By Jessica Huseman
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney urged Todd Akin to withdraw from his race against Claire McCaskill today, but Akin has showed no signs of complying as today’s 6 p.m. CT dropout deadline draws closer.
“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.”
Romney’s statement was in reference to a statement from Missouri. Sen. Roy Blunt and former senators John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth and Jim Talent that said Akin is not serving the “national interest” by staying in the Senate race, reported USA Today.
Romney’s call for Akin to drop out of the race comes after Ryan’s call to Akin on Monday urging him to “reflect” on the race and consider what was best for him and his family, reported ABC. Chairman Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have openly called for Akin to give up his spot.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has also said it would pull $5 million in advertising funding if Akin remained in the race.
“The stakes in this election are far bigger than any one individual. 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,” NRSC Communications Director Brian Walsh said.
Even the most conservative of donors have pulled funds. Crossroads GPS recently announced it would pull its ads from the Missouri Senate race, canceling planned ads that would have begun Wednesday. When Politico asked why the decision was made, Crossroads spokesman Nate Hodson responded: “The act speaks for itself.”
Despite the intense amount of pressure, Akin went on a show hosted by former Republican candidate for president, Mike Huckabee, for the second time in two days to say that he would press on.
“All of a sudden, overnight, everybody decides, ‘Well, Akin can’t possibly win.’ Well, I don’t agree with that,” he said.
“I’ve had a chance now to have run through a primary, and the party people said when you win the primary then we’ll be with you. Well, they were with us. Then I said one word and one sentence on one day, and everything changed,” he said. “I haven’t done anything morally or ethically wrong. It does seem like a little bit of an overreaction.”