Democrats Pounce on Senator Lugar’s Comment that the Economy is ‘Strong’

Aug 10, 2011 1:43pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller (@sunlenmiller) reports: 

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is calling out Indiana Republican Senator Richard Lugar for saying in an interview this week, amid the recent plunges of the stock market, that the economy is strong.

“The American economy is still strong, that we're making progress although it's very slow in terms of job creation, and that we still have a dollar that is the world currency and we are still selling bonds to everybody all over the world despite the S&P downgrade,” Lugar said in an interview with WDRB Tuesday.

Democrats immediately pounced on Lugar’s remarks, calling them “insulting” to families economically struggling and suggesting just days after the stock market plummeted, the remarks are reminiscent of Senator John McCain’s, R-AZ., statement as a candidate for president in 2008 who famously said the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

"After 35 years in Washington, Senator Lugar is clearly out of touch with the struggles that so many Hoosier are facing right now,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Press Secretary Shripal Shah said, “His remarks are nothing short of insulting to the Hoosier families who are very worried about what's happening on Wall Street and don't feel that the economy is strong."

This comment could come back to haunt Lugar, who, as ABC’s Shushannah Walshe has reported, is in the fight of his political life for reelection in Indiana where state treasurer Richard Mourdock, is hoping to unseat 35-year incumbent Lugar, and the economy will likely be one of the major issues for voters.

The Lugar campaign pushed back on Lugar’s optimism, noting that the senator believes the economy is “resilient” and will come back.”

“Even with the damage done, the underlying basis for the American economy is strong, and we Republicans have full faith in our free market,” David Willkie, Political Director for the Lugar campaign said. “We need to elect a Republican President and majorities in the Senate and House in 2012 to allow for additional job creation for Hoosiers and Americans."

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