October 24th, 2012
10:36 PM ET
2 years ago

After apology, McCain does support Mourdock, spokesman clarifies

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain's spokesman said Thursday the Arizona Republican is "glad" that U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock of Indiana apologized for his remark that pregnancies caused by rape are intended by God - an apology Mourdock made Wednesday afternoon but that McCain was not aware of in a Wednesday interview on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

"Senator McCain was traveling yesterday in Florida and did not have an opportunity to see Mr. Mourdock's full press conference before he taped his CNN interview," McCain's communications director, Brian Rogers, said in a statement. "Senator McCain is glad that Mr. Mourdock apologized to the people of Indiana and clarified his previous statement. Senator McCain hopes the people of Indiana will elect Mr. Mourdock to the U.S. Senate."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

McCain, both a supporter of Mourdock and a high-profile surrogate for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said in his CNN interview on Wednesday that his support for the candidate and state treasurer was dependent on an apology.

"It depends on what he does," McCain said on "Anderson Cooper 360." He was answering a question about whether he still considered himself in Mourdock's corner after the comments on rape and pregnancy, which came at a debate Tuesday.

"If he apologizes and says he misspoke and he was wrong and asks the people to forgive him, I would be the first," the 2008 presidential nominee said, adding that he had made mistakes and asked for people's forgiveness after owning up to his transgressions.

During the Tuesday debate, Mourdock was explaining his opposition to abortion in cases of rape or incest when he made his remark.

"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," said Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer. He added that he would allow for exceptions to an abortion ban when a mother's life was in danger.

Mourdock did say he was sorry that people had misinterpreted his comments at a news conference earlier Wednesday, but stuck by the crux of his argument that abortions should not be allowed in cases or rape or incest.

"I'm a much more humble person this morning because so many people mistook, twisted, came to misunderstand the points that I was trying to make," Mourdock said.

"I'm confident God abhors violence and rape, if they came away with any impression other than that, I truly regret it," Mourdock continued. "I apologize if they came away, and I have certainly been humbled by the fact that so many people think that that somehow was an interpretation."

McCain was the highest-profile Republican at the time to distance himself from Mourdock's comments by threatening to withdraw his endorsement. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who recently appeared in a television ad endorsing Mourdock, said through a campaign spokeswoman that he did not agree with the Indiana candidate but that he had not asked for a television ad he recorded for Mourdock be pulled.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Rep. Mike Pence, the Republican running for governor of Indiana, attempted to put space between themselves and Mourdock by repudiating the remarks.

Ayotte was to campaign with Mourdock on Wednesday, but canceled those plans. Her spokesman, Jeff Grappone, issued a statement saying, "She disagrees with Treasurer Mourdock's comments, which do not represent her views."

Pence, in a statement issued Wednesday, said, "I strongly disagree with the statement made by Richard Mourdock during last night's Senate debate. I urge him to apologize."

Others, such as Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, came out in support of Mourdock. Cornyn is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

"Richard and I, along with millions of Americans - including even Joe Donnelly - believe that life is a gift from God. To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous," Cornyn said in a written statement. Donnelly is Mourdock's Democratic opponent for the Senate seat from Indiana.

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

– GOP Senate candidate accuses Dems of distorting his rape comments

– Clint Eastwood returns, stars in new super PAC ad

– Obama ad uses ghost of recount past

– Romney campaign and allies far outspending Democrats

– Trump's new charity drive

– Obama ready for 'all-nighter'


Filed under: Abortion • John McCain • Richard Mourdock
soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. dsangiovanni

    That's GOP extremist side at their best !! Keep voting for these people , elect Mitt Romney !! Soon they will try to tell you how to dress, pray etc, etc, etc.....

    October 25, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. Sniffit

    This is the reaction a GOPer/Teatroll has to mysongyny when their wife is the one with all the money.

    October 25, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Richard Jones

    If only McCain would get his wife to pay the Navy for that A-4 he tore up in Viet Nam, and then retire to Mexico, the US would be a WHOLE lot better off !!!!

    October 25, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. dsangiovanni

    Its time to get rid off these people in Congress !!

    October 25, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Sniffit

    "Any woman who votes for these Republican goons deserves all she gets."

    But the rest of womankind doesn't deserve it. GET RID OF THESE BIGOTS.

    And women, DO NOT FORGIVE OR FORGET YOUR MEN VOTING FOR THIS KIND OF CRAP EITHER.

    October 25, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Maria

    He said it, why do you need an apology McCain? A forced apology means nothing. That says a lot about your character. These Republicans are losing grab on reality.

    October 25, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. Me IN HOUSTON

    If a woman gets raped and the state forces her to have that rapist's baby, does the rapist get visitation rights? After all, HE IS THE FATHER.

    October 25, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Vote for Seamus, elect Kolob's next dog catcher

    Get real John McCain, it is what this morlock believes as his religion.

    To ask him to apologize is like asking him to apologize for being a US citizen.

    But he is a Republcan politician trying to get elected, so he might do it.

    October 25, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. rs

    Robin-

    Mourdock and the Republicans are not "pro-life". Mourdock and Akin (and Ryan) are in fact "pro-rape.

    If Republicans were in fact "pro-life", they would actually care about people, not just zygotes. Remember Mr. Romney's 47% comments- he hates the poor. Republicans see the vast majority of Americans as people they can sell-out, deny healthcare to, and impose the death penalty and war on.

    October 25, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Beware Republicans bearing gifts ...

    Beware Republicans bearing gifts ...

    October 25, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. GOP = Greed Over People!

    So, if this cretin contracts cancer, can we assume that he will refuse all treatment for the disease or the pain?

    After all, wouldn't that be thwarting "God's will" when "his time comes"?

    Lucky for him, MY God frowns on me wishing cancer or rape upon others just to achieve "His will"!

    October 25, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Hogan's Goat

    McCain needs to go back into hiding with Dubya and the Quitter. Notice how quiet they all are, trying not to remind the voters what they were?

    October 25, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. James pdx

    No doubt, any woman who votes for Mourdoch or Romney and gets raped and impregnated should send God a very nice thank you card.

    October 25, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. Ken

    Well – Mitt has proven beyond a doubt that he knows NOTHING about Foreign Diplomacy (remember the offensive comment in England the Olympics??) or International Affairs (Debate 3).

    And, yet, it seems that the only affairs that old Republican men are only concerned about the affairs of female reproductive parts! Thank God I am a man – I couldn't imagine having to carry to term and raise a child that was conceived in rape!

    October 25, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. v_mag

    So, why is it McCain who is always out watching Rob-money's back, and not W? Where the heck is W? W is the elephant in the room that nobody talks about. He is the source of the wars, war crimes, lies about WMD, torture, and economic collapse that we've all suffered from, but he is nowhere in sight. Why has the President not pointed out that Romney = Bush? Why has Romney not been pummeled with the question, "How are you any different from George W. Bush?" If you vote for Romney, you're voting for a third term for Bush, and no sane person wants that.

    Desmond Tutu has commented about Bush recently. He said he should be tried for war crimes, and I heartily agree. If anybody can locate him.

    October 25, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. dave

    He DID NOT SAY rape is God's will

    He said a Life that may result is God's will

    Suppose you had a 5 year old child that you conceived with your husband and a 2 year old child that was the result of rape -- would you kill the 2 year old - the child is innocent

    October 25, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. dave

    the fetus is not guilty

    October 25, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @maksuthin: "The penalty for a woman who aborts her fetus should be the same as the penalty for the murder of a baby child."

    By its very definition, a fetus is not a person. And what about miscarriage? Would you put God on trial for murder or have the state conduct an inquest to determine whether it was truly spontaneous or not?

    What about instances where the mother's life is in danger – and she has living children at home? if the mother dies and the fetus is less than 22 weeks old, the fetus has a survival rate of 0=10%, so it would probably die, too, so that's two deaths. (More facts about fetal survival rates: 23 weeks survival rate = 10-35%; 24 weeks survival rate = 40-70%).

    How is it "pro-life" if the mother's death results in not only widowing her husband, but orphaning her other children?

    While you're using your brain for perhaps the first time to think this through, please review our Constitution which specifically prohibits our country from becoming a theocracy ...

    October 25, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. RobK

    When will Obama distance himself from Gloria Allred? Or is she a paid operative?

    October 25, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @dave: "Suppose you had a 5 year old child that you conceived with your husband and a 2 year old child that was the result of rape - would you kill the 2 year old – the child is innocent"

    Jeez, you're a dunce! We're not talking about murdering a two-year-old; we're talking about a woman being able to decide for herself what she does with her own body – AFTER SHE HAS BEEN VIOLENTLY ASSAULTED AGAINST HER WILL.

    Stay out of my womb, stay out of every woman's womb! If you want that kind of control over women, move to Afghanistan and join the Taliban!

    October 25, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. Argyle

    Somewhere in Afhganistan a hard line Taliban terrorist is blushing, thinking we need more true leaders like Mourdock to control our women in the name of God!

    October 25, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @Hogan's Goat: "McCain needs to go back into hiding with Dubya and the Quitter. Notice how quiet they all are, trying not to remind the voters what they were?"

    Yes, it's been all crickets from Bush, Cheney, the Quitter and the rest of that gang, because MITTENS IS PROMOTING ALL OF THEIR FAILED POLICIES.

    Sorry to yell – I'm not at you – but it frustrates me to no end how freakin' dumb so many people are in this country! How can anyone trust anything out of Mittens' mouth (or Munster's, too) when they are proven liars?!?

    Every Dem, Independent and thinking Republican needs to get out and vote – now, if possible – for President Obama and a straight Dem ticket. If we don't win, our country is going to go even further down the tubes than we went under GW Bush.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    October 25, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @Sniffit: "And women, DO NOT FORGIVE OR FORGET YOUR MEN VOTING FOR THIS KIND OF CRAP EITHER."

    My husband, a lifelong moderate Republican (who didn't vote for Bush and voted for Obama in 2008), switched his party affiliation to Independent because of his disgust with what the GOP has become. With Reagan, the party long ago stopped working for fiscal responsibility and now seems intent on establishing a Saudi Arabian-style society, where a few families own and control everything and religious police keep the general population in line.

    Every Dem, Independent and thinking Republican needs to get out and vote – now, if possible – for President Obama and a straight Dem ticket. If we don't win, our country is going to go even further down the tubes than we went under GW Bush.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    October 25, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. ST

    Is McCain asking this man to apologise????? Am I getting it right?? The man is an adult. He first thought before he lipped out. What he said, is what was in his mind. I do not see any sounding reason , to ask a grown up man to say sorry while he knows what he said is what he stands for.

    October 25, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  25. NameRichard McRae

    I want to know why you do not cover the attack on Libya. Real news instead if cutting it to an attack on McCain.Why not have the mother of the dead soldier in the attack.Real Fluff for dead minds is all you produce with No news.That's why you are not the number one news source.Fluff

    October 25, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11