Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Democrats call on Romney to renounce Indiana Senate candidate after comments about rape

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM

At a Tuesday night debate, Indiana GOP U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock was asked whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.

"I struggled with 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 is something God intended to happen," he answered.

After the debate, Mourdock clarified his remark saying rape is a horrible thing that he does not believe is part of a divine plan. He apologized again on Wednesday morning.

Mitt Romney did a television commercial endorsing Mourdock, but said that he doesn't support Mourdock's controversial comment.

This afternoon, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz condemned the remark, calling it the latest example of the Republican party's "extremely conservative attitudes on women's health."

But Romney has not backed away from supporting the Indiana GOP Senate nominee, which is causing issues with Democrats.

"This is deeply concerning for women and families across America," the DNC chair proclaimed. "Unfortunately these kinds of comments have become part and parcel of the modern Republican party's platform towards women's health."

In August, Missouri GOP Senate nominee Todd Akin said "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy, forcing many Republicans — including the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) — to walk away from supporting the candidate. Mitt Romney called Akin's comments "insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong."

But 13 days before the crucial election that could decide the control of the Senate, there are no condemnations coming from the NRSC.

Wasserman Schultz said as much as he tries to walk away from it, Romney is a part of the "extreme right-wing of the GOP ... especially when it comes to issues affecting women and their bodies."

The DNC chair also threw Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King in the mix, after he refused to say over the weekend whether he believes birth control should be legal.

Planned Parenthood chair Cecile Richards also condemned Romney on the conference call. She said during the past few weeks the GOP nominee for president has "desperately been trying to hide his extreme positions on these issues" by deceiving people about his true beliefs.

"Mitt Romney has made his stance very clear from the beginning: During a previous debate in 2007 he said he would be 'delighted' to sign a bill to ban all abortions," she said. (Romney said the quote was taken out of context, and that a federal abortion ban is "not where America is today.")

Richards said Romney is being dishonest about his record on these issues because his previously stated beliefs would make him unelectable.

There's no doubt that both parties are gunning hard for the undecided women's vote, and Romney has portrayed a softer side of himself as of late, including his radically different persona when it comes to foreign policy. Throughout the year he has been extremely critical of President Obama on a variety of international issues, but in Monday's debate devoted exclusively to world affairs, Romney sounded dovish, talking about how the U.S. couldn't "kill itself out of this" (referring to international conflicts).

Richards and Wasserman Schultz both called on Mitt Romney to get Mourdock to take down his endorsement ad.

Mourdock was the Tea Party-backed candidate who knocked out longtime Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar earlier this year.

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