Mourdock Apologizes for "Lack of Clarity," But Sticks to Abortion Stance
Republican Senate nominee Richard Mourdock has apologized to anyone who "mistook" his comments on rape and abortion at Tuesday night's Senate debate.
Mourdock says a combination of his own "lack of clarity" and others twisting his words sparked the firestorm he's now trying to tamp down. He says he's not backing off his underlying position of supporting abortion only to save the mother's life -- he says he believes in the sanctity of life "to the marrow of (his) bones," as a product of his lifelong Christian faith.
But Mourdock says he's been "humbled" by reactions to his debate assertion that if pregnancy results from rape, it is "something that God intended to happen."
--> Listen to Mourdock's News Conference
He's now echoing Democratic opponent Joe Donnelly in declaring, "The God I worship abhors violence." He's accusing Donnelly of a "cynical" political attack in suggesting Mourdock meant otherwise.
Mourdock, Donnelly and Libertarian nominee Andrew Horning all oppose abortion, but Donnelly would add exceptions in cases of rape or incest, while Horning frames the issue in constitutional terms, saying it shouldn't be a federal issue at all. Horning came to Mourdock's defense, posting on his Facebook page that if one believes God created all life, there's no logical reason to differentiate based on how that life came into being.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and gubernatorial nominee Mike Pence had swiftly issued statements before Mourdock's news conference, declaring they "strongly disagree" with his position. Pence had called on Mourdock to apologize.
State Democratic Chairman Dan Parker declared in a statement that Mourdock's comments "disqualify" him as an acceptable U.S. senator.
Mourdock skipped a scheduled Wednesday morning appearance at a small-business rally in Indianapolis, and New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte canceled plans to campaign with Mourdock in Indianapolis and Lafayette. Ayotte's office issued a statement emphasizing her disagreement with Mourdock. Mourdock says he suggested to Ayotte as an act of "professional courtesy" that she cancel her trip, rather than be drawn into the controversy.
But Texas Senator John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, issued a statement backing Mourdock and blasting what he calls Democrats' "faux outrage." Cornyn calls it "irresponsible and ridiculous" to suggest Mourdock meant anything other than that God is the creator of all life.
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint is scheduled to appear with Mourdock Thursday.
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