Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson says the anti-gay rights rhetoric of Republicans is “disgusting.”

The Republican who served 18 years in the Senate made his remarks in an appearance on MSNBC's Hardball.

When host Chris Matthews asked for his pick among early GOP contenders for the presidential nomination, Simpson took the opportunity to chide socially conservative lawmakers.

“I don't know,” Simpson replied, “but if we're going to talk about social issues … we won a governorship there in New Jersey, one in Virginia, by not talking about social issues.”

“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 are a deeply intimate and personal decision. And I don't think men legislators should even vote on the issue.”

“Then you got homosexuality, you 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 on that stuff – [former Pennsylvania Senator Rick] Santorum has said some cruel things, cruel, cruel things about homosexuals.”

“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.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)