INDIANAPOLIS — Embattled Senate candidate Richard Mourdock and national Republican officials said Thursday they were moving past the uproar over his comments that a pregnancy resulting from rape is God’s will, and instead refocusing the nation’s political conversation on the presidential and congressional elections less than two weeks off.
But even as they tried to recover, Senate Democrats dropped $1.1 million on an ad keeping the spectacle alive and linking Mourdock’s comments to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
“God intended that a woman be raped and become pregnant? Even Mitt Romney and (gubernatorial hopeful) Mike Pence believe Richard Mourdock goes too far,” the narrator says in the statewide spot, which began running Thursday night, 48 hours after Mourdock made the remark in a debate.
Mourdock spokesman Brose McVey called the ad “sleazy.”
The blistering speed with which national Democrats produced and aired the spot was a swift shove against a series of stubborn, stalemated contests, from the presidential race to the battle for control of the Senate and the Indiana race in particular.
The state’s open Senate seat is a must-win if Republicans are to gain the four seats they need to win control of the Senate if President Barack Obama wins re-election, three seats if Romney prevails.
The ad’s subject matter — rape, abortion, and God — illustrated the overarching importance of one group of voters critical to every locked contest — women. In Indiana, the pool of undecided voters is more than 60 percent women.
Obama and his Democratic allies have battled all year for the trust of female voters, with Democrats charging that Republicans were waging a “war against women” and Republicans insisting that their economic plans offered more to this critical bloc that suffered from the recession more than men.