There's no stopping Democrats out for political blood. Richard Mourdock, the Indiana Republican locked in a close contest with Democrat Joe Donnelly for a U.S. Senate seat, offered a badly phrased comment about abortion in rape cases during a debate Tuesday. He quickly apologized for any misunderstanding, but the Obama campaign is seizing the issue as a way to get at Mitt Romney.
Mr. Mourdock, the conservative state treasurer who thumped six-term moderate Republican Sen. Dick Lugar in the primary, believes life begins at conception. He opposes abortion in all cases except if it means saving the life of the mother. "I struggled with it myself for a long time," said Mr. Mourdock during the debate. "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 is something that God intended."
Democrats pounced, twisting the words to give the impression that Mr. Mourdock believed that the rape itself was part of God's plan. He only meant that the life of every child is within God's plan. The next day, Mr. Mourdock humbly clarified his meaning. "I abhor violence and I'm confident God abhors violence and rape," he explained.
Democrats insisted on exploiting his remarks to imply Republicans are pro-rape. "It continues to be perplexing to us that Mitt Romney would stand behind an ad that is for a candidate whose comments were so outrageous and offensive to women," Obama campaign spokesman Jen Psaki said Thursday.
The Romney campaign disavowed the comments but continued to support Mr. Mourdock. Unsatisfied, Obama for America on Friday created a website counting down the hours that Mr. Romney has not retracted his endorsement. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will spend $1 million airing an attack ad linking Mr. Mourdock to Mr. Romney.
Mr. Obama's allies in the media are more than happy to perpetuate this deception. NBC's Brian Williams used exclusive access to the president this week to air what appeared to be a half-hour, prime-time endorsement of Mr. Obama on the show "Rock Center" Thursday. Mr. Williams did not ask about Benghazi, Libya, but he did spend time on rape.
"These attempts to re-define rape in some way make no sense to me," said the president in response to the open-ended question. "I think what these episodes point to is the fact that you don't want politicians, the majority of them male, making a series of decisions about women's health care issues."
Hoosiers aren't falling for the Democratic hysteria machine. An internal campaign poll conducted by John McLaughlin and Associates in the days after the debate showed Mr. Mourdock and Mr. Donnelly tied at 44 percent. Liberals don't realize voters living outside of Manhattan and San Francisco are often less cavalier about killing the unborn. According to a new Gallup poll, 51 percent of the country considers itself pro-life with 22 percent believing abortion should be illegal even in the cases of rape and incest.
No one should have to apologize for standing up for an innocent baby's life. It's one thing to disagree with this principled stand, but using sleazy smear tactics to imply either Mr. Romney or Mr. Mourdock support a horrible, violent crime is disgusting. It's yet more evidence that desperate Democrats have no plan to move America forward.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
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Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
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