Republicans Downplay Mourdock's Comments on Rape and Pregnancy

National Journal

Republicans downplayed the significance of Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s controversial comments on rape and pregnancy, attempting on Sunday to draw attention to other issues.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus pivoted away from questions challenging him on Mourdock’s comments, in which he said that pregnancy resulting from rape was “God’s will."

“Clearly, people running for office misspeak and they make mistakes," Priebus said on CNN's State of the Union. "I think the reality is overwhelmingly people out there are not … talking about what Richard Mourdock said. What they're asking me about is … the economy, and they're talking about what happened in Benghazi.”

Similarly, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said the issue of abortion was not the major issue of this campaign. “It’s not even an issue here in Wisconsin,” Johnson said on Fox News Sunday. “It doesn't even move the radar at all.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that critics of Murdock need to “get over it," arguing on ABC's This Week if you “listen to what Murdock actually said, it’s what every Catholic and fundamentalist believes: life begins at conception.”

“Every candidate I know, every decent American I know condemns rape,” he said.

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