Schieffer Hosts Alan Simpson to Blast Santorum, Calls Simpson One of His Favorites

CBS “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer has a mid-week interview offered online called “Face to Face.” On Wednesday, Schieffer welcomed socially liberal former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson. He viciously attacked Rick Santorum -- Republicans "won't have a prayer" of winning with him -- and said the social issues will cause the voters to “take us all to Alaska and float us out in the Bering Sea or something.” Schieffer began by pointing out Simpson was one of his favorites: “I have to say, I'll let my biases be known, one of my favorite people to cover over the years when he was in the Senate and since, Al Simpson.”

Schieffer wondered why Mitt Romney couldn’t nail down the conservative vote, and then pulled out the hoary quadrennial media mantra that the Republican nominee will have to lunge toward the center in the fall to have any chance:

SCHIEFFER: Do you think that Romney can get through this process and still be a strong candidate in the fall? Because as he continues to try to move to the right and convince the conservatives that he is a conservative, we find his favorability among independents keeps going down. It seems like he's going to have to do something to get those folks back.

SIMPSON: Romney can come out of there -- now don't forget there's a lot of proportional voting. You can lose a delegation of 80 and pick up you know 38 of them. And, so, I think that he can make it. The stuff that has come out on Romney has now been rolling for a long time. Now, Santorum is caught in the roll. He hasn't had the searchlight on him. Every time the search light falls, on Cain, or Newt or whoever, you know the emperor's riding nekkid down the street.

So, I think Romney's had the assault. He's been shelled from coast-to-coast and he's still there. Newt will not be there, there's just too much baggage. Santorum, as they peel the onion, will not receive the support he thinks. And I think it will be Romney and I think he's got a chance, a good chance, to be elected president simply because people vote against. And if Obama keeps messing around, which is doubtful, but he could. Keep messing around with contraception and the Catholics and all this stuff that they'll vote against him and that will bring Romney home.

Schieffer must have found it a tiresome topic to ask Simpson about the latest Obama budget and how that matches what Simpson and his Democratic partner Erskine Bowles recommended to the president from the panel Obama appointed to advise him on fiscal issues. No, it was just time for GOP fratricide, or so CBS hopes:

SCHIEFFER: Let's talk a little about what's going on these days in politics. What is it with this Republican primary? It just seems to me that there's a certain part of the Republican party that is not ready to sign off on Mitt Romney and say he's one of us, that he's a conservative. Are you a Romney man? I don't even know.

SIMPSON: I am now. I just watched it all, I've been watching. I know Santorum, I served with him. I served with him. I don't know Paul, but I, 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. If we're going to do that, and here's a party that believes in government out of your life, the precious right of privacy and the right to be left alone. How then can they be the hypocrisy of fiddling around in these social issues? We won't have a prayer.

But I have tossed some money in the kitty just last week to Romney. I think that he can win because of the ancient political thing that you know so well, people don't vote for anybody, they vote against. And if Obama keeps stumbling around in it - but he won't--but if he does, they'll vote against him. And at that point the other guy wins. But Republicans, I voted for Ike! My first vote. And the Taft people said Ike's a commy, he's a pinko. And the Ike people said that Taft was a right-wing nut. So I watch Republicans, they give each other the saliva test of purity, and then they lose and then they bitch for four years. And that's their history.

SCHIEFFER: So you think when you're talking about getting tangled up in these social issues that Rick Santorum is just too identified with those issues to run a good campaign in the fall?

SIMPSON: Well I'll tell you, he is rigid and a homophobic. He believes that gays and lesbians, he mentioned in an interview in 2003, about bestiality, and gays and lesbians. I think that's disgusting. And they asked him, well 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.

It should be noted that early in the Bush years, Simpson and Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter Mary tried to start a group bizarrely called the "Republican Unity Coalition" to push the GOP to drop any opposition to the gay-left agenda.

Here's Brent Bozell on how AP tried to destroy Santorum through an interview done by reporter Lara Jakes Jordan, whose husband was a John Kerry aide.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis