Rove jokes: Don't look for me if Rep. Akin 'found mysteriously murdered'

Former Bush adviser Karl Rove isn't hiding the fact that he wants Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to exit the Missouri Senate race.

"We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!" Rove, the influential Republican strategist, joked at a briefing of fundraisers for his outside spending group, Crossroads GPS, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Rove said that his group had five replacements for Akin in mind.

"We don't care who the nominee is, other than get Akin out," Rove said. 

Rove's group was one of the first to pull its money from the race after Akin refused to resign as the GOP nominee. The lawmaker caused a firestorm with his comment on "legitimate rape," leading to several prominent Republicans and the National Republican Senatorial Committee to call for his exit.

Akin, however, has refused to bow out causing concerns about the GOP his decision will cost them the contest and perhaps control of the Senate. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was considered one of the most vulnerable senators up for reelection until his remark.

Initially, it appeared that polling was moving against Akin. Previously the race had been close, but after Akin's comments McCaskill opened a wide lead over her opponent. But a recent PPP poll found Akin just barely leading McCaskill, 45 percent to 44.