Mourdock: 'One of the toughest days of my life'CARMEL, Ind. — An emotional Richard Mourdock told fellow Republicans here that this “has been one of the toughest days of my life” as the GOP Senate candidate acknowledged creating “quite a firestorm” from his controversial comments on rape and abortion.
“Today has not been a fun day,” a teary-eyed Mourdock told a private dinner meeting of the Hamilton County Republican Party. “Professionally, emotionally, it’s been one of the toughest days of my life quite frankly.”
“What I said last night I didn’t mean obviously to be mistaken but it became a news story,” he told the crowd. “For whatever reason, it seemed to further identify me in the public’s mind. And if that’s the way it is, that’s the way it is.”
The fallout came after a Tuesday night debate in which Mourdock defended his opposition to abortion in the cases of rape by saying such pregnancies are “something that God intended to happen.”
Mourdock went into full-fledged damage control Wednesday, discussing his deep religious faith that is the basis of his anti-abortion philosophy as he repeatedly expressed remorse for women who are the victims of sexual assault. While he won support from Senate GOP leaders, several at-risk Senate candidates distanced themselves from his remarks, and Sen. John McCain said his continued support depends on Mourdock’s full apology.
With his race against Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly going down to the wire, Mourdock can’t afford many slipups since his loss would virtually end any GOP hopes of returning to the Senate majority.
So Mourdock expressed remorse to this sympathetic crowd, which gave him a standing ovation. He was introduced by tea party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who accused his opponents of “twisting” Mourdock’s words to distract voters.