Indiana GOP Senate nominee Richard Mourdock fired up a Tea Party crowd last week, by comparing the perhaps dry subject of his lawsuit against the Obama administration over the Chrysler bankruptcy to an older, more emotional struggle: Abraham Lincoln’s orations against slavery.
Mourdock spoke to a FreedomWorks PAC event in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday.
He narrated the tale of Abraham Lincoln’s debates with Sen. Stephen Douglas in 1858, in which Lincoln connected the debates on slavery to the old doctrine of the divine right of kings, to live off the labors of their subjects: “And Mr. Lincoln said, if it was a prince demanding tribute from his subjects, or if it was offered as an apology by one race of men for enslaving another race of men, it was, he said ‘the same tyrannical principle.’”
Mourdock then went on to contrast this with the Obama administration’s treatment of secured creditors, such as the Indiana pension fund that Mourdock oversees as state Treasurer, in the Chrysler bailout:
“He’s a man who does not understand this country. Because I don’t think anyone who truly understands those types of American who sacrifice, would ever be ripping away their assets, to take them from one group to give to another.
“You see, my friends, it is once again that message coming from Washington, D.C., that even people like those pensioners I represent can work and sweat and toil and earn and save, so that someone else can be given their assets.
“It is the same tyrannical principle as in 1858 — but now it’s 2012.”
In an interview with the Evansville Courier & Press, Mourdock stood by the comments.
“A government that is willing to accept that they can take the property of one and give it to someone else was not unlike what happened in the Chrysler case. It is as simple as that,” he said.
When asked if he was comparing the Chrysler bankruptcy to slavery, Mourdock denied the charge: “No, that wasn’t the issue at all. … It was about government’s actions and taking property.”
The full speech is below. The “tyrannical principle” denunciation of Obama begins at about the 8:10 mark.