October 24th, 2012
08:09 PM ET
1 year ago

Santorum: Mourdock criticism 'gotcha politics'

(CNN) - Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said on CNN Wednesday a U.S. Senate candidate's comment that pregnancies resulting from rape are "something that God intended to happen" has been misunderstood in a game of "gotcha politics."

Richard Mourdock, the Republican Senate nominee from Indiana, said at debate Tuesday he struggled with his position on abortion in cases of rape or incest.

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"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," he said, adding he would support exceptions for cases in which the mother's life was in danger.

Democrats pounced on the comments, and some Republicans sought varying degrees of distance from Mourdock.

In an interview on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" Wednesday, Santorum said the controversy which followed the comments was a misunderstanding.

"What the Senate candidate said is the child is a gift from God, whether it's conceived from rape or not, it's still - the gift of human life is a gift from God," Santorum said. "He didn't say rape was a gift from God. You'd have to contort words beyond meaning to get that understanding of it."

Leveling the "gotcha politics" charge, he said Mourdock was "talking about the baby in the womb as something that is precious," even though it was conceived through "horrible circumstances."

"That child didn't do anything wrong, that baby didn't do anything illegal," Santorum said. "Here's the sad part. The United States Supreme Court said that that person who commits that rape can not be executed. You're not allowed to execute people who commit rape, but that same Supreme Court says you can execute the child who is the innocent victim of the rape."

"That's a court that has its morals upside down in my opinion," he said, adding he did not support execution in either instance.

– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report

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Filed under: 2012 • Richard Mourdock • Rick Santorum
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. MAJ

    Duh... it's not gotcha politics. It's what he actually said period.

    October 24, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. rs

    "Pregnancy caused by rape is a gift from God" is not "taken out of context". Face it Santorum, people like Akin, yourself and Mourdock prove the GOP is the American Taliban.

    October 24, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. DENNA

    Seriously Rick? Really? You Republicans are starting to tick me off. You people make the most heinous statements and call it "gotcha" when you get caught. This jerk said what he meant and meant what he said. You cannot unring a bell.

    October 24, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  4. onlyfacts

    These Republicans are so off the charts stupid, they truely believe everyone thinks just like they do. Santorum has no clue that only the dumb believe the dumb. When is this idiot going to give up and shut up?

    October 24, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. Sheon1

    And these fools are going to be voted in again!
    May GOD have mercy on us!

    October 24, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. Meg

    ......what about the woman who was raped and forced to carry her rapist's fetus? GOP, do you care about her?

    October 24, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. ejr1953

    I'm sorry Rick, that was a pretty "Godless" comment. Shame on you, you hypocrite!

    October 24, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  8. Speranza31@live.com

    He would be the 1st in line to get his wife an abortion if she was raped, and so would Santorum and alexithymic Mitt.

    October 24, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  9. Jason Nesmith

    Can we have an additional seperation of church and state, please? God doesn't belong in any matters of state. Period.

    October 24, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    Since it is a "gift from God" then as with most "gifts" it can be accepted or rejected, per the "will of the recipient".

    October 24, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. L

    OK, the media just played the idiotic comment the Republican candidate made. No spin. And every sane, intelligent person in this country cringed in unison. His statement is creepy beyond belief. But the GOP thinks that Americans are stupid they can walk back crazy statements, like a women won't get pregnant if she is "legitimately raped"! Please send a message to the GOP that they need to do better finding candidates that don't embarrass this country, and don't vote for the party of the belief that rapists get to make you have a baby, because it is God's will. If a politician from another country said that, our media would denounce them as backward and uneducated.

    October 24, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The idea that a pregnancy based on violence is a good thing isn't realistic. The mother can't really be expected to care for a child when she is tramatized.

    October 24, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain: If I want to live in a theocracy, I'll move to Iran

    I'm sick and tired of these GOPers trying to shove their medieval view of Christianity down everyone's throat!

    The United States is NOT a theocracy – and Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution specifically states (my capitals):

    "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; BUT NO RELIGIOUS TEST SHALL EVER BE REQUIRED AS A QUALIFITICATION TO ANY OFFICE OR PUBLIC TRUST UNDER THE UNITED STATES."

    From the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

    What is it about this you DON'T GET?!?!?

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    October 24, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  14. Reggie from LA

    I can see the "gotcha politics" comment. However (hope you see it coming), it has been more and more apparent that the GOP has tried to Godsmack everybody into voting for their candidates. "Obama is a Muslim. Real believers should be pro life". And the droning and BS goes on and on. Reading a recent article about Michelle Bachmann's race, she really offered nothing of substance, but commented to the effect that our politics should be guided by religion. The same "religion" that ignores or castigates poor people, does NOTHING for public education, doesn't create jobs. Doesn't improve the economy except for the rich (They have commissioned many of your religious leaders and helped them make tons of money. You didn't think about that did u?) So let your religion be your guide and see if God'll swoop down and fix your roads and bridges. I'm not saying God can't bless us, I'm saying STOP PIMPING A PERFECTLY GOOD DEITY you... (Starts with a 'C', second word ends with ers). Maybe HE needs to cleanse the Temple yet again.

    October 24, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  15. jefflz

    Santorum is cut from the same cloth as Mourdock..but as Mourdock stands by his right wing nutcase remarks, Romney stands by Mourdock. A vote for Romney is to vote for an extreme right-wing government and the overturning of Roe v Wade. Despite all his etch-a-sketch and fancy footwork, we see clearly where Romney's loyalties really lie. Not with women, but with the religious right. Mourdock is Romney's boy – he owns him.

    October 24, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  16. iampraying

    Wake-up America–God is trying to tell you something–All you Bible-thumpers with hate in your hearts for other races–you think God'd pleased with you- Franklin and Billy Goat–great spiritual leaders taking out an this man meant what he said and said what he meant–turncoat repubs running as fast as they can–oh what great warriors you are–a house divided against it self can not stand–

    October 24, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  17. Paul_I

    Our buddy Rick believes that a fertilized egg is a person. This is the foundation of his logic about innocent life. He even goes so far as to criticize the Supreme Court that frankly is one of the most conservative courts we have had in decades. There is a very good reason why Rick is not the nominee.

    October 24, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  18. Stand tall for what is true

    Santorium is wacky-tacky–He has daughters if they were raped he won't think a baby was a gift–the race for the "pill" would be on–talk is cheap and his ability to stir up hateful emotions and feelings is his single note talent

    October 24, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  19. Victory

    Why they treat Women like just things to use and trash after? Rape and its results shouldn't not be praised. We're all born by women. Please have a respect for women....Imagine women's calvary if these so called "severely conservative" took the Office. Im so disappointed to hear this twice in less than two months by same party. If someone endorses this guy, that means he approves his opinion in close door

    October 24, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  20. Wonderingwanda

    Why is what Rick the slick is saying news?

    October 24, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  21. Sooner79

    Why would God want to impregnate a women through rape? If you believe, as Santorum does, that rape victoms should concede that "the gift of human life is a gift from God". Then you must also believe that God intended for the rape to occcur in the first place. No Senator Santorum. Pregnancy from rape is not a gift from God. It is a consequence of rape. Women have a legal right to chose an abortion. Pro-life apologists like yourself and rapists don't don't get to chose.

    October 24, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  22. mcskadittle

    Can we put this sarah palin "gotcha" crap to bed, it just makes you look stupid

    October 24, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  23. mcskadittle

    So when the mother has to go on welfare because of the child the republicans will vilify her and the child. the 47%

    October 24, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  24. pn

    I understand Iran is a country ruled by religious leaders. I was under the impression than the US is not. So, why is it that religious beliefs are used as arguments to restrict what people who have different beliefs can and cannot do.

    October 24, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  25. Ed Cruz

    Richard Mourdock’s comment "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," he said, adding he would support exceptions for cases in which the mother's life was in danger.
    "What the Senate candidate said is the child is a gift from God, whether it's conceived from rape or not, it's still – the gift of human life is a gift from God," Santorum said. "He didn't say rape was a gift from God. You'd have to contort words beyond meaning to get that understanding of it."
    Surely, the gift of human life is a gift from God, but human life is what God intended when he created human life. After the completion of that creation God intended that mankind be free to make choices, “free will”. The fact that some of those free will choices of mankind are absent of wisdom and grace is a different story. God never intended those actions happen, for those actions are man’s acts not God’s. The fact is that they are man’s acts and man’s intentions not God’s acts or God’s intentions. Mr. Mourdock’s statement that it is “something that God intended to happen” is false for it would be going against what God did which was to give the gift of “free will” to mankind. That free will has been perverted by war, greed, rape and a culture of money no matter the cost has nothing to do with God but with man’s intention to corrupt God’s gift of free will. The only contortion of words that is going on is that God’s intentions are involved, which cannot be, for if it were God’s intention there would be no rape and we know that is false. (God never contradicts God, and rape is a contradiction of Love. God is Perfect and not contradictable.) God, if you have not surmised Presence, is Reality and in this reality there is rape. Again, it is not God’s intention but man’s.

    October 24, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
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