Biden uses Akin, Mourdock remarks to slam Romney on abortion

KENOSHA, Wis. Vice President Joe Biden on Friday invoked the controversial comments of Republican Senate candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in blasting what he called his presidential rivals' rigid stance against abortion rights.

"Here's the truth: They made it very, very clear, made it very clear that they do not believe a woman has a right to control her own body," Biden said of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan at a rally here. "They can't even get up the gumption to condemn the statements made by two of their candidates for United States Senate. It's not enough to tell me you don't agree. It's having the moral courage to stand up and say what they said was wrong, simply wrong."

Romney, however, did label Akin's comment that women's bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy in what Akin called "legitimate rape" as "offensive and wrong" and said in August that he should have left his race against incumbent Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill.

The former Massachusetts governor's campaign has said that it disagrees with Indiana Senate candidate Mourdock's explanation this week that women should not have access to abortion in cases of rape because it is "something that God intended to happen."

But it has not withdrawn Romney's endorsement of Mourdock or asked that an ad on the candidate's behalf stop running. Democrats have highlighted the statement in the closely-contested race, with the Obama campaign on Friday launching a web ad and microsite devoted to the issue.

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    Rodney Hawkins covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.