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Mitt Romney called Rep. Todd Akin's suggestion that "legitimate rape" cannot make a woman pregnant "offensive" and "inexcusable."
In an interview with National Review's Robert Costa, the presumptive Republican nominee joined a growing number of GOP officials calling on the congressman to "correct" his statement.
"Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong," Romney said. "Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive."
On Sunday, Akin, who is challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri's Senate race, claimed in a Missouri television interview a woman's body can block unwanted pregnancy and therefore rape victims should not have access to legal abortions.
"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down," Akin told KTVI-TV in St. Louis.
The Romney campaign distanced itself from Akin's comments, insisting the GOP nominee did not share the congressman's view. But amid growing pressure on Akin to retract his comments and efforts by Democrats to tie him to the Romney campaign, the presumptive GOP nominee issued a firmer rebuke on Monday.
"I have an entirely different view," Romney told National Review. "What he said is entirely without merit, and he should correct it."