Washington: US President Barack Obama chose to go full throttle against the Republicans over controversial rape remarks by a GOP candidate, contending that attempts to redefine rape make little sense and a predominantly male political class should not be making decisions for women. Appealing to his women constituency, Obama said healthcare decisions for women was not something that politicians need get involved in.
"These attempts to re-define rape in some way make no sense to me. And I don't think they make sense to the vast majority of women across the country," Obama said in an interview to NBC news. "But more broadly, I think what these episodes point to is the fact that you don't want politicians, the majority of them male, making a series of decisions about women's health care issues," he said.
The Obama campaign has seized on remarks by Indiana senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who said that pregnancy after rape was God's will. Abortion rights for women has become a major subject of contention in the election, with the Democrats trying to corner Mitt Romney over the issue. "I don't know how these guys come up with these ideas," Obama said.
The Obama campaign has seized on remarks by Indiana senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who said that pregnancy after rape was God\'s will.
"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," he said. Obama said he is very proud of his track record when it comes to having confidence that women can make their own decisions. "I think that it is important for women to have confidence that their president knows this is a set of decisions for them to make in consultations with their families, their clergy. "It is not something that politicians need get involved in," he said.
The Obama campaign also released a new television ad highlighting Romney comments on the abortion issue and his plan to try and cut funding for planned parenthood. Mourdock apologised for his comments after as a series of Republicans distanced themselves from his views. Responding to questions regarding his campaign spending a billion dollars this election season and the spending also by the Romney campaign and political action committees (PACs), Obama said there should be some restrictions on the spending.
"I think the amount of money that is being spent in my campaign and Mr Romney's campaign and the super PACs that are out there is ridiculous," Obama said. "As you will recall, when the Citizens United decision came out, I took a fairly unusual step of saying this was bad for our democracy in a State of the Union speech. I continue to believe that.
There is no reason why I believe we can interpret the Constitution in a way that allows us for some common sense, you know, restrictions on the amount of money spent and the
manner in which it is spent," he said. "Because, you know, for us to have folks writing $ 10 million checks, undisclosed, having huge sway in this election - and just the sheer amount of waste that could be used more profitably in other areas, doesn't make much sense. So this is an issue that, in a second term, I will raise," Obama said.
Obama said having earned the endorsement of Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State, means a lot to him. "General Powell is somebody who, during the course of these four years, has come in occasionally, given me advice," he said. "He is somebody who I think people recognise as, you know, having just a steady breadth of knowledge, both foreign and domestic. And he has been terrific on all counts over the last four years. So for him to provide a full endorsement like that means a lot," Obama said.