Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who lost her Republican primary in August in a major upset and is now running as a write-in candidate, appeared Sunday on State of the Union, where she savaged Republican nominee Joe Miller’s right-wing stances as being out of touch with Alaska’s needs.
Murkowski’s apparent decision to position herself as a candidate of the middle should set up a very interesting race between herself, Miller and Democratic nominee Scott McAdams in this deep-red state. Most interesting is her blasting Miller for opposing Social Security and Medicare — a possible play for Democratic votes.
“I’m not gonna define people by labels, who’s a real Republican, who’s not a real Republican,” said Murkowski. “What I look at is, do you represent the values of the state of Alaska? Do you represent the people here, in terms of what it is that they need, they hope for, what they hope for their future? And Joe Miller simply does not represent that. He is suggesting to us, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many, many Alaskans, some pretty radical things. You know, we dump Social Security, no more Medicare, let’s get rid of the Department of Education, elimination of all earmarks.“You know, he is — he has taken an approach that is just, plain and simple, more radical than where the people of the state of Alaska are. Now, they all want to make sure that we’re reducing our spending, that we’re being responsible. I want to do that too. I want to work on that as well. But I’m also very cognizant of the fact that we live in a state where we’re not connected to anybody’s transportation grid. We’re not connected to an energy grid that allows us to have lower energy costs.”
Candy Crowley repeatedly asked Murkowski whether she had taken any polls of a write-in race before making her decision. Murkowski neither confirmed nor denied it.
“There have been a lot of polls that are out there. But I’ll be the first one to tell you, Candy, this is a tough hurdle,” said Murkowski. “Winning a write-in campaign is going to be tough. But don’t you tell Alaskans that we can’t do tough things. You don’t think we can fill in an oval and learn to spell ‘Lisa Murkowski?’ We can figure this out. Our state’s future is on the line, and we’re gonna listen to what Alaskans have to say. We’re not gonna be listening to the pundits back in Washington, D.C. We’re not gonna be listening to the naysayers. We’re gonna be listening to those people who live and work and raise their families and are worried about their jobs, their economy. This is what we’re focused on right now.”
One thing is for sure: This is certainly going to be a very interesting race between Murkowski, Miller and McAdams.