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Mark Sanford Has Federalism Answer for Marriage Equality

By Lucas Grindley

When confronted about his view against marriage equality, former Republican star Mark Sanford essentially said he supported the right of the nine states plus the District of Columbia to enact marriage equality, though he still hasn't changed his mind.

Sanford is running for Congress in South Carolina, where he had been governor and an up-and-comer in the Republican Party before stepping down after he had disappeared for days to have an extramarital affair.

CNN's Jake Tapper asked how Sanford would respond to voters who ask, “Who are you to deny love between two men or two women, when you are somebody who talks about following his heart, regardless of the laws and traditions of the state of South Carolina? Why are you sitting in judgment of same-sex couples, when you have had the life you have had?”

Sanford, who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act while a member of Congress before, denied he was being judgmental. He compared himself to President Clinton, who signed the act but changed his mind on it and now supports marriage equality.

"If you are a conservative, you believe in this notion of federalism, that one size does not fit all, and that we shouldn't have prescriptive answers coming out of Washington, D.C. for any of the different things that ultimately we've got to resolve as the family of Americans," Sanford said. A solution "for all 50 states," he argued, "does not make sense."

Although Sanford doesn't want same-sex marriage legalized in his state, Sanford said he does not "condemn" the decisions made in other states. "It's not to say that your views are wrong, it's to say that this is what I define it as."

Sanford faces Elizabeth Colbert Busch (yes, Stephen Colbert's sister) in the race, and her chances of beating him are considered decent.

Watch the complete answer below.

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