In an interview on CNN's State of the Union, Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus said today that Akin "absolutely" could cost the GOP control of the U.S. Senate.
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Akin has said he will not step aside as the party's nominee for U.S. Senate in Missouri, where Democrat Claire McCaskill is considered vulnerable. The six-term congressman has been under fire for comments he made a week ago about women being able to prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."
"I think that it is more difficult. I think that is very clear," Priebus told CNN's Candy Crowley about the GOP's chances of winning four Senate seats to gain power. Democrats currently have a 53-47 voting advantage.
"I think that he should get out of the race. He has time to get out of the race. And I think he ought to put the mission of liberty and freedom ahead of himself," Priebus said.
As the Akin controversy unfolded last week, Priebus told CNN that he would "prefer" that the Missouri lawmaker not attend the party's convention this week. Akin is not, but he's been fundraising off his comment that "party bosses" are trying to force him from the race.