New ad slams Mourdock for "extreme" positions

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock ignited a firestorm in the campaign when he suggest that a pregnancy resulting from rape was "a gift from God."

A week after his response to a debate question about abortion sparked controversy, Indiana's Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is under fire in a new ad from Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly.

"Mourdock argued that pregnancies resulting from rape are intended by God," the ad's narrator says, referring to Mourdock's statementwhere he said such pregnancies are "something that God intended to happen." Mourdock later explained his remarks saying he wasn't talking about rape, specifically, but that all conceptions are the work of God.

The Republican-leaning state was considered a likely win for the Republicans, but Mourdock's defeat of long-time moderate incumbent Richard Lugar in the GOP primary gave Democrats hope that they could pick up the seat. Donnelly and the Democratic Party have been labeling Mourdock as too extreme for Indiana using Mourdock's remarks to drive home their case.

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The ad highlights more than just his abortion comment, pinning Mourdock for a remark where he called Social Security and Medicare unconstitutional.

"Newspapers call Mourdock's out of the mainstream attacks a troubling pattern," the narrator says. "My way or the highway, the wrong way for Indiana."

For his part, Mourdock is framing the race as a referendum on national Democrats. "Make no mistake, Donnelly will continue to support the liberal Democrat agenda; a vote for Donnelly is a vote for [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and more runaway, government spending," Mourdock spokesperson Christopher Connor said in a statement. "It's not surprising that Congressman Joe Donnelly wants to continue his campaign of sleazy politics -- like attacking Mourdock over his religious beliefs -- because Donnelly doesn't want to talk about his record of supporting the liberal Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda of bigger government spending, failed economic plans and higher taxes."

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.