Tuesday, Mitt Romney called on embattled Republican Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race over Akin’s controversial and offensive remarks on rape and abortion.
Romney left no question about what he thinks Akin should do, according to the Washington Post today.
"As I said yesterday, Todd Akin's comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country," Romney said in a statement. "Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race."
Democrats have latched on to Akin’s remarks to use against Republicans but Romney’s decisive comments showing Akins the exit door may gain the Republican presidential candidate votes instead.
Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri also released a joint statement with four former Republican Missouri senators calling on Akin to quit the race.
"We do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in this race," the Missouri politicians said. "The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside."
Akins immediately came under fire from Republicans after he suggested in an interview that women couldn't get pregnant from rape. The Missouri loose cannon lost support from top Republicans when he made the following statement.
"It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin said when asked whether he would support abortions for rape victims. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin said of a rape victim's chances of becoming pregnant.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and veteran Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas are among the growing list of top Republicans calling for Akin to step down and allow the state Republican Party to choose a candidate to replace him.
Should Akin not step down by Tuesday, he will be responsible for paying all expenses involved in changing ballots.
Akins is running against vulnerable Democrat Claire McCaskill who has trailed her Republican opponents in major polls throughout much of her campaign.