VIDEO: Another GOP senatorial candidates gets in trouble over comment about rape, abortion
Richard Mourdock, the Republican running for U.S. Senate from Indiana, infuriated many Tuesday night when, during a debate, he said that "when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." The comments have put Mourdock and even Presidential candidate Mitt Romney back on the defensive, especially with women.
It seems like déjà vu: a U.S. Senate candidate in a tight race made a controversial statement about rape.
This time it was Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock in a Tuesday night debate against his opponent Democratic U.S. Representative Joe Donnely.
"Life is a gift from God. Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen," he said.
All of the sudden, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, is once again being asked to explain the comments of members of his party.
Mary Beth Schneider, a political reporter at the Indianapolis Star, said the comment immediately caused a double take.
"It was the only thing in the debate that people were talking about or commenting on immediately," she said. "And so it did indeed take over any reaction or any story about the debate their might have been."
Indiana is a conservative state, so all three candidates — including a Libertarian — are running on pro-life platforms. And yet, it seems that Mourdock took things too far.
"If he had just stopped, even after saying that he would not make an exception, except for the life of the mother," Schneider said. "Instead he went on to explain, and bring God into it. And a lot of people were taking his comments as saying that God somehow intended the life to happen through a rape. Now, Mourdock is saying that it's sick and twisted that anybody thinks that. But regardless, within about an hour or two, Mitt Romney was disavowing these comments."
Schneider doesn't think Romney is vulnerable in Indiana, but if Mourdock and Romney are linked outside of Indiana, those comments could affect the preferences of women voters — a very important constituency.
As for the Senate race narrowing? Schneider says it's already too close to call.
"I don't know if there's even room for it to narrow," she said. "Everybody thinks that this is going to come down to turnout."
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