Hardball | November 07, 2012
>>> a series of hard fought races, democrat kept their seats. two more races have been called for democrats. nbc news can project that john tester of montana has won re-election. in north dakota , heidi heitkamp beat rick berg . there are oth giving a 355 55 to 45 edge. joe donnelly won richard lugar 's seat. mr. donnelly, congressman, i am so impressed. you gave up a safe seat in the house, you risked it all, put it all -- i guess you put it on blue, the democratic ticket, and you bet -- were you better off running against mourdock who ended up being a little loosey goosy or would you have been better up against lugar?
>> well, what i bet on was the people of undindiana. we have commonsense and we're conservative but believe in getting things done and we are not extreme. what happened was this campaign came down to someone with very extreme positions and what i tried to do was just focus on the middle, the same place where senator lugar has been for the longest time, just trying to do commonsense things, trying to move our country forward. and, you know, i thought that that made a lot of sense, that's that's where hoosiers were and we were very fortunate last night.
>> you've been on the frontlines and there's nothing smarter than a candidate coming back from winning or losing an election. now, what do you know about the appeal of the other side? what is the main republican appeal to middle of the road voters? why would a person of sound mind vote republican? i mean, i really want you to stick your neck out now that the election is over. when you meet the people that you like and they say why, what is the best case they make?
>> the kind of republican senator lugar has been for years is making sure we keep our financial house in order, working hard for farmers and for agricultural community and for our rural towns. and so that's the appeal that so many in indiana have for the republican party and a big portion of the republican party has moved away from that and here in indiana, as a democrat, we have tried to fill that vote. we say, we want to focus on commonsense, on getting things done and focus like a laser on jobs. i was one of the folks who led on the auto fight along with sherrod brown and obviously president obama . that made a big difference in this race, too, chris. across that whole middle section of our state where we have a lot of auto plants and such, we did really well in that area.
>> that's the reason ted kennedy got elected in massachusetts which is not as liberal as says it is. home state, focusing on a state and what it needs. we'll be right back with more from senator-elect joe donly. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.