INDIANAPOLIS — Prominent Indiana Republicans had trouble this week deciding whether the federal government shutdown was necessary and what they wanted out of it, backing down from statements about Washington, including one that sparked ridicule from President Barack Obama.

Gov. Mike Pence was the latest Republican to tamp down his comments. He told South Bend media Tuesday that “efforts to delay the implementation of Obamacare and also efforts to reduce the negative impact of Obamacare on our economy are worthwhile.” But he said Friday, shortly before leaving the Statehouse on the annual governor’s motorcycle ride, that he “probably could have been more clear.”

“I never said the government shutdown was worthwhile. And, like every Hoosier, I’m frustrated,” he said.

Pence’s comments, however, were overshadowed by U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, a former congressional colleague, who insisted that House Republicans wanted something from Democrats in the continuing standoff but weren’t sure exactly what.

“We’re not going to be disrespected,” Stutzman told a Washington Examiner reporter Wednesday. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

By Thursday Stutzman’s quote had become the gaffe of choice for national Democrats looking to paint Republicans as obstructionists and was mocked pointedly by Obama during a speech in Maryland. Stutzman quickly issued a statement saying that his comments did not reflect the stance of House Republicans.

The unlikely victor following Stutzman’s remarks may have been U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, who had taken heat for calling the federal health care law “insidious” but compounded his troubles in a follow-up interview on CNN Wednesday.

Rokita told CNN anchor Carol Costello, “You’re beautiful, but you have to be honest as well.” She ended the on-air interview at that comment. Rokita, a sophomore Republican, later said he meant no offense to Costello.