From this Wednesday evening's The Tonight Show, President Obama went after Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock and his comments about conception from rape being "God's will."
Asked by host Jay Leno about Mourdock's comments, in which the Indiana state treasurer said during a debate Tuesday evening that "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something God intended to happen," the president said "rape is rape."
"I don't know how these, come up with these ideas ... rape is rape. It is a crime," the president said. "These various distinctions about rape ... don't make any sense to me."
Mourdock, an Evangelical Christian, says abortion should only be legal when necessary to prevent the death of the mother. He argues it should be illegal in cases of rape and incest. Many who share his faith believe God chooses when conception occurs and that abortion is equivalent to murder.
In a press conference Wednesday, Mourdock accused Democrats of twisting the meaning of his comments.
"I would be less than faithful to my faith if I said anything other than life is precious. I think it is a gift from God. I don't think God would ever want anyone harmed, sexually abused, or raped. I think it's wrong when someone wants to take what I said and twist it," Mourdock said.
The Obama campaign aggressively criticized Mourdock's comments throughout the day Wednesday, and sent an email to female supporters in the evening linking Mourdock to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
"Not surprisingly, Romney is still standing by his endorsement and is refusing to ask that [an ad featuring Mourdock and Romney] be pulled down," deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter wrote in the email. "It's a grim reminder of something he's trying desperately to hide in the final weeks of this election: Romney has campaigned as a severe conservative, supports severely conservative candidates, and would be a severely conservative president -- especially on issues important to women."
The Romney campaign on Wednesday said that the presidential nominee disagreed with Mourdock's comments, but would not ask the Senate candidate to take down an ad featuring Romney.
President Obama also reminded the viewers just what's at stake this election with a couple of Supreme Court nominations potentially in the balance and that keeping organizations like Planned Parenthood funded and allowing women to control their own reproductive rights are not just health issues, but economic and family issues as well.
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