(KENOSHA, Wis.) – Vice President Joe Biden commented for the first time Friday on the two Republican Senate candidates who made controversial comments about women and rape. Biden scolded Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan for not taking a harsher stance against Senate candidates Todd Akin (Missouri) and Richard Mourdock (Indiana).
“Here’s the truth, they made it very, very clear, made it very clear that they do not believe a woman has a right to control her own body. They can’t even, they can’t even get up the gumption to condemn the statements made by two of their candidates for United States Senate,” Biden told the crowd at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
“It’s not enough to tell me you don’t agree. It’s having the moral courage to stand up and say what they said was wrong, simply wrong,” he added.
Earlier this week, Mourdock said during a debate against his Democratic rival in Indiana that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”
Romney recently appeared in an advertisement on behalf of Mourdock, but since the incident, he has not asked him to pull the campaign ad. A spokesperson for Romney has said the candidate disavows Mourdock’s statement regarding rape.
“Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock, and Mr. Mourdock’s comments do not reflect Gov. Romney’s views. We disagree on the policy regarding exceptions for rape and incest but still support him,” Andrea Saul, spokesperson for Romney, said in a statement Wednesday.
The Republican presidential candidate ignored questions from reporters about Mourdock’s comments during a stop in Cincinnati on Thursday and has yet to answer any questions on the topic.
President Obama rebuked Mourdock’s comments in an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Wednesday.
“I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas,” Obama said on the show. “Let me make a very simple proposition, rape is rape. It is a crime. And so these various distinctions about rape don’t make too much sense to me, don’t make any sense to me.”
In August, Akin said that “legitimate rape” does not normally lead to pregnancy. At the time, Biden did not comment on the Akin case, but Romney and Ryan did ask for Akin to step down from the race.
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