CNN host Jake Tapper on Wednesday questioned former Gov. Mark Sanford regarding views on same sex marriage in light of his own affair.

Tapper wondered why people should respect the Republican South Carolina congressional candidate's opposition to same sex marriage when he himself "did not lead an exemplary life as a husband."

"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?" he asked.

Sanford admitted voting for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1999, which prohibited same sex couples from receiving federal benefits. He said "unelected judges" shouldn't be defining marriage for the whole country, but suggested it was also wrong for the federal government do so as well.

"I think that if you're 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 ultimately that we have got to resolve as a family of Americans," he explained.

Sanford said the issue should be left up to the state and called for a "democratic conversation" about marriage.

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by CNN, below: