Former senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) didn't mince words in weighing in on the crop of Republicans mulling presidential campaigns for the next election cycle during an appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball" on Monday.
When asked for his assessment of the emerging GOP field by anchor Chris Matthews, the co-chair of President Obama's deficit commission didn't hold back in criticizing members of his party on social issues.
"Who the hell is for abortion?," asked Simpson, who has developed a reputation for making blunt and colorful remarks. "I don't know anybody running around with a sign that says, have an abortion, they're wonderful. They're hideous. But they're a deeply intimate and personal decision, and I don't think men legislators should even vote on the issue."
Simpson went on to address the issue of gay rights. "Then you've got homosexuality," he said. "You've got 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' We have homophobes in our party. That's disgusting to me. We're all human beings. We're all God's children. ... [Former Pennsylvania senator Rick] Santorum has said some cruel things, cruel, cruel things about homosexuals. Ask him about it. See if he attributes the cruelness of his remarks years ago. Foul."
Simpson was presumably referring to remarks made by Santorum in 2003 that have already resurfaced in the early stages of the GOP presidential primary campaign. CNN reported at the time on the comments in question:
In [an] AP interview, Santorum criticized homosexuality as he discussed a pending Supreme Court case over a sodomy law in Texas.
"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything," Santorum said in the AP interview.
"That's the kind of guys that are going to be on my ticket, you know, makes you sort out hard what Reagan said, you know, 'stick with your folks,'" explained Simpson to Matthews. "But I'm not sticking with people who are homophobic, anti-women, you know, moral values while you're diddling your secretary while you're giving a speech on moral values. Come on. Get off of it."
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is one Republican who Simpson praised in the context of the conversation that began on the topic of the 2012 presidential election. He called the governor "quite awesome."