Ohio Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel refused to comment Wednesday night on controversial statements by Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who said that abortion should not even be legal in cases of rape.
When confronted by blogger Marc Kovac of the Ohio Capital Blog and asked if he agreed with Mourdock's position on abortion, Mandel, who is running against incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), froze, blinked at the camera and said that he would need to see the context of the remarks.
Mourdock said during a debate on Tuesday that pregnancy is a "gift from God," regardless of the circumstances of the conception.
"The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother," he said. "I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
When pressed as to whether or not he believes that rape and incest victims should be allowed access to abortion, Mandel fell back on talking points.
"I think it's important to protect the life of the mother and I'm proud to be pro-life," he said.
"Even in the possibility of rape?" Kovac asked, to which Mandel wordlessly nodded.
Mandel became similarly stymied in a meeting with the editorial board of The Youngstown Vindicator when he was asked about the automotive industry bailout, resulting in an endorsement by the paper of Mandel's opponent.
Watch the clip, embedded via YouTube, below: