On Tuesday night, Republican Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock forgot to moderate some of his extreme views, declaring during a debate that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, “that’s something God intended,” which is why he’s comfortable with laws that force women impregnated by rapists to take their pregnancy to term.
Jay Leno helped keep the story alive, asking President Obama about the controversy on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.”
For those who can’t watch clips online, Obama seemed to summarize the thoughts of many when he said, “I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas.” It wasn’t long before the president connected the controversy to the bigger picture.
“[T]his underscores, though, this is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians – mostly male – making decisions about women’s health care decisions. Women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors. And, you know, for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff, often times without any information, is a huge problem. And this is obviously a part of what’s at stake in this election. You’ve got a Supreme Court that, typically a president is going to have probably another couple of appointments during the course of his term. And, you know, Roe vs. Wade is probably hanging in the balance. You’ve got issues like Planned Parenthood where, you know, that organization provides millions of women cervical cancer screenings, mammograms, all kinds of basic healthcare.
“And so I think it’s really important for us to – to understand that women are capable of making these decisions and that these are not just women’s issues. These are family issues.”
As it turns out, Obama wasn’t the only national figure talking about Mourdock’s mess; the president’s 2008 rival was, too.
In fact, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had thrown his support to the Indiana Republican, but is now reconsidering.
“I think it depends on what he does,” McCain told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, when asked if he still counts himself among Mourdock’s supporters. “If he apologizes and says he misspoke and he was wrong and he asks the people to forgive him, then obviously I’d be the first. … But, you know, in the years that I’ve been around, I’ve made a few, Anderson, and I’ve asked for people’s understanding and forgiveness when I won’t – when I own up to it,” he continued. “It’s when you don’t own up to it when people will not believe you.”
As of this morning, Mourdock has not backed down. Mitt Romney, who has championed Mourdock’s candidacy, also has not made any additional efforts to distance himself from the right-wing Senate candidate.