(CNN) – Sen. Scott Brown, the Massachusetts Republican in a tight battle for re-election, said Monday that Rep. Todd Akin ought to step aside in his bid for U.S. Senate in Missouri after Akin claimed "legitimate rape" rarely results in pregnancy. Sen. Ron Johnson also called on Akin to resign from the GOP nomination.
"As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin's comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong," Brown wrote in a statement released by his campaign. "There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin's statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri."
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Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who was elected in 2010, also called on Akin to step aside.
Todd Akin's statements are reprehensible and inexcusable. He should step aside today for the good of the nation.—
Ron Johnson (@Ron4Senate) August 20, 2012
Akin won his spot on November's ballot earlier this August, and is slated to face Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in November.
Prior to this controversy, the top non-partisan political handicappers had rated the Missouri race a "toss up." Republicans consider McCaskill's seat a prime take-over target as they try to reclaim control of the Senate. Democrats currently have a 53 to 47 advantage in the chamber, but are defending 23 (21 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party) of the 33 seats up for grabs in November.
Brown is facing Elizabeth Warren, a consumer advocate and former adviser to President Barack Obama, in a fierce battle for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Brown is a first-term Republican who won his seat in a January 2010 election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
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