(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is trying to clarify controversial remarks he made about rape.
In a debate with Democrat opponent Joe Donnelly and Libertarian Andrew Horning, Republican Mourdock suggested that pregnancies resulting from rape are "something that God intended to happen."
In a follow-up news conference Wednesday afternoon, he said rape is evil and added that God does not want anyone to be raped. He apologized if people took the comment any other way.
“I made a comment that I made, quite honestly, from the deepest roots and the greatest base of my faith, which is to say that I believe life is precious,” Mourdock, Indiana’s State Treasurer, said.
He said his words were misunderstood and apologized to anyone who may have been offended by the remarks.
Mourdock then lashed out and accused critics of twisting and distorting his words.
“So many people mistook, twisted, came to misunderstand the points that I was trying to make,” he said.
Democrats said Mourdock is backtracking. Indiana Democrat Party Chairman Dan Parker accused Mourdock of walking away from his “reprehensible” comments.
“His Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, who won't say if he still endorses Mourdock, took his words that way. I'm a pro-life Catholic, and I took his words that way. What he said was extreme and terribly disrespectful to rape victims, and he knows it,” Parker said.
The controversy may not bode well for Mourdock in his U.S. Senate bid against Donnelly. More than $22 million in ad spending has been drawn to Indiana, much of it for the race which could tip the Senate scales for Republicans.