JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Five patriarchs of the Missouri Republican Party have called on U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin to withdraw from the race after comments he made about rape.
The joint statement was issued Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and four former senators from Missouri -- John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, Jim Talent and John Danforth. The Missouri GOP leaders say they "do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Akin to remain in the race."
National Republican leaders have also called for him to quit.
But Akin reaffirmed his intention to continue his bid while speaking on radio shows Tuesday afternoon.
Akin has apologized since saying in a weekend TV interview that women's bodies are sometimes able to prevent pregnancies after what he called "a legitimate rape."