Dick Lugar faces conservative attacks in Indiana primary

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

"Over 36 years in Washington, Dick Lugar has changed," a voice-over in the new NRA ad states. According to the YouTube description, "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-versus-establishment-Republican divide in this race.

Lugar voted against a ban on earmarks and for the 2008 stimulus, and supported the bailoutsvotes 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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