FACT CHECK: Josh Mandel Refused To Denounce Richard Mourdock’s Statement That Pregnancies From Rape Are “Something That God Intended To Happen.”

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FACT CHECK: Josh Mandel Refused To Denounce Richard Mourdock’s Statement That Pregnancies From Rape Are “Something That God Intended To Happen.”

JOSH CLAIMS: I don’t support Richard Mourdock’s statement on abortion and rape.

THE TRUTH: Josh Mandel was asked by a reporter to comment on Mourdock’s statement, and even after having it read out loud to him, refused to denounce the remarks.

1. Richard Mourdock’s exact words were read out loud to Josh Mandel by a reporter at a campaign event, and Josh Mandel refused to denounce the remarks.

2. Mitt Romney, John McCain, and GOP Senate candidates across the country have denounced Mourdock’s remarks.

Mandel On Mourdock’s Comment That Pregnancies By Rape Are “Something God Intended”:  “I Think I’d Wanna See The Video Or See The Debate Before Commenting On That.”  In October 2012, when Josh Mandel was asked what he thought of Indiana Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock’s comment that pregnancy by rape is “something God intended,” Mandel replied, “I think I’d wanna see his comments, and see, is there a video of it?”  Mandel then said, “I think I’d wanna see the video or see the debate before commenting on that.”  When asked if he would make any exceptions for abortion, Mandel replied, “Well I think it’s important to protect the life of the mother, and I’m proud to be pro-life.” [Marc Kovac video, 10/24/12]

Mandel Supports Legislation That Outlaws All Abortions, Including When The Health Of The Mother Is At Risk And In Pregnancies Resulting From Rape Or Incest.  In a 2012 Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati questionnaire, Josh Mandel responded “Yes” without exceptions to the question “Do you support federal and state legislation to ban abortion-on-demand from fertilization to birth?” Mandel was given three options: Yes, Yes with exceptions, and No.  [Federal Candidate Questionnaire, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, 1/19/12]

Romney Spokeswoman:  “Gov. Romney Disagrees With Richard Mourdock.”  In October 2012, USA Today, reported “Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement that ‘Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock and Mr. Mourdock’s statements do not reflect Gov. Romney’s views.’ Romney supports abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is in danger. Saul said Romney still supports Mourdock.”  [USA Today, 10/24/12]

Dean Heller Spokeswoman:  “Dean Heller Disagrees.  He Does Not Share These Views.”  In October 2012, The Las Vegas Review-Journalreported “Sen. Dean Heller distanced himself Wednesday from the latest rape and pregnancy controversy tied to a fellow Republican Senate candidate.  ‘Dean Heller disagrees. He does not share these views,’ his campaign spokeswoman Chandler Smith said in response to the storm set off by Richard Mourdock of Indiana in a Tuesday debate.”  [Las Vegas Review Journal, 10/24/12]

Wisconsin Senate Candidate Tommy Thompson:  Mourdock’s Comments Are “Really Sad” – There Can Be “No Tolerance Whatsoever.”  In October 2012, The Associated Press wrote “In Wisconsin, former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, who faces Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin, called Mourdock’s comments ‘really sad.’  ‘I’ve got a wife and two daughters and six granddaughters,’ he said in an interview. ‘Anything dealing with rape against women is uncalled for. Period. No tolerance whatsoever.’”  [Associated Press, 10/24/12]

Senator Scott Brown Denounced The Rape Comment Made By Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock.  In October 2012, The Boston Herald stated, “U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is distancing himself from comments about rape made by a fellow Republican Senate candidate from Indiana. Richard Mourdock said during a debate on Tuesday that he believes when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, ‘that’s something God intended.’ Brown told reporters during a campaign stop on Wednesday that he is a ‘pro-choice Republican’ and does not share Mourdock’s views. Asked later if he still supported Mourdock’s candidacy, Brown answered that was up to the people of Indiana.” [Boston Herald, 10/24/12]

Senator Kelly Ayotte Cancelled Her Plan To Campaign With Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock After his Controversial Rape Comment. In October 2012, The Boston Globe reported, “New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte has cancelled her plan to campaign with Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who said that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, ‘that’s something God intended.’ Mourdock said on Wednesday said he abhors rape and meant only that God creates life. But Ayotte’s spokesman, Jeff Grappone, said that the senator disagrees with Mourdock’s comments, which do not represent her views. Ayotte was scheduled to campaign with Mourdock on Wednesday, but canceled her trip and is in New Hampshire instead.” [Boston Globe, 10/24/12]

Mandel Signed On As A Supporter Of The Controversial “Heartbeat Bill.” In April 2011, The Dayton Daily News reported “Backers of the “Heartbeat” bill to prohibit abortion once a heartbeat is detected have added four high-profile names, including a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate, to the list of those urging passage of the legislation. Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati, former Ohio Secretary of State and 2006 candidate for governor Ken Blackwell and Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and possible presidential candidate, have signed on as supporters of House Bill 125 , Faith2Action, the main group backing the bill, said Monday in a press release.” [Dayton Daily News, 4/26/11]

Heartbeat Bill Mandel Endorsed Did Not Contain Exceptions For Rape or Incest.  In December 2011, the Associated Press reported “The GOP-controlled Ohio House passed the measure with a 54-44 vote in June. It’s been stalled in the Senate since then. The Senate president had several lawmakers research the bill and vet any legal issues. The heartbeat measure includes an exception for medical emergencies, but not in cases of rape or incest.” [Associated Press, 12/7/11]

Mandel Refused To List Exceptions For Rape Or Incest When Advocating For Anti-Abortion Laws. In August 2011, PolitiFact reported “a spokesman for Mandel’s campaign said, ‘Josh has always been solidly pro-life and believes all innocent human life should be protected.’” PolitiFact continued “Mandel supported exceptions to anti-abortion laws for cases of rape and incest, according to an Ohio Right to Life 2006 candidate survey. On a similar survey two years later, he didn’t list those exceptions to qualify his support for anti-abortion laws.” [Politifact, 8/16/2011]