08/26/2012 02:23 EDT | Updated 10/26/2012 05:12 EDT

Republican top brass urges Akin to quit Senate race

The push to oust Todd Akin from the Missouri Senate race has become more of a shove with the Republican National Party chair saying the embattled candidate could cost the party control of the Senate.

"He has time to get out of the race, and he ought to put the mission of liberty and freedom ahead of himself," Reince Priebus said Sunday, ramping up pressure from the party's top brass.

Akin infamously suggested that the female body can block unwanted pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape," a comment he hasn't been able to shake off despite multiple apologies.

Priebus, who blasted the remark as "biologically stupid," advised the six-term legislator to step down during an appearance on CNN's political and policy issue show State of the Union.

Republican leaders paint Akin as a liability

If the Republicans can best incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, they are well positioned to secure a Senate majority in the November elections.

Both Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan have asked Akin to step aside, as have a group of current and former Missouri legislators.

Even the Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, said Akin "made a deeply offensive error at a time when his candidacy carries great consequence for the future of our country."

McCaskill seems happy to square off against Akin, calling the scandal an overreaction to "one word in one sentence on one day."

Akin's chances of defeating McCaskill may be difficult to quantify, but the impact his statement has had on his campaign is clear. He has apparently lost millions in campaign advertising money as well as the vocal support of his party.

For his part, Akin has insisted his determination is "not about [his] ego" but about the voters of Missouri, who chose him as their nominee. The St. Louis politician insists it's "not right for party bosses to override" the wishes of voters.

"I hadn't done anything morally or ethically wrong, as sometimes people in politics do," he said.