RALEIGH, N.C. – Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan admitted Wednesday that he told Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) to end his bid for the U.S. Senate, and noted he is “comfortable” with presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s stance on abortion.
Akin “should have dropped out of the race,” Ryan told reporters on his campaign plane while flying from Virginia to North Carolina. “But he is not, he is going to run his campaign and we are going to run ours.”
The single phone call between Ryan and Akin, according to the Wisconsin congressman, went how “you would imagine.” There are no additional plans to speak with Akin going forward in order to convince the Missouri congressman to reconsider continuing his bid to replace current Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
Ryan, who co-sponsored anti-abortion legislation with Akin, said he is proud of his opposition to abortion rights, and brushed off the vote as a bi-partisan measure. The House Budget Chairman is on board with Romney's position on abortion rights moving forward.
"Look I'm proud of my record," Ryan said. “Mitt Romney is going to be president and the president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. I'm comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction."
President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign criticized this switch on Ryan’s beliefs.
“As a Republican leader in the House, Paul Ryan worked with Todd Akin to try to narrow the definition of rape and outlaw abortion even for rape victims. He may hope that American women never learn about this record, but they deserve an answer to why he wanted to redefine rape and remove protections for rape victims,” campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith wrote in a statement.