Bloomberg News

Simpson Says His Social Issue Views Make Him a RINO

May 29, 2012

(Corrects Simpson’s title in first paragraph of a story that ran May 27.)

Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson, co- chairman of President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission, told CNN he considers himself a “RINO” -- Republican in name only -- because of social views advocated by members of his party.

“Abortion is a horrible thing, but for heaven’s sakes, a deeply intimate and personal decision and men legislators shouldn’t even be able to vote on it,” Simpson said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” program. “Gays/lesbian issues. We’re all human beings. We’re all God’s children. What is this?”

Simpson also questioned the influence on elected officials of Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who has members of Congress sign a pledge that they won’t raise taxes. The interview is scheduled to air today.

“You have Grover Norquist wandering the earth in his white robes saying that if you raise taxes one penny, he’ll defeat you,” Simpson said. “He can’t murder you. He can’t burn your house. The only thing he can do to you as an elected official is defeat you for re-election.”

Politicians who put re-election before the good of the country “shouldn’t even be in Congress,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carol Wolf in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at

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