Dick Lugar Faces Conservative Attacks in Indiana Primary

Conservative groups the National Rifle Association and the Club for Growth have launched an attack ad assault on Sen. Dick Lugar Monday as the Indiana Republican heads into a difficult Republican primary race. The groups criticize the Senator for not being conservative enough.

"Over his 36 years in Washington, Dick Lugar has changed... away from our shared values," a voiceover in the new NRA ad states. "He claimed to be a strong supporter of our rights when he first came to Washington" but has since voted for gun bans and taken other actions that sharply contrast with the NRA's mission.

The fiscally conservative Club for Growth also released an ad Monday, though this one focused on Lugar's opponent state treasurer Richard Mourdock as the conservative alternative to Lugar. Watch that video below:

Conservatives and Tea Party proponents have long been gearing up to take down Lugar, who was first elected in 1976 and whose defeat would be a major victory for the right. Many conservative groups, including FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Express, have helped create a conservative Republican versus the establishment Republican divide in this race.

Lugar voted against a ban on earmarks, for the 2008 stimulus, and supported the bailouts-- votes frequently highlighted in conservative attacks against him.

Lugar's campaign has attacked Mourdock as an outsider beholden to "D.C. outsider groups," instead of a candidate of and for the people of Indiana.

Early absentee voting for Indiana's May 8 Republican primary began Monday.

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