Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly Wednesday afternoon responded to Republican Richard Mourdock's controversial comments towards the end of Tuesday night's Senate debate, comments that have drawn national attention to the campaign.
Mourdock was asked whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.
Mourdock said, "I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Donnelly responded during a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
“I want to comment about Mr. Mourdock’s words. Let me say I am pro-life, but this controversy is not about pro-life. It is about Mr. Mourdock’s words and his continuation of extreme positions. His words were extreme, but maybe as important, hurtful to survivors of sexual abuse. There are too many hard-working people who deal with this on a daily basis. It is legitimate for Hoosiers to expect candidates running for the United States Senate to not take such positions.”
I just wanted to make a brief statement that I had been hopeful that after a night of reflection that Mr. Mourdock might have said differently today. Gov. Romney has disavowed (Mourdock’s) remarks. Congressman Pence has called on (Mourdock) to apologize. Jackie Walorski came out and asked him to apologize as well. I think the people of Indiana expect their officeholders to be reflective of them, and I think for someone running for the United States Senate, it is hurtful to women, to survivors of rape, and to their families to have said this.
When asked if this might be a turning point in the race, Donnelly said, “I have no idea about that, and I don’t approach this in regards to the race.”