Update: 11:45 a.m.
Richard Mourdock, the Republican Indiana Senate nominee, on Wednesday said the comments he made during a debate Tuesday night regarding pregnancy and rape were not “very articulate,” and added that he “abhors” rape.
“I am absolutely confident that the God that I worship abhors rape,” Mourdock said.
He added later: “I wasn’t very articulate in what I was saying.”
Mourdock told reporters that people who watched video of his statement would understand what he meant, but he apologized to people who “came away with the wrong impression.”
He said he believes he’ll still win the U.S. Senate seat.
Republican Indiana gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence is calling on GOP Senate nominee Richard Mourdock to apologize for his controversial comments about rape.
During a televised debate on Tuesday, Mourdock said that pregnancies resulting from rape should not be an exception to an abortion ban because it is the will of God. The remarks created an immediate firestorm and were criticized by Democrats across the country, but Mourdock has said his words are being twisted.
Pence is a pro-life lawmaker who has strongly opposed abortion since first being elected to Congress. Despite his opposition to groups such as Planned Parenthood, Pence is distancing himself from Mourdock in a statement released Wednesday morning.
“I strongly disagree with the statement made by Richard Mourdock during last night’s Senate debate,” he says. “I urge him to apologize.”
The Pence reaction follows behind Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who through a spokesperson quickly said that he disagreed with Mourdock’s comments. Earlier this week Romney cut an ad supporting Mourdock.
But other GOP leaders and groups, namely Indiana Right to Life and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn of Texas, are standing by Mourdock with less than two weeks until Election Day.
From The Hill:
“Richard and I, along with millions of Americans — including even Joe Donnelly — believe that life is a gift from God. To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous.
In fact, rather than condemning him for his position, as some in his party have when it’s comes to Republicans, I commend Congressman Donnelly for his support of life.”
Mourdock has canceled a morning campaign appearance and is planning to address the media today.