Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum has weighed in on a controversial bill vetoed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

Opponents of the bill said that it would have allowed individuals and businesses to discriminate against gay men and lesbians based on their religious beliefs.

Proponents of the bill denied the claim, mostly arguing that it was needed to protect people from being forced to violate their religious convictions. But examples cited generally revolved around business owners who refused to serve gay couples.

In an interview with the National Review filmed a few weeks ago at CPAC, host Patrick Brennan asked Santorum about the importance of religious liberty.

“I think it's a critical issue,” Santorum responded. “Of all of the rights, the trunk upon which all other branches of rights flow from is freedom of conscience. If you don't have freedom of conscience, then freedom of speech doesn't mean very much.”

Brennan noted that prominent Republicans such as Mitt Romney and Arizona Senator John McCain were opposed to the proposed legislation, then asked, “Would you have voted for it?”

“Absolutely,” Santorum immediately answered. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)