I think he meant that no matter what the circumstances of conception that kid is just as valuable to God as any other kid.
If you think what he does about life and conception I don't see anything wrong with saying that.
What people heard was an endorsement of the violation implicit in a rape extending itself into pregnancy (and of course pregnancy is a violation of a woman if she did not want to become pregnant).
I don't understand how this guy couldn't have known that's what it would sound like. I also don't understand how anyone couldn't know what he actually meant to communicate. Of course the two aren't mutually exclusive, indeed the first almost implies the second (he might not like it, but he's identifying it as less bad). So I'm not saying he doesn't deserve whatever electoral response he gets for this. But what he thought he was communicating is pretty clear, I think.