INDIANAPOLIS – Congressman Rokita on Friday called natural disasters that threaten Indiana “God’s will” in a formal statement that specifically referenced the tornado that uprooted dozens of Kokomo-area families. The statement caught many Hoosiers off guard, bringing back to mind the calamitous words of 2012 Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.
After hosting a roundtable Friday on disaster preparedness, Congressman Rokita’s office released a statement in which he justified the need for the meeting in part by claiming natural disasters were intended by God. In a prepared statement, he wrote that “even though we cannot predict God’s will when it comes to natural disasters, let’s prepare ourselves for God’s will.”
Making matters worse, Congressman Rokita’s statement came after he held his roundtable in Kokomo, rubbing salt in the wound of the victims of last August’s tornado in the city. The tornado seriously damaged hundreds of homes and destroyed roughly 80, many of which are in Congressman Rokita’s Fourth District that includes part of Kokomo. 20 Hoosiers were injured during the disaster that ripped through the city as well.
If Congressman Rokita were to declare for the Senate, he wouldn’t be the first recent Republican candidate to claim that such a horror could be divinely inspired. Indiana Republicans are still scarred by Mourdock, who stumbled through a general election campaign thanks to his inflexible views and refusal to compromise. On the debate stage with Joe Donnelly in October 2012, Mourdock notably referred to pregnancies from rape as “something God intended,” a phrase that Hoosiers will hear echoes of in Congressman Rokita’s statement.
“Congressman Rokita would like you to believe that if you’ve lost your home in a flood, or a family member in a fire, it’s directly because of the wishes of God. Will he look his constituents who are still rebuilding their lives after last year’s tornado in Kokomo in the eye and tell them that?,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Hoosiers can’t afford to be represented at any level of government by someone who seems eager to adopt all the worst qualities of Richard Mourdock.”