Romney says Akin should exit Missouri Senate race

By KASIE HUNT | August 21, 2012 | 4:48 PM EDT

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shakes hands after arriving at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is calling on Republican Todd Akin to abandon his Senate bid in Missouri following the congressman's comments about rape.

Romney on Tuesday pointed to a statement from a group of current and former Missouri legislators who urged Akin to drop his bid against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Romney says, quote, "I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race."

Akin said that a woman's body has ways to prevent pregnancy in cases of what he called "legitimate rape."

Romney had previously denounced Akin's comments, but he had not yet urged the Missouri congressman to drop out.

Akin has vowed to stay in the race and has described the calls to leave an "overreaction."