Romney calls for Akin to withdraw


Republican Representative Todd Akin resisted pressure to quit the US Senate race in Missouri today, releasing a new ad apologizing for his inflammatory remarks about rape that have reinserted controversial abortion politics into the US presidential campaign.

Despite calls from throughout the Republican Party for him to step out of the contest against Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, Mr Akin - a staunch opponent of abortion - vowed to stay in the race, saying he represented a conservative movement that must be heard.

"We are going to continue in this race for US Senate," Mr Akin said on a radio program hosted by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, an Akin supporter and favorite of religious conservatives.

"I believe there is a cause here, and there is a part of the message that's missing, and a lot of the people feel left out of the parties," Mr Akin said.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also called on Mr Akin to pull out of the race.

Mr Romney, who had called fellow Republican Akin's remarks "indefensible" yesterday but stopped short of demanding he withdraw from the race, was more definitive in a statement today.

"Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race," said Mr Romney after prominent Missouri politicians demanded Akin give up his campaign.

Mr Akin released an online video ad today in which he again apologized for saying in a weekend television interview that it was extremely rare for women to get pregnant from "legitimate rape."

He again apologized for his comments.

Today is the last day for candidates to file in the Missouri race, giving Republicans until later in the day to easily submit a replacement, if Mr Akin decides to drop out.

"Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologize," he said in the Web video.

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