Missouri’s current Republican Sen. Roy Blunt and three former GOP senators — Jack Danforth, Jim Talent and John Ashcroft — said today that Congressman Todd Akin’s recent comments about rape victims were “totally unacceptable” and called for Akin to depart the race.
“We do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in this race,” the senators said in a statement. “The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside.”
Akin, meantime, said on Mike Huckabee’s radio program this afternoon that he is not quitting.
That the senators issued a joint statement is yet another sign of the increasing pressure that Republicans are placing on Akin to get him out of the race. Source said Republican members of the House from Missouri were expected today to also call on Akin to leave the race.
But Akin is rejecting that, saying his mistake in a TV interview broadcast Sunday about rape victims should not be enough to end his candidacy.l
"Is there a matter of some justice here?" Akin said on the radio.
"There's a cause here. There's a cause about the very heart about hat America is."
UPDATE: The National Republican Senatorial Committee, in a statement:
“...By staying in this race, Congressman Akin is putting at great risk many of the issues that he and others in the Republican Party are fighting for, including the repeal of ObamaCare...
“We continue to hope that Congressman Akin will do the right thing for the values he holds dear, but there should be no mistake – if he continues with this misguided campaign, it will be without the support and resources of the NRSC.”
A statement from American Crossroads:
“Rep. Akin faces a simple choice: Will he help Democrats hold the McCaskill seat and potentially the Senate majority by staying in the race, or will he help Republicans defeat Barack Obama's most reliable ally in the Senate by getting out?”