BURBANK, Calif. - US President Barack Obama suspended the levity during an interview with late-night TV talk show host Jay Leno on Wednesday to address a Republican Senate candidate's assertion that pregnancies resulting from rape are intended by God and to express confidence that Washington could soon address the looming "fiscal cliff."
"I don't know how these guys come up with these ideas. Let me make a very simple proposition: rape is rape. It is a crime," Obama said on NBC's "The Tonight Show."
"This is exactly why you don't want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women's healthcare."
Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's comments that pregnancies caused by rape are "something God intended to happen" echoed across the US media and sent ripples through political circles ahead of the Nov. 6 election.
The Obama campaign, which enjoys leads among women voters in many election battleground states, sought swiftly to connect Mourdock with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. This summer Romney had to distance himself from remarks by another Republican Senate candidate, Todd Akin of Missouri, about what he called "legitimate rape."