(CBS News) Republican consultant Rick Davis said Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., is defying the party by choosing to stay in the Missouri Senate race.
"He owes it to the party," to leave the race, Davis said Wednesday on "CBS This Morning." David advised Sen. John McCain during his 2008 presidential run.
Two days after saying "forcible rape" rarely leads to pregnancy, Akin let a deadline pass Tuesday evening that would have allowed him to drop out of the Senate race against incumbent Claire McCaskill without financial cost, insisting that he is putting "principle over politics."
"The party doesn't want to punish this guy; we want to win an election. We give our nominations to people who are best prepared to win. That's no longer him," Davis said.
Davis added, "[Akin] actually has a flaw in his thinking that allowed him to get to this point."
As presumptive Republican nomineeTuesday, Davis said Akin's defiance could make Romney look "weak" as the party leader.
"This is about party discipline. You can't say to somebody get out of the race then defy the leader of the party. It's outrageous. It's no longer about his comments, it's about his conduct," Davis said.
Davis dismissed comments by Sarah Palin that Sarah Steelman, a Republican who lost to Akin in the primary, should run a third party bid. Davis said Akin is "the only person" in the way of Republicans winning the Missouri Senate seat, an important victory for Republicans to win majority of the Senate.
Missouri is "a really high priority and this may be one of the seats that decide it," Davis said.