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Simpson calls Santorum 'homophobic'

Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) had some harsh words for Rick Santorum.

Speaking with CBS News, Simpson, the coauthor of the Simpson-Bowles report, said that Santorum's focus on social issues is a mistake.

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"I am convinced that if you get into these social issues and just stay in there about abortion and homosexuality and even mental health they bring up, somehow they're going to take us all to Alaska and float us out in the Bering Sea or something," Simpson said in an interview with CBS News released on Wednesday. "We won't have a prayer."

Throughout his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, the former Pennsylvania senator has made social issues the centerpiece, and has championed incentivizing strong, nuclear households as a way to improve economic growth

"He is rigid and a homophobic," Simpson, a Mitt Romney supporter, said. "He said, 'I want a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage,' and they said, 'Well, what about the people who are already married?' And he said, 'Well, they would be nullified.' I mean what is, what's human, what's kind about that? We're all human beings, we all know or love somebody who's gay or lesbian so what the hell is that about? To me it's startling and borders on disgust."

Simpson also said that Romney was likely to emerge the nominee from the Republican presidential primary.

"I think Romney's had the assault. He's been shelled from coast to coast. He will not be there," Simpson said. "Santorum, as they peel the onion, will not receive the support he thinks."

Simpson said Romney is likely to win if Obama focuses on socially conservative issues. Simpson's comments come a few weeks after the Obama administration received a fair amount of criticism from certain conservative and religious organizations for a new rule requiring those organizations provide contraception to employees. The administration modified the rule so that insurers had to provide the coverage rather than the organizations.

"And I think it will be Romney and I think he's got a good chance to be elected president simply because people vote against," Simpson said. "And if Obama keeps messing around —which is doubtful but he could— keeps messing around with contraception and the Catholics and all this stuff that they'll vote against him and that will bring Romney home."