ELKHART — GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock made an early-morning stop at an Elkhart cafe today, Nov. 1, part of a last-minute dash around the state as Election Day looms.
“In the final 10 days you want to be out and about,” he said. He planned to travel some 2,500 miles in the campaign’s final days, with nine stops alone on Tuesday, seven on Wednesday and seven more slated for Thursday.
His big message at this stage revolves around the economy. Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer, is locked in a tight battle with Democrat Joe Donnelly, currently the U.S. representative to Indiana’s 2nd District.
“In a few words to the undecideds, if you like the economy of the last four years then they ought to vote for Joe Donnelly and Barack Obama,” he said. “If they want to see the country moving again then they ought to be voting for Mitt Romney and Richard Mourdock. We have got to get this country growing if people want to see their kids have jobs, and the policies of the last four years have been total failures, put us deeper and deeper in debt.”
He addressed the flap over his comment last week about abortion and rape.
“Ancient history now,” he said. “It hasn’t come up once. In fact it hasn’t come up talking to people in the last four, five days. People are focused on the real issues, the economy.”
The day after the comments, he said, “I clarified and we’ve moved forward.”
In expressing opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape, during a debate in his race on Oct. 23, Mourdock said this: “And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Critics took his comments as insensitive to rape victims and Democrats have seized on the remarks in campaigning against Mourdock.
As part of his last-minute campaigning, Mourdock has been meeting with business groups, supporters, local Republican leaders and others. “Anybody who wants to get a handshake and tell me what they think. The best part of politics, by far,” he said.
On Wednesday, he was in Goshen and he also stopped at Antonio’s Italian Restaurant in Elkhart, according to his campaign staff.
Donnelly was to make stops today, Nov. 1, in South Bend, LaPorte, Michigan City, Gary and Hammond, according to his campaign staff.