GOP's Alan Simpson assails "homophobes" in Republican Party, singles out Rick Santorum

Former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, at left, with debt commission co-chairman Erskine Bowles.
CBS

Former Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) was asked on MSNBC last night what he thinks of the Republican presidential field. After calling New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie - who says he is not running - "quite awesome," Simpson lambasted his party's social conservatives for their positions on abortion and homosexuality.

Simpson, a fiscal conservative and pro-choice Republican who co-chaired last year's bipartisan commission to address the federal deficit and debt, complained that there are "homophobes" in the Republican Party. He went on to say that likely GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has "said some cruel things, cruel, cruel things about homosexuals."

"We won a governorship there in New Jersey, one in Virginia, by not talking about social issues," Simpson said. "Who the hell is for abortion? 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."

"Then you've got homosexuality," he continued. "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. Now if they're going to get off in that stuff -- 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 added that "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."

Simpson, who served in the Senate from 1979 to 1997, has not been shy about speaking his mind since leaving office: In one memorable instance, liberals sought his resignation from the deficit panel after he called Social Security "a milk cow with 310 million tits."

Santorum's office did not immediately respond to a request for a response to Simpson's statement. Back in 2003, the former Pennsylvania senator gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he referenced polygamy, incest and "man on dog" sex in a conversation about homosexuality, setting off a firestorm of anger on the left.

In an interview with Hotsheet last year, Santorum said, "I have no problem from a public policy point of view with homosexuality."

Asked about his personal feelings on the subject, Santorum said, "I have personal feelings on a lot of things."

"There are things that people do that I think are good, there are things that are bad, that really doesn't matter much," he added.

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