The Washington Times - August 21, 2012, 04:12PM

Mitt Romney, who as the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee is his party’s de facto head, called on Tuesday for Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race.

“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. Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race,” Mr. Romney said in a statement from his campaign.

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Mr. Akin this weekend questioned whether women get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” saying their bodies had ways to reject those pregnancies.

Those remarks have become a major political headache for the GOP, and most of its top leaders have called on Mr. Akin to withdraw as the party’s Senate nominee in Missouri so that the party can pick another person to run.

He has vowed to stay in the race.