(CBS News) Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour weighed in on the controversy involving Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's remark that rape is something "God intended." He called the pronouncement "kinda crazy."
"I don't agree with what he said. I thought that what he said was kinda crazy," Barbour said Thursday on "CBS This Morning."
Barbour, however, tried to distance Mourdock's hullabaloo from the presidential race. People outside Indiana are "not talking about what someone who's Secretary of State in Indiana said," Barbour said, referring to Mourdock's current position. "This election for president is not about that. This election for president is about Obama's failed economic record on job creation, exploding debt, skyrocketing spending, and terrible health care reform."
Prior to Mourdock's remark, Romney appeared in a campaign ad backing the Indiana Senate candidate, the only Republican Senate candidate to obtain Romney's involvement in a TV ad other than Utah Senator Orrin Hatch. In a statement, Romney's spokesperson Andrea Saul said Romney "disagrees" with his statement but still stands by him.
Barbour also said that he is not concerned about the Obama campaign's ground-game advantage, a necessary operation to get supporters to the polls.
"Democrats turn out their early voting right from the beginning," Barbour said, admitting that Democrats are ahead in early voting at this point. He added, however, that Republican early voting is higher in the critical swing state of Ohio than in previous presidential election years. "The Obama people go on muscle and manpower driven by the labor unions. For us it's energy and enthusiasm and right now it looks like energy and enthusiasm is keeping up pretty good," he added.
Referencing the disparity in field offices between the two candidates in key battleground states, Barbour said, "The real question is how many voters do you contact? How compelling is your message? And what kind of job do you do getting those voters to actually go to the polls and vote?"