Joe Donnelly just had his Richard Mourdock moment.
If you don’t know what that means, here’s a refresher: in 2012, former Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock was vying for the Senate seat Joe Donnelly would later win. At the final debate, Mourdock stated that a woman who becomes pregnant by her rapist is carrying a “gift from God.”
People went nuts, saying Mourdock believed that God wants rape to happen and even though the candidate later clarified his statement, the damage had been done and a Democrat went on to win the Senate seat – something that rarely happens here in Indiana.
Last night, Joe Donnelly make a similar misstep, this time when discussing diversity at the debate. Watch the clip below.
“Our state director is Indian American, but he does an amazing job. Our director of all constituent services she’s African American, but she does an even more incredible job than you could ever imagine.”
A statement like this would have been fine had Donnelly not used the word “but” over and over. That made it sound like the people in those positions are doing a good job despite their race.
He went on to say, “It isn’t their race or their religion it’s the incredible person that they are,” he said. “But at the same time they have to have a chance they have to have an opportunity and that’s my responsibility and I’ve done it in every office I’ve had and I’ve done it in every campaign I’ve had because my campaigns and our Senate office should reflect the face of Indiana.”
However, as we all know, people only remember the salacious sound bites, not what follows afterward to clarify the comments.
Election day is less than a week away and this race is one of the tightest in the country. Not a good time to misspeak, Sen. Donnelly.