Former GOP senator Alan Simpson is the living embodiment of "cantankerous." You can literally picture the gruff 87-year-old from Wyoming yelling at kids to get off his lawn.
So when the veteran lawmaker appeared on a CNN show with a host intent on stirring up controversy, Simpson cut through her like a hot knife through butter.
Simpson was a guest on CNN host Alisyn Camerota's show "New Day," presumably to talk about his longtime friend George H.W. Bush, who passed away on November 30 at 94 years old. (If you didn't see Simpson's very funny and really moving eulogy, you can watch it here).
He was also invited on to talk about an open letter he signed — along with 43 other ex-members of the Senate — that ran in The Washington Post on Tuesday in defense of special counsel Robert Mueller‘s probe, urging senators to be "steadfast and zealous guardians of our democracy."
Camerota immediately played a clip of Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) as he praised President Donald Trump and dismissed Mueller's investigation into the alleged collusion between Trump and Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Well, I don’t want to get into that kind of stuff," Simpson said. "I can tell you one thing that would solve everything. Now, you want to hear this. Every U.S. senator who goes to the Judiciary Committee should have a full FBI investigation from birth until they go on the committee. That will take care of a lot of this crap."
Like we said, this guy is funny.
Simpson then said it's pointless to dredge up the distant past in an attempt to play gotcha', telling Camerota that's just a ploy to "pick old scabs.”
“You don’t go back into the life beyond,” Simpson said. “When I was on 18, I was on federal probation for shooting mailboxes. I fought a cop. I got thrown in the clink. … Let it play out. Orrin — I care deeply for. I care deeply for [former Vice President] Joe Biden. I loved them all. And I got along with them all and we made it work. So, if you want to pick old scabs, you better pick a new guy to get on the show.”
Simpson then referred to a recently released movie, “The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman as former presidential candidate Gary Hart, a former senator who crashed and burned during the 1988 Democratic primary over his extramarital affairs.
“Now we have to watch a movie on Gary Hart. If that ain’t picking an old scab, you tell me what it is. I worked with him. We worked on nuclear regulation matters. We were good. We were friends. Picking an old scab — ‘Chappaquiddick.’ Good. Go back and pick an old scab,” he said, referring to the late Ted Kennedy's car crash in 1969 that left a young woman dead.
Then Simpson hit the CNN with a suggestion. “Why don’t you leave people alone and go find some new work?” Simpson said.