The politician, who involved in a race with Democratic challenger Rep. Joe Donnelly, was asked during the debate whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.
“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that 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 happened,” Mourdock said.
However, he tried to explain his comments after the debate, saying that he did not believe God intended the rape, but that God is the only one who can create life.
“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,” a Tea Party-backed candidate said.
“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.”
Democrats didn’t miss a chance to mock Donelly’s opponent and immediately pounced on Mourdock comments, linking GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to Mourdock. Earlier this week, Romney personally appeared in a TV ad for the Indiana state treasurer, offering his endorsement, ABC News reports.
“Richard Mourdock’s rape comments are outrageous and demeaning to women,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement released to press.
She added: “Unfortunately, they’ve become part and parcel of the modern Republican Party’s platform toward women’s health, as Congressional Republicans like Paul Ryan have worked to outlaw all abortions and even narrow the definition of rape.”
“As Mourdock’s most prominent booster and the star of Mourdock’s current campaign ads, Mitt Romney should immediately denounce these comments and request that the ad featuring him speaking directly to camera on Mourdock’s behalf be taken off the air,” the statement reads.
Donnelly – who is also pro-life but who supports exceptions for rape and incest as CBS News claims – released a statement questioning the notion that God would “intend for rape to happen.”
“The God I believe in and the God I know most Hoosiers believe in, does not intend for rape to happen – ever,” Donnelly said.
He continued: “What Mr. Mourdock said is shocking, and it is stunning that he would be so disrespectful to survivors of rape.”
Obama strategist David Axelrod also took to Twitter to comment on the politician’s failure: “Mitt’s man Mourdock apes Akin, reflecting a GOP that is way out of mainstream,”
Romney’s campaign distanced itself from Mourdock’s comment. Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said explained: “Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views.”