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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- President Barack Obama is criticizing a Republican Senate candidate for his comments about women and rape, saying that "rape is rape" and that distinctions offered by the Republican candidate, in Obama's words, "don't make any sense to me."
The Republican in Indiana's Senate race, Richard Mourdock, said during a debate Tuesday night that when pregnancy results from rape, that is "something God intended."
Asked about Mourdock's comment Wednesday on "The Tonight Show," Obama told host Jay Leno, quote: "Rape is rape. It is a crime."
Obama says such remarks reflect why politicians, mostly male, shouldn't be making decisions about women's health care. He also says that women are capable of making their own decisions and that intrusions by politicians is part of what's at stake in the presidential election.
Insisting his comments on rape and pregnancy were misunderstood, Mourdock said earlier on Wednesday he and his campaign are "moving on."
Mourdock was responding during a New Albany debate Tuesday night to a question about abortion, contraception, and when life begins. He said, "I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize 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."
During the debate, there was no apparent reaction to that comment. But afterwards, Democrat Joe Donnelly jumped on it, and Mourdock was forced to clarify.
Donnelly's response: "I thought that Mr. Mourdock said that, in regards to rape, it is something that God intended to happen. Rape is a horrible crime. It's an unspeakable crime. And I can't believe that my God or any God would ever intend for that to happen to anyone."
Mourdock explained, "God creates life. It's a simple as that. I mean, God creates life. Does God want people raped? Of course not. And, again, anyone who thinks such a thing is sick and that's pathetic, and that's a twist that's beyond my imagination, frankly, because I said God creates life."
Despite the attempted clarification, Mourdock's comments have taken on a life of their own.
Both Mitt Romney and Congressman Mike Pence, the Republican candidate for Indiana governor, have said they disagree with Mourdock.
The state and national Democratic parties have weighed in, attacking both Mourdock and Romney.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee calls the whole thing "faux outrage" from Democrats.
During a news conference Wednesday morning, Mourdock said of the criticism regarding his comments, "It is win at any cost. Let's make up issues when we can't find real ones. Let's twist, let's distort, let's deceive. And I think that's a sad process."
He continued: "Anyone who views -- who goes to the videotape and view that, understands fully what I meant, I really believe that. If they watch that video that's out there, I understand, on several websites, I think the meaning will be quite clear."
He insisted that he did not intend to suggest that God wanted anyone to be raped.
Donnelly continued to press the issue during a news conference late Wednesday afternoon. He called Mourdock's comments "extreme" and "hurtful to survivors of sexual abuse."
WDRB Facebook friends were quick to respond:
Janie Smith: If you think mothers with children who are the result of rape have NO OTHER THOUGHT but thanks for raping me because my kid is so wonderful, you are as naive as you are evil for being an apologist for insane stuff like this.
Joellen Moore Doherty: This comment was clearly blown out of context. Yes, ALL babies are gifts from God even in the event of a rape. Don't you believe that?
Troy Bennett: The child has never done anything to deserve Death.
Brian Smith: There's not a lot of subtlety in his actual words, people. It's not like he made some oblique reference here. His exact words were "it is something that God intended." That's a direct quote from video footage of the debate. We don't have to guess at what he meant, he used clear, concise language. Language which expresses a pretty horrifying concept of an Almighty who intends for women to be subjected to a physical and emotional assault.