Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, an Indiana Republican, turned a few heads and dropped a few jaws on Tuesday night when he said that pregnancies resulting from rape were "something that God intended to happen." It happened during a debate between Mourdock and his opponent, Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly and did not go unnoticed. Another thing that did not go unnoticed was the ad featuring Mitt Romney endorsing Mourdock that dropped earlier this week. It was the first such endorsement Romney's made for a Republican candidate, and it may or may not still be valid. Update: Romney's campaign has not asked for the ad to be pulled, CNN's Jim Acosta reports.
We're getting ahead of ourselves. During Tuesday night's debate, Mourdock addressed the issue of abortion emotionally. The Washington Post's Aaron Blake said he was choking up when he said, "I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." Just clip the phrases "gift from God" and "something that God intended to happen" in your mind, and remember that Mourdock is talking about rape. The words "gift" and "rape" do not often occur in the same sentence, especially in the final days of a Senate campaign.
Obviously, Mourdock's opponent pounced on the quote. "The God I believe in and the God I know most Hoosiers believe in, does not intend for rape to happen -- ever," Donnelly (D) said in a statement. "What Mr. Mourdock said is shocking, and it is stunning that he would be so disrespectful to survivors of rape." Disrespectful indeed. Is it more disrespectful that saying "some girls rape easy," like Republican state representative Roger Rivard said a couple of weeks ago? Or how about Congressman Todd Akin saying that it's rare for women to get pregnant from "legitimate rape?" Who knows any more -- these offensive rape comments are really starting to pile up!
As we mentioned earlier, though, Mourdock's statement really puts Romney in a bind. Not long after the "gift from God" quotes made headlines, Romney's press secretary Andrea Saul said in a statement, "Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock's comments, and they do not reflect his views." She would not say whether or not Romney's endorsement of Mourdock still stands. Things get even more complicated for Romney when you take into consideration Paul Ryan's endorsement of Mourdock. "Please, please send us Richard Mourdock," Ryan said according to Mourdock's campaign materials. "We NEED this man in the United States Senate."
Mourdock, understandably, has been quick to defend himself against the backlash. "What I said was, in answering the question form my position of faith, I said I believe that God creates life. I believe that as wholly and as fully as I can believe it. That God creates life," he said in a post-debate press conference. "Are you trying to suggest that somehow I think that God pre-ordained rape? No, I don't think that. That's sick. Twisted. That's not even close to what I said. What I said is that God creates life."
We'll just leave you with the original quote. One last time" "I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen," said Mourdock. Is this the man we NEED in the Senate?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.