Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock ignited a national controversy during a debate last night when he said:
“I know there are some who disagree, and I respect their point of view. But I believe that life begins at conception. The only exception I have, to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of the mother. I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
The fallout began soon afterward. Here’s a rundown of what’s happened since:
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s full statement in response to WFPL’s Phillip M. Bailey’s request for comment: “It’s incredibly irresponsible for anyone to take what Richard said about his views on life to demean his opposition to the detestable act of rape. We’re at the end of an election season here and I understand each side is looking to make hay out of every comment, but sharing the view of millions of Americans that life begins at conception is Richard’s deeply held personal belief that shouldn’t be misconstrued by partisans to imply something it does not.”
- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign issued a statement saying Romney disagreed with last night’s statement. But Romney is still supporting Mourdock.
- Indiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence called on Mourdock to apologize.
- Indiana Right to Life “commended” Mourdock’s stance on abortion.
- National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn of Texas told The Hill that the attacks on Mourdock’s comments were “irresponsible and ridiculous.”
- The CatholicVote.org Candidate Fund said the group was “proud to stand with Richard Mourdock.
- Richard Mourdock spoke to the news media, and said his statements were being misconstrued.
We’ll update as more react.
Mourdock’s comment also launched a flurry of attention on Twitter — and his name even became a Trending Topic. See the slideshow for a sampling.