Entries in Richard Mourdock (10)


Rep. Gingrey Says Todd Akin ‘Partly Right’ on ‘Legitimate Rape’

Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- “Legitimate rape,” the least-expected controversy of 2012, is back.

At a breakfast with businesspeople in Cobb County, Georgia, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) offered a partial defense-medical exegesis of the whole kerfuffle over Todd Akin, the Missouri congressman and Senate candidate who stirred up the national campaign pot last year with his claim that women’s bodies could prevent pregnancy in the case of “legitimate rape.”

Gingrey is a conservative congressman who worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist. He made the comments at a breakfast Thursday hosted by the Smyrna Area Council of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, the Marietta Daily Journal’s Jon Gilooly reported:

“And in Missouri, Todd Akin … was asked by a local news source about rape and he said, ‘Look, in a legitimate rape situation’ – and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say, ‘I was raped’: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.”

Gingrey pointed out that he had been an ob-gyn since 1975.

“And I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things,” he’s quoted as saying. “It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right, wasn’t he? But the fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak. And yet the media took that and tore it apart.”

Of Indiana senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who suggested pregnancies from rape are intended by God, Gingrey reportedly said, “Mourdock basically said, ‘Look, if there is conception in the aftermath of a rape, that’s still a child, and it’s a child of God, essentially.’ Now, in Indiana, that cost him the election.”

When asked whether the quotes were accurate, Gingrey’s communications director, Jen Talaber, said she was not at the meeting but that she has called reporter Gilooly to inquire.

Gingrey has already said his comments are being misconstrued as a defense of Akin and Mourdock.

“At a breakfast yesterday morning, I was asked why Democrats made abortion a central theme of the presidential campaign,” Gingrey said Friday in a statement Talaber provided to ABC News.

“I do not defend, nor do I stand by, the remarks made by Rep. Akin and Mr. Mourdock. In my attempt to provide context as to what I presumed they meant, my position was misconstrued.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Mourdock Falls Short in Indiana Senate Race

Office of the Treasurer, State of Indiana(NEW YORK) -- The Republican Party push to take control of the Senate is likely sunk now that Tea Party-backed state Treasurer Richard Mourdock has failed in his bid to replace Republican Sen. Richard Lugar.

Conservative Democrat Joe Donnelly, a New York City-born congressman from the state's 2nd district, defeated Mourdock, who made Lugar a lame duck when he ousted him in their GOP primary race earlier this year.

ABC News has called the race for Donnelly, who leads Mourdock by two percentage points, 48-46, with 70 percent of precincts reporting.

The state became a focus for outside groups -- about $8.6 million flowed in from out of the state -- when Mourdock denied the incumbent a seventh term, making the case that Lugar was too moderate.

A close race down the stretch, the decisive moment might have come during an Oct. 23 debate when Mourdock suggested that pregnancies that resulted from rape were part of "God's plan."

He called a news conference the next morning to "clarify" his remarks, but never apologized, instead claiming the media "mistook and twisted" his words. The uproar, he said, was symptomatic of "what's wrong with Washington."

"God creates life, and that was my point," he told reporters. "God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Newt Gingrich: Richard Mourdock’s Comments Reflect Position of ‘Virtually Every Catholic’ in the U.S.

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sunday morning on “This Week,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended the controversial comments made by Richard Mourdock, in which he suggested that pregnancies resulting from rape were “intended” by God. Gingrich said that the Indiana Republican Senate’s candidate’s words reflected the position of “virtually every Catholic” in the United States.

“My response is, if you listen to what Mourdock actually said, he said what virtually every Catholic and every fundamentalist in the country believes, life begins at conception,” Gingrich said. “Now, this seems to be fixated by the Democrats, but the radical on abortion is Obama, who as a state senator voted three times in favor of allowing doctors to kill babies in the eighth and ninth month who were born, having survived late-term abortion.”

Gingrich further defended Mourdock and asked why some people, including President Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, could not “get over” the comments.

“He also immediately issued a clarification saying he was referring to the act of conception, and he condemned rape.  Romney has condemned — I mean, one part of this is nonsense.  Every candidate I know, every decent American I know condemns rape.  OK, so why can’t people like Stephanie Cutter get over it?  We all condemn rape.”

Gingrich appeared on “This Week” following Cutter, who criticized Mitt Romney for not asking Mourdock to pull an ad featuring the GOP presidential nominee.

“Just this past week we saw it, when he wouldn’t take down his ad for Richard Mourdock, who had — you know, it’s a now famous comment that it’s God’s will if a woman gets pregnant through rape.  He’s not willing to stand up when it matters,” Cutter said.

I also asked Gingrich about the upcoming election and he predicted Romney would win the popular vote with 53 percent. He also pushed back against the idea suggested by some that an Obama victory in the Electoral College, but a popular vote loss would cause some in the GOP to characterize the win as illegitimate.

“I mean, we’re a nation of law.  We’re going to obey the law…I think he’s actually going to end up winning around 53-47,” Gingrich said. “And I think it’s very unlikely he can win a significant popular victory vote and not carry the Electoral College.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Biden Scolds GOP Ticket for Not Having ‘Moral Courage’ to Condemn Mourdock, Akin

JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages(KENOSHA, Wis.) – Vice President Joe Biden commented for the first time Friday on the two Republican Senate candidates who made controversial comments about women and rape.  Biden scolded Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan for not taking a harsher stance against Senate candidates Todd Akin (Missouri) and Richard Mourdock (Indiana).

“Here’s the truth, they made it very, very clear, made it very clear that they do not believe a woman has a right to control her own body. They can’t even, they can’t even get up the gumption to condemn the statements made by two of their candidates for United States Senate,” Biden told the crowd at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

“It’s not enough to tell me you don’t agree. It’s having the moral courage to stand up and say what they said was wrong, simply wrong,” he added.

Earlier this week, Mourdock said during a debate against his Democratic rival in Indiana that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”

Romney recently appeared in an advertisement on behalf of Mourdock, but since the incident, he has not asked him to pull the campaign ad.  A spokesperson for Romney has said the candidate disavows Mourdock’s statement regarding rape.

“Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock, and Mr. Mourdock’s comments do not reflect Gov. Romney’s views. We disagree on the policy regarding exceptions for rape and incest but still support him,” Andrea Saul, spokesperson for Romney, said in a statement Wednesday.

The Republican presidential candidate ignored questions from reporters about Mourdock’s comments during a stop in Cincinnati on Thursday and has yet to answer any questions on the topic.

President Obama rebuked Mourdock’s comments in an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Wednesday.

“I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas,” Obama said on the show. “Let me make a very simple proposition, rape is rape. It is a crime. And so these various distinctions about rape don’t make too much sense to me, don’t make any sense to me.”

In August, Akin said that “legitimate rape” does not normally lead to pregnancy.  At the time, Biden did not comment on the Akin case, but Romney and Ryan did ask for Akin to step down from the race.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Rebukes Richard Mourdock for Rape Remarks on "Tonight Show"

Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images(LAS ANGELES) – President Obama weighed in on controversial comments about rape made by Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock of Indiana, calling it an example of why women should vote for him on Nov. 6 but stopping short of explicitly tying his opponent, Mitt Romney, to the same views.

“I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas,” Obama said in an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno Wednesday. “Let me make a very simple proposition, rape is rape. It is a crime. And so these various distinctions about rape don’t make too much sense to me, don’t make any sense to me.”

During a debate with his anti-abortion Democratic rival Tuesday night, Mourdock said that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.” He has stood by the remark as a reflection of his belief that life begins at conception.

Obama, who supports abortion rights, has emphasized the issue in his bid for a second term, warning women that some Republicans would like to see abortion outlawed in all cases.

“This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s health care decisions,” he told Leno, without mentioning Romney by name. “Women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors, and for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff oftentimes without any information is a huge problem. And this is obviously a part of what’s at stake in this election.”

The Republican nominee opposes abortion, but says he would allow exceptions for rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.

While Obama was more circumspect, top Democrats and Obama campaign officials have overtly tied Romney to Mourdock’s remark and his views on abortion. The GOP presidential nominee has appeared in one TV ad for Republican U.S. Senate candidates this year – an ad for Mourdock. Romney has disavowed the comments but not asked for the ad to be taken down.

“Not surprisingly, Romney is still standing by his endorsement and is refusing to ask that the ad be pulled down,” deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter wrote in an email blast to supporters Wednesday night with a video clip to Mourdock and Romney together.

“It’s a grim reminder of something he’s trying desperately to hide in the final weeks of this election: Romney has campaigned as a severe conservative, supports severely conservative candidates, and would be a severely conservative president — especially on issues important to women,” she wrote.

Obama appeared on the Tonight Show in the midst of his 48-hour, nonstop campaign swing through eight states. It was his third visit with Leno as president and first this year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Indiana Senate Candidate: 'God Intended' Pregnancies from Rape

Mourdock for Senate(NEW ALBANY, Ind.) -- Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said pregnancies resulting from rape are part of God’s plan, tearfully explaining that he only supports abortions when a mother’s life is in danger.

“I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock said during Tuesday’s Senate debate, choking up.  Mourdock’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, opposes abortion except in cases of rape and incest.

After the debate, Mourdock further explained his comment.

“God creates life, and that was my point.  God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does.  Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick,” he said in a statement.

Democrats wasted no time 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.

“Richard Mourdock’s rape comments are outrageous and demeaning to women.  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,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.

“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,” she added

“Mitt’s man Mourdock apes Akin, reflecting a GOP that is way out of mainstream,” Obama strategist David Axelrod tweeted.

Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said during an interview in August that women’s bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called “legitimate rape.”  Akin apologized for the comment, but refused to leave the race despite pressure from his own party.

Romney’s campaign distanced itself from Mourdock’s comment.

“Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views,” campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Stumps for Tea Party-Backed Senate Candidate Mourdock

Mourdock for Senate(EVANSVILLE, Ind.) -- Mitt Romney leant a hand to a tea party backed Senate candidate, Richard Mourdock, in Indiana Saturday, campaigning with him at a BBQ stop Saturday afternoon to urge voters to elect him this fall.
“We gotta get this guy elected in the U.S. Senate, you know that,” Romney said to applause from patrons seated at tables in Stopte’s BBQ Shack.  “He has proven as the treasurer that he knows how to balance books. He’s also proven as a campaigner that he can take his message to the people of Indiana [and] they’ll support him. This is a man that I want to see in Washington to make sure that we cannot just talk about changing things but actually have the votes to get things changed.  Will you help me elect this guy as the next U.S. Senator?”
At a stop that had the feel of the Republican primary events held in small restaurants across the country earlier this year, Romney, campaigning with Mourdock for the first time, discussed the common vision he shares with the Indiana Republican to cut spending in Washington.
“You can’t keep spending massively more than you take in without putting America in peril.  And so a treasurer knows that, a governor knows that.  It seems that everybody in America knows that in their households, businesses know it, families know it,” Romney said. “There’s only one place in America that doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t keep spending massively more than you take in every year and that’s Washington.  And one reason we’re both going there is to change Washington and to make sure that we finally get ourselves on track to a balanced budget.”
Romney has recently touted his bipartisan work in Massachusetts and said he’s capable of “burying the hatchet” in Washington, but the Tea Party, which backed Mourdock in the senate primary race, often finds itself at odds with both sides of the aisle in Congress.
Mourdock, an Indiana state treasurer, overwhelmingly beat Sen. Richard Lugar, a six term senator, in the Republican primary in May.  Romney stayed out of the primary while other Republican notables, such as Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum, threw their backing behind Mourdock over Lugar.  Mourdock will face Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., in November.
Romney has not campaigned in the battleground state of Indiana as extensively as other swing states this cycle. Barack Obama won Indiana in 2008 by one percent against Sen. John McCain, who Romney campaigned for in Evansville four years ago.
“Four years ago you were here in Evansville, Indiana, and I had that opportunity to introduce him. And understand in 2008 Governor Romney had begun that trail down the presidential primary route and ultimately when the Republicans went a different direction it was Governor Mitt Romney who was one of the very first to step forward to support our party’s nominee, John McCain, and he came to Evansville to fire up the troops to make sure we would not see a Barack Obama presidency,” Mourdock said of Romney.  “He is back and he’s here in part because he is the ultimate team player, and politics is all about being a team. This is not a solo sport. And for that purpose alone, governor, thank you so much for coming here and supporting our candidacy today. But even more importantly, Governor Romney I am absolutely convinced and I know all of you are as well is here to give you a message that he’s been carrying across this great country about what it’s going to take to get this country back on track."
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mourdock Defeats Lugar in GOP Indiana Senate Primary

Mourdock for Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Richard Lugar, the third-longest-serving member of the Senate, went down in a primary defeat Tuesday night to his Tea Party-backed opponent in the Republican primary.

State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, backed by Tea Partiers and conservative campaign groups outside the state, ousted Lugar in Indiana’s GOP primary, according to projections.

Mourdock will face Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in November.

In Lugar, the Senate would lose one of its few remaining members with a habit of bipartisanship. In Mourdock, Lugar has been unseated by a mild-mannered, twice-elected statewide official who wants to eliminate five federal departments and cut more spending than House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would.

Lugar’s loss made history. Among senators who had served at least six terms, only one had lost in a primary before Lugar: Kenneth McKeller, D-Tenn., who joined the Senate in 1917 and lost to Democratic primary challenger Al Gore, Sr. in 1952. Only 22 senators in history served as long as Lugar has of 1,931 total, according to the Senate historian.

Lugar currently ties Utah’s Orrin Hatch as the Senate’s longest-tenured Republican. Hatch is also facing a conservative primary challenge in 2012.

Mourdock’s win was expected by political operatives in D.C. and Indiana after an expensive campaign in which outside groups flocked to the Hoosier State. A total of 12 groups spent $4.6 million, only one of them based in Indiana. If raw spending had decided the race, Lugar would have won. As of mid-April, Lugar had spent $6.7 million defending himself, to Mourdock’s $2 million. Outside groups spent more heavily in favor of Mourdock.

Mourdock’s win certainly signifies that the Republican Party has continued to grow more conservative. Where Lugar voted with Democrats to advance the DREAM Act and worked with the Obama administration to push the New START arms-reduction treaty through the Senate, Mourdock is as conservative and ideological as they come.

“Let’s do away with the Department of Education, Energy, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development,” Mourdock told ABC News in an April phone interview, and he has also proposed ending the IRS. Mourdock has suggested that Paul Ryan’s budget doesn’t go far enough, and he released his own rough plan last year to shrink spending by $7.6 trillion in 10 years. (Ryan’s would reduce it by $5.5 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.)

Perhaps most significantly, Mourdock outspokenly opposes bipartisan compromise. “Bipartisanship has brought us to the brink of bankruptcy,” he told ABC. “We don’t need bipartisanship, we need application of principle.”

Mourdock’s win might give Democrats a new chance to win Indiana’s Senate seat in November. Donnelly’s campaign says its internal polling has shown him performing far better against Mourdock than against Lugar. Democrats have held back their opposition research on Mourdock in the hopes that he would win. Majority PAC, the Democratic Senate-focused super PAC, spent money to help Mourdock’s primary bid. A GOP strategist acknowleged that, with Mourdock’s win, Republicans would have to keep a closer eye on the race, though, with Indiana solidly red in recent statewide elections, the party should feel good about its chances to keep Lugar’s seat within the GOP ranks.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mourdock on Senate GOP: We’ll Change Leadership

Mourdock for Senate(WASHINGTON) -- If Richard Mourdock wins Indiana’s Senate race, he’ll join a group of conservative senators who have at times clashed with conference leaders.

Asked at a campaign event in April what he’d do if Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to force him in line with a less rigidly conservative agenda, Mourdock recounted a meeting with Sen. Jim DeMint, who became a power center in the Senate after backing 2010′s crop of conservative candidates, and who has been critical of McConnell.

“[DeMint] reached down, he’s a tall guy, and put a hand on either shoulder, and said, ‘Richard, you get me four or five more true conservatives, and we’ve just changed the leadership of the United States Senate,’” Mourdock said, recounting how he asked DeMint if it’s worth replacing one Republican with another.

“He said that doesn’t necessarily mean we even change the people, but you get me four or five more true conservatives, and we’ve just changed the way they’re gonna see things because of our numbers,” Mourdock said.

The following video was forwarded by a Democratic source:

Mourdock is challenging long-tenured Sen. Dick Lugar in a Republican primary Tuesday, and he’s often said he’s more frustrated with Republicans in Washington than with Democrats.

If Mourdock defeats Lugar, and goes onto beat Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in November, he’ll become the Senate’s latest tea partier, joining Kentucky’s Rand Paul, Utah’s Mike Lee, Florida’s Marco Rubio, Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, and Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, all of whom won in 2010 with backing from DeMint and his PAC, the Senate Conservatives Fund.

While neither DeMint, nor anyone else has shown interest in challenging McConnell, there were rumblings of private dissatisfaction over how GOP leaders handled the debt-limit fight last summer, and DeMint criticized McConnell’s strategy publicly. Other sources of tension: when Johnson ran for conference vice-chair, McConnell favored Missouri’s Roy Blunt, the freshman senator and former House GOP whip; and McConnell’s opposition to holding a vote on health-reform repeal.

Mourdock would be yet another ally for DeMint, shifting the Senate further to the right.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum Backs Richard Mourdock in Indiana Senate Race


(NEW YORK) -- Rick Santorum has weighed in on the fierce primary battle in the Indiana senate race. The former presidential candidate tweeted his support of State Treasurer Richard Mourdock over longtime Sen. Dick Lugar.

@RickSantorum: I encourage Hoosiers to help GOTV for @RichardMourdock. If I lived in Indiana he’d have my vote in Tuesday’s #INSen race.

Lugar has held the seat since 1976, but Tea Party favorite Richard Mourdock is waging a serious challenge and is leading in state polls.

Mourdock also has the backing of anti-tax stalwart Grover Norquist, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. Lugar is endorsed by Arizona Sen. John McCain and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Unlike his support of John Bruning in the Nebraska senate race, which Santorum announced via press release Thursday, his backing of Mourdock was a much more under the radar affair with just the tweet of support.

Santorum has said campaigning for and supporting conservatives in House and Senate races will be part of his next venture since leaving the GOP presidential primary.

Santorum sent an email to supporters Friday saying he will be making an “exciting announcement about what I will be doing next…but before I can make this announcement, I need to spend some time erasing my remaining campaign debt.”

The email asked supporters to donate in order to erase the debt.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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