any major elections, he said there’s still work to be done.

“Don’t use this off election year to be uninvolved,” Mourdock said. “Do something about it. Use this year as best you can to win people to the side of fiscal common sense, because the other side, right now, has none.”

At the end of his lecture, Mourdock took questions from audience members. Topics ranged from policies Mourdock had worked on in previous years as treasurer to whether he believed a strict conservative would ever win a general election.

“I think yes, it can yet happen, but quite honestly, I don’t think we’ve hit bottom yet,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve hit the point where people realize this crazy Obama-nomics is so out of tune with reality that they are willing to make the hard decision to go in the other direction.”

Mourdock said he hoped that, if anything, those who attended his lecture were inspired to stay involved in politics and would recognize the threat the economy poses on the future. He said he loves getting the opportunity to speak to students.

“Students always ask good questions,” Mourdock said. “Usually, when I speak to crowds above the age of 25, they’re so reticent to ask questions.”

College Republicans at IU Chairman Daniel Cheesman said the organization was thrilled to have Mourdock speak at their meeting. Cheesman first saw Mourdock speak as a freshman and said Mourdock’s been a friend of the College Republicans for years.

“I hope people that were here tonight realize the Republican party is still strong and has a presence on campus,” he said. “I was glad to see so many people come out. He’s a smart guy and major figure in the conservative party.”

State Treasurer Richard Mourdock speaks with sophomore Reyes Jiang after addressing IU College Republicans on Monday in the Kelley School of Business. He discussed economic concerns and encouraged students to spread Republican values in their community. Samantha Schmidt Buy Photos

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