President Barack Obama on Monday condemned Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's comments about rape and pregnancy as "offensive" and "way out there" but stopped short of suggesting the lawmaker quit the race.
"The views expressed were offensive. Rape is rape," Obama told reporters during an unannounced question-and-answer session in the White House briefing room.
"And the idea that we should be parsing, and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we're talking about doesn't make sense to the American people and certainly doesn't make sense to me," the president said.
Obama noted that Mitt Romney and other Republicans have criticized Akin's comments that women rarely get pregnant from "legitimate rape." But he underlined that he is pro-abortion rights while Romney and running mate Paul Ryan oppose abortion.
"What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians—a majority of whom are men—making health care decisions on behalf of women," he said.
But Obama stopped short of saying Akin, who is facing off against vulnerable Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, should drop out of the race.
"He was nominated by the Republicans of Missouri; I'll let them sort that out," he said. Akin has said that he has no plans to quit.