Asked in an interview broadcast Sunday on "Fox News Sunday" about Obama campaign efforts to link Akin's remarks to Romney and other Republicans, Romney said, "It really is sad, isn't it, with all the issues that America faces for the Obama campaign to continue to stoop to such a low level."
Romney said the controversy over Akin "hurts our party and I think is damaging to women."
Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Romney must sell his message to women and Hispanics if he is to oust Obama in the November elections.
Former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush had a similar message about the Hispanic vote, saying on NBC, "Governor Romney can make inroads if he focuses on how do we create a climate of job creation and economic growth."
Bush, who has long urged his party to craft a more conciliatory message to Hispanics, added, "We've got to have a better tone going forward over the long haul for sure. You can't ask people to join your cause and then send a signal that 'you're really not wanted.' It just doesn't work."
Blue skies with patches of clouds hung over Tampa early Sunday, though winds were picking up as the major storm approached.