7:12 AM CDT, October 25, 2012
The most recent controversial comment from a male politician on the subject of rape and abortion had President Barack Obama incredulous Wednesday during an appearance on Jay Leno's late-night talk show.
"I don't know how these guys come up with these ideas," Obama told Leno. "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."
Obama's comments were sparked by the assertion from Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock that pregnancies occurring after a rape were intended by God.
The Republican candidate was explaining his opposition to abortion in cases of rape or incest when he made the remark, saying that "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen."
Mourdock's comments came after a pair of similarly themed comments from fellow Republican candidates. In August, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, also running for Senate, ignited a firestorm when he said "legitimate rape" rarely resulted in pregnancy.
And Rep. Joe Walsh, another tea party-backed Republican running for re-election in Illinois, questioned last week the necessity of allowing abortions if a mother's life is at risk, saying such an exemption to an abortion ban was simply a tool by pro-choice activists.
Obama said the string of maligned abortion comments from Republicans was a sign they should remove themselves from the conversation.
"This is exactly why you don't want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women's health care decisions," Obama said. "Women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors, and for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff often times without any information is a huge problem."
The president went on the frame the issue politically, saying the next president would have the opportunity to appoint justices to the Supreme Court, which could potentially hear a challenge to Roe v. Wade. Mitt Romney, Obama's Republican challenger, has said that he would appoint justices to the court that would support overturning the 1973 decision affirming a woman's right to have an abortion.
"Roe vs. Wade is probably hanging in the balance," Obama said.
Obama also weighed in on Donald Trump's offer from earlier in the day, which stipulated the businessman and reality television star would offer $5 million to the charity of Obama's choice in exchange for the president releasing his college records and passport applications.
Asked what was going on between himself and Trump, Obama joked that it "all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya," a jab at Trump's constant questioning of his birthplace in Hawaii.
"We had constant run-ins on the soccer field, and he wasn't very good and resented it. I thought it would be over when we got to America," Obama joked, adding he has never met Trump.
Obama also weighed in on lighter topics, such as his World Series bet ("I didn't want to let Detroit go bankrupt. So in this particular series, I may be a little partial.") and his last time behind the wheel (in a Chevy Volt on the South Lawn).
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