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On Wednesday night John McCain went on CNN and told Anderson Cooper that he was withholding support for Senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock until the Indiana Republican “apologizes and says he misspoke, and he was wrong and he asks the people to forgive him.”

Apparently, McCain hadn’t yet gotten the memo from Republican leaders, who are pretending that Mourdock had indeed apologized for his comments in which he said that a pregnancy as a result of rape is a “gift from God.”

Then on Thursday morning, McCain accepted Mourdock’s “apology” and pledged his support.

But let’s be clear. There was no apology for what Mourdock said. Here are his exact words from his press conference:

I’m a much more humble person this morning because so many people mistook, twisted, came to misunderstand the points that I was trying to make. I’m confident God abhors violence and rape, if they came away with any impression other than that, I truly regret it. I apologize if they came away, and I have certainly been humbled by the fact that so many people think that that somehow was an interpretation.

You catch the keyword here? “I apologize IF…” What Mourdock did was make up an interpretation that maybe three people on Twitter were accusing him of calling rape God-ordained. And then he apologized for people having that interpretation.

What didn’t he do? Apologize for what he actually said, which was:

I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.

He’s saying a pregnancy as a result of a rape is a gift from God. And that’s why people are offended. And he refuses to apologize for that. “Anyone who goes to the video tape and views that, understands fully what I meant. I really believe that,” he said later in the press conference.

But this “apology” is good enough for Mitt Romney. The GOP nominee has only filmed one commercial for a Senate candidate this year, and it was for Mourdock. He distanced himself from the comments, but he hasn’t asked for that ad to be taken down.

Why? Maybe he’s afraid of offending evangelicals in swing states.

Or maybe he recognizes what Mourdock was saying is kind of the official position of the Republican Party.

The former Republican governor of Utah who played Gallant to Romney’s Goofus in the GOP primary said he would withdraw his endorsement and pull the ad, once again proving that he’s much too sane for this Republican Party.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Michael Conroy

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