President Barack Obama weighed in on the controversial rape comments made by Republican Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock during his appearance on "The Tonight Show" Wednesday, saying "rape is rape."
The president's comments came a day after Mourdock set off a firestorm of criticism for saying during a debate that he opposes abortion even in cases of rape, since new life "is something God intended to happen." Mourdock said Wednesday that his words had been "twisted," emphasizing that God creates life, not that God wants rape to occur.
"I don't know how these guys come up with these ideas," Obama said, seizing on comments by Mourdock and earlier "legitimate rape" comments by Republican Senate hopeful, Missouri's Todd Akin. "Let me make a very simple proposition. Rape is rape. It is a crime."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who supports abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is in danger, has distanced himself from Mourdock's earlier comments.
"Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock and Mr. Mourdock's statements do not reflect Gov. Romney's views," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.
Still, Romney stood by his endorsement of Mourdock and has refused calls by prominent Democrats to pull an ad he taped on behalf of the fellow Republican.
Obama did not directly tie Romney to Mourdock during his late-night appearance, though his campaign released a new ad late Wednesday linking the pair.
"Women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors," Obama told Leno. "For politicians to want to intrude in this stuff, oftentimes without any information, is a huge problem."
During Obama's "Tonight Show" appearance, his third since becoming president and his fifth overall, Leno also touched on Donald Trump's ongoing grudge against the president.
Hours earlier, Trump offered to donate $5 million to a charity of Obama's choosing if he releases his college and passport applications.
Obama joked that their feud dated back to their childhood days "in Kenya."
"We had constant run-ins on the soccer fields, he wasn't very good and resented it," Obama said. "When we finally moved to America, I thought it would be over."