Defiant Akin, in Senate race for now, chides "party bosses" for trying to push him out

Christian Gooden,AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

(CBS News) Republican Rep. Todd Akin is under intense pressure from the Republican party to exit the competitive Senate race in Missouri after his controversial comments on rape and abortion, but he says he won't be bullied out by "party bosses."

Akin missed a deadline on Tuesday to easily drop his Senate bid, but he could, with a court order, get his name off the Missouri ballot if he decides to drop out by Sept. 25. On ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, Akin wouldn't say whether he would consider dropping out at a later time.

"I'm never going to say everything that could possibly happen," he said. "I don't know the future, but I do know this. I knew that the party voters took a look at our hearts, understood who we were, had a chance to meet us in many, many different ways and made a decision. And it makes me uncomfortable to think that the party bosses are going to dictate who runs as opposed to the election process."

Two sources tell CBS News, however, that Akin is leaving open the option of getting out of the race. For now, he'll assess whether riding the controversy out will result in campaign donations and support for him to stay in.

Akin has come under fire since suggesting in an interview Sunday that women couldn't get pregnant from rape.

"It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin said when asked whether he would support abortions for rape victims. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin said of a rape victim's chances of becoming pregnant.

Akin has repeatedly apologized for his remarks and has acknowledged that they had no scientific basis.

Sources: Akin may not really be in race for good
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Still, several Republicans, including Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have called on him to exit the Senate race.

Akin said that in a phone call Tuesday, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan suggested that he should drop out.

"He advised me that it would be good for me to step down," Akin said on NBC's "Today Show" on Wednesday. "I told him that I was going to be looking at this very seriously, trying to weigh all the different points on this."

Tuesday, in an interview with conservative radio host Sean Hannity, Akin said that Ryan didn't explicitly "tell me what to do," but rather said Akin should "give some thought" to stepping down.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA, Ryan said of Akin's initial remarks, "His statements were outrageous, over the pail. I don't know anybody who would agree with that. Rape is rape period, end of story."

When asked whether he believes abortions should be available for victims of rape, Ryan only said that Romney's views trump his.

"I'm proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress," he said. "It's something I'm proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration."