NBC is reporting that Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan telephoned Missouri Rep. Todd Akin to ask him to consider leaving race after his controversial comment on "legitimate rape." The Romney campaign was not confirming or denying that Ryan and Akin had spoken.

Ryan spokesman Michael Steel had this to say later to reporters: "If Rep. Paul Ryan has spoken or does speak to Rep. Akin, that will be a private conversation."

Earlier in the day, during his 1 p.m. appearance on Mike Huckabee's radio show, Akin said no one from the Romney campaign had spoken to him and directly asked him to quit the race.