Competition for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat is heating up, and the tension showed in Tuesday's debate.
Candidates for Senate kept up their attacks on each other in their final debate before Election Day. Republican Richard Mourdock, Democrat Joe Donnelly, and Libertarian Andrew Horning met in New Albany for the debate. The candidates discussed topics ranging from domestic spending and health care, to foreign policy.
The most controversial comment of the night came from Republican Richard Mourdock, regarding women's rights to abortion, when pregnancy is a result of rape.
"I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God," Mourdock said. "I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
In an attempt to clarify his remarks after the debate, Mourdock said, "In answering a question from my position of faith, I said I believe that God creates life, and I believe that as wholly and fully as I can believe, that God creates life."
On Wednesday, Mourdock spoke to the press in an attempt to clear up confusion regarding his comments.
"For those who want to twist the comments and use them for partisan gain - I think that is what is wrong with Washington these days," Mourdock said. "I don't think God wants rape, rape is evil."
The Romney campaign says Mourdock's initial comments do not reflect the GOP presidential candidate's views.
Donnelly said this is not a matter of abortion, but respect for victims of rape.
"I went by what he said, what is in the transcript," Donnelly said. "What is there is extremely inappropriate."
Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence has publicly asked Mourdock to apologize. But, some pro-life groups are applauding Mourdock for sticking to his values.
In regards to domestic spending, Horning said, “I do believe there is a valid role for the federal government in protecting resources that is not being played out very well right now.”
While Donnelly said, “we need to stand with our farmers, they need certainty and reliability and I fought to get that done.”
The topic turned to the controversial spending on Obama care, with Mourdock stating, “what can we really afford in the long run? If we continue to have a government that runs itself out of control by financing through health care, Obama care, we aren't going to be able to provide essential services - let alone emergencies that come our way.”
Outside the New Albany debate, area protestors held demonstrations amid a large police presence. Auto workers were out supporting Donnelly, and members of the Tea Party were there to back Richard Mourdock.