Sen. Rand Paul spoke at a Rotary Club lunch at the Galt House in Louisville this afternoon, fielding (and dancing around) a handful of questions regarding Richard Mourdock’s statements about rape, abortion, “God’s gift,” and God’s will.
Paul said that he not only still supports Mourdock, but his PAC is going up with $100,000 worth of TV ads in Indiana attacking his Democratic opponent, Joe Donnelly.
Here’s the transcript of the Q&A. Note that before I could even finish asking my question at the end, Paul starting bolting for the exit.
TV reporter: When a woman is impregnated during rape, is it God’s plan?
Paul: I think that the issue is going to be decided on economic issues, I’m not going to get into talking about abortion exceptions, and this and that. I think people are going to make their decision based on 23 million out of work, unemployment at 8 percent, gas prices have doubled, prices are rising. I think this will get people in the media concerned for a day or two, but I’ve chosen to spend another $100,000 in Indiana, we’ll be putting a TV ad on. And what we’ll be pointing out is that Congressman Donnelly voted to continue sending money to Pakistan, and we think we have needs at home that need to be met and we shouldn’t be sending that money overseas.
WFPL: Are you worried at all that this controversy around what Mourdock said could have an impact not only on his race, but other Republicans running (around the country)?
Paul: I think in general that most of Indiana is pro-life, and the details of his comments might annoy some folks, but I think in the end people are going to make their decision based on economic issues. We’ve tried four years of government stimulus, $6 trillion of borrowing to try to stimulate the economy, and it’s not working. The economy is not any better off than it was four years ago. I think people will make their decisions based on that.
Gerth (C-J): There’s been some evidence in polls that Gov. Romney is beginning to close the gender gap a little bit. Are you concerned that Mourdock’s statements nationally could stop that progress that Gov. Romney is making?
Paul: You know, they say that a significant percentage of women base their vote on, you know, social issues and abortion. But I think a lot of people who do make their decision on that have already decided one way or another. They’re already strongly Democrat or strongly Republican. So I’m not sure it changes a great deal. While we have a lot of argument and discussion in this country about social issues, in the end very little has changed on social issues in 30 years now, and I think very little is probably expected to change because we’re so divided as a country. So in the what I think we’ll find is that people, I think, vote more their economic issues. (Paul spoke more about Donnelly/Pakistan ads his PAC is running.)
LEO: How does having the government force a woman to give birth to her rapist’s child mesh with you small government philosophy?
Paul: I’m not getting into that, but I’m happy to answer any questions about…(Paul walks away)
And with that, Paul darted out.
It’s funny, because Rand Paul has been quite outspoken from the time he ran for Senate, throughout his first two years in office, about banning abortion at the federal level, including in cases of rape and incest. In fact, the very first bill that he sponsored in the Senate was the Life at Conception Act to amend the Constitution to make abortion illegal, even when it comes to “God’s gift” of babies conceived through rape. And he has no problem penning long and hysterical letters like this one calling abortion the equivalent of genocide.
But now? Gosh, he doesn’t want to talk about those unimportant “social issues.”
Also, when someone asks you “When a woman is impregnated during rape, is it God’s plan?”… the answer is NO. For people with a conscience and grip on reality, such an answer is quite simple.