Elections
Richard Mourdock, right, leaves a voting location Tuesday, May 8, 2012, in Avon, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Richard Mourdock, right, leaves a voting location Tuesday, May 8, 2012, in Avon, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)  

Mourdock clarifies rape comments, says they won’t hurt his election chances

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

Richard Mourdock clarified his comments on rape during Tuesday’s debate in a press conference Wednesday, explaining that he in no way meant to suggest that God condoned rape.

The Indiana Senate hopeful has drawn fire from Democrats for comments made at a Tuesday evening debate with Democratic opponent Rep. Joe Donnelly: “Life is a 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.”

He said that he did not believe and had not meant to suggest that God intended for rape to happen.

“I don’t think God wants rape,” he said. “Because rape is evil. I abhor evil. I believe God abhors evil.”

Mourdock apologized if his comments had been misinterpreted.

“If in any way people came away with the wrong meaning, I apologize,” he said.

But he did not apologize for the sentiment he said he was trying to express.

“I spoke from the heart,” he said.

“What I said here today is what I hoped to say last night, and obviously didn’t say very well … I believe that life is precious,” Mourdock explained.

The Indiana Republican said he did not believe the comments would hurt his election chances.

“We’re moving on from this,” he said. “I’m confident that Hoosier voters are going to be moving on.”

Mourdock explained that it was on his suggestion that New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte had canceled a scheduled appearance with him Wednesday. He said he did not want her “to be dragged into a situation today.”

“Call it professional courtesy,” he said.

Follow Alexis on Twitter