Republicans run from Mourdock

Updated
Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock speaks during a news in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, to explain the comment he made during...
Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock speaks during a news in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, to explain the comment he made during...
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

It’s not just Democrats who are denouncing Richard Mourdock.

Several high-profile Republicans are distancing themselves from the Indiana Senate hopeful, who is under fire for suggesting rape pregnancies are “something that God intended to happen” as an argument against abortion.

The list has grown to include Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Dean Heller of Nevada, and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, as well as Rep. Mike Pence, who’s running for governor of Indiana.

Brown, who’s in a heated race of his own in his liberal-leaning state, said that he’s a “pro-choice Republican” who does not share Mourdock’s views. When asked if he still supported Mourdock’s Senate bid, Brown said it was up to Indiana voters.

A spokesman for Heller, who’s also in a close race, said the lawmaker “disagrees” with Mourdock and “does not share these views.”

Ayotte cancelled an event with Mourdock on Wednesday, and her spokesman said she is against what Mourdock said.

And Pence issued a statement saying he “strongly disagreed” with Mourdock and urged him to apologize.

Of course, many Republicans are also sticking up for Indiana state treasurer.  Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee said Mourdocks’ remarks were being twisted in an “irresponsible and ridiculous manner.” Ohio Republican nominee for Senate Josh Mandel has gone as far to say Mourdock is a “class act.”

Mitt Romney said he still backs Mourdock, although he disagrees on his abortion policy when it comes to rape and incest.

The RNC has not yet commented on the flap.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, who initially demanded Mourdock apologize, walked back his remarks Thursday, insisting he did not see a press conference in which the candidate “clarified” his comments.

Tune into Hardball at 5 p.m. for more on Mourdock.  Alex Wagner, host of msnbc’s “Now” and National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neil join host Chris Matthews to discuss the latest on the hot issue.

Photo: Richard Mourdock pictured earlier this week. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Republicans run from Mourdock

Updated