Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Mike Pence are putting some distance between themselves and Richard Mourdock.
During a Senate debate Tuesday in Indiana, Mourdock said when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, "that's something God intended."
Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Mitt Romney said the GOP presidential hopeful disagrees with those comments.
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Tuesday in an email to The Associated Press that Mourdock's comments "do not reflect" Romney's views.
Mike Pence, the Republican candidate for Indiana governor, also addressed Mourdock's choice of words.
"I strongly disagree with the statement made by Richard Mourdock during last night's Senate debate. I urge him to apologize," Pence said in a statement Wednesday.
As a representative for District 6 in the US House, Pence has consistently voted for measures designed to prohibit or limit abortion coverage.
Mourdock's comments quickly drew criticism from Democrats, including challenger Joe Donnelly, who is locked in a tight race with Mourdock.
"I think that that hurts women who've been the victims of sexual crimes. I think it opens up wounds. It causes a whole lot of problems and things like that are just beyond unfortunate statements," said John Gregg, the Democratic candidate for Indiana governor.
Gregg also criticized Pence, saying, "the congressman can't distance himself because that extreme Tea Party group is his base."
Mourdock's comments come a day after a new ad featuring Romney giving his support for the GOP candidate started airing. It was the latest effort by both parties to break open the Senate race.
Meantime, Andrew Horning, the Libertarian candidate for Senate, posted these comments on his Facebook page:
"I should probably just shut up about Mourdock's Moment and let votes come my way without standing in the way. I have nothing to gain and at least a little to lose by speaking my mind. But I'd be a lousy man and I wouldn't sleep tonight if I were to withhold my thoughts on this. So, I must defend Mr. Mourdock, at least in this one little way. You probably don't know how hard it is to stand up before cameras in this tense situation and try to say what you mean, and not say anything stupid. To do this with a clock ticking, and only a minute to be specific, clear and intelligible, is apparently impossible. All of us slipped now and then. God Knows that I certainly said things I wish I could retract, and didn't say much of what I'd meant to. In a minute, I could only formulate a thought and start to articulate it before the timekeeper's red STOP sign came up. I want people to vote for me, of course. But I sure don't want anybody to vote for me based upon Mourdock's supposed gaffe for at least a couple of reasons:
1. That sort of hair-trigger reactive politics is a fair-sized chunk of flaw in human behavior that makes politics so inevitable, ugly and dangerous.
2. I understand what he meant, and... well...I personally know women who'd been raped, and had abortions. While I don't personally know any women who'd been raped and bore the child, I've certainly heard plenty of stories of such women. And the only regrets I've heard are from the former group. I know many women who didn't have abortions were blessed beyond their hopes by their beautiful child - a child who was, after all, innocent of the brutality of her or his conception. Everybody who knows me knows that my core philosophy of anti-aggression flows into a pro-life stance as well. While I insist upon constitutionality in my politics, and understand that most of the abortion debate should properly be argued at the state level, my personal feelings are far more like... Mr. Mourdock's. While I would not unconstitutionally craft federal policy in this matter, I do agree with Mr. Mourdock that, if you have any notion of a deity at all, then God's Mercy could be seen in the birth of a child. No matter what else may have happened up to that point. I'm sorry if that offends people who might have come my way by way of Mourdock's words. But I don't want anybody to vote for me under false premises or hasty judgments. I've got to stand on my principles; which means I've got to defend my principles all the time. No matter how those chips may fall."
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