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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, along with U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and four former Missouri U.S. senators have called for U.S. Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri senate race following Akin’s comments over the weekend regarding rape and pregnancy.

Blunt was joined by former Republican senators John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth, and Jim Talent in calling for Akin to step aside.

“We do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in this race. The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside,” the group said in a statement.

On Sunday, Akin told an interviewer with KTVI FOX-2 in St. Louis that victims of “legitimate rape” don’t get pregnant because their bodies have a way to “shut that whole thing down.”

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Akin’s comments have drawn widespread criticism, and has cost him millions of dollars in campaign contributions.

On Tuesday, Akin told radio show host Mike Huckabee that he intends to stay in the senate race. The deadline for withdrawing from the race is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday.