U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly campaigned Thursday like it was 1999.
Rep. Donnelly, D-2nd, spent a second straight day with former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh at his side. In Fort Wayne, they talked about the need for bipartisan cooperation in Washington, invoking Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., as a model.
“Sen. Bayh and Sen. Lugar are always such a great example of the Hoosier way, which is common sense, which is working together, focusing on what’s best for our country,” Donnelly said during a visit to Paint The Town Graphics on West Main Street.
Bayh was in the Senate from 1999 through 2010. Lugar has been a senator since 1977, but was defeated in the May Republican primary election by state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
“We don’t expect a my-way-or-the-highway attitude; we expect getting things done,” Donnelly said about the Senate, where Democrats have a 53-47 majority.
Thirty-three seats, including Lugar's, are up for election this year.
The “highway” phrase, also used in Donnelly’s campaign ads, is a reference to Mourdock’s comments that there is too much bipartisanship in Congress and that Democrats should adhere to Republican views.
Bayh said that of those senators who were from the same state but different political parties, he and Lugar “had voting records more alike than anybody else, because we knew we were there to represent the same people, not just the political parties.”
“We need more practical problem-solvers in Washington,” Bayh said about Donnelly. “Enough with the food fight already.”
Mourdock’s campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have responded to the Donnelly-Bayh joint appearances by pointing out both voted for President Obama’s health care law and economic stimulus package, and to raise the country’s borrowing limit.
For more on this story, see Friday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Friday.