Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who is now a surrogate for Mitt Romney, on Sunday told President Barack Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter to “get over it” and stop talking about Republican Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s assertion that pregnancy from rape “is something that God intended to happen.”
Speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Cutter noted that a Des Moines Register editorial endorsing Romney “didn’t seem to be based at all in reality” because it claimed the Republican candidate would govern in a bipartisan way and “it’s the exact opposite of what he did in Massachusetts.”
“Over the course of running for president over these last six years, he’s never once stood up to the far extreme right wing,” Cutter explained. “Just this past week, we saw it when he wouldn’t take down his ad for Richard Mourdock, who had — it’s a now famous comment that it’s God’s will if a woman gets pregnant through rape. He’s not willing to stand up when it matters.”
But Gingrich told Stephanopoulos that Mourdock had only said what opponents of abortion had been saying for years.
“If you listen to what Mourdock actually said, he said what virtually every Catholic and every fundamentalist in the country actually believes: life begins at conception,” the Romney surrogate shrugged. “This seems to be fixated by the Democrats, but the radical on abortion is Obama, who as a state senator voted three times in favor of allowing doctors to kill babies in the eighth and ninth month who were born having survived late term abortions.”
While Stephanopoulos did not push back on Gingrich’s claim, several organization have debunked the claim that Obama ever supported a so-called “infanticide” provision in an Illinois measure that would have required doctors to administer medical treatment to fetuses that survived an abortion.
However, the ABC host did press the former House Speaker on whether he agreed with Mourdock that pregnancy through rape is “something God intended to happen.”
“He also immediately issued a clarification saying that he was referring to the act of contraception and he condemned rape,” Gingrich insisted. “One point of this is nonsense. Every candidate in America that I know condemns rape.”
“So, why can’t people like Stephanie Cutter get over it? We all condemn rape. Now let’s talk about whether we also condemn killing babies in the eighth and ninth month.”
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Oct. 28, 2012.