Team Romney vs. Team Obama on same-sex marriage
May 8th, 2012
10:32 AM ET
2 years ago

Team Romney vs. Team Obama on same-sex marriage

(CNN) – Former New York governor and Mitt Romney supporter George Pataki injected his voice Tuesday into the debate over the current administration's stance on same-sex marriage, words quickly seized upon by the Obama re-election campaign.

Pataki used President Barack Obama's position to paint the current administration as shifty, while an Obama spokesman said his comments proved Romney has "regressed" on gay rights.

"Either you're for something or you're against it, and Vice President Biden has made it plain he's for it. President Obama on the other hand is looking to have both sides," Pataki said on a conference call with reporters.

Following the call, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt touted the president's record on gay rights and said Pataki "must not be familiar with either the President's record or Governor Romney's."

"He would turn back the clock on all of the progress this President has made to advance equal rights. On the issues important to gays and lesbians, Governor Romney hasn't evolved – he has regressed," LaBolt said in a statement.

On Sunday, Biden expressed support for same-sex marriage, comments the White House insisted did not represent a change from past statements. Obama, who once opposed same-sex marriage, has taken the official position that his stance on the issue is "evolving." He has hinted at fundraisers that there is more work to be done, leading many in the LGBT community to believe the president may work to legalize same-sex marriage on the national level during a second term.

Pataki, the former Republican three-term governor, said Obama is attempting to garner support from constituents who fall on both sides of the issue. He also compared the ongoing conversation surrounding same-sex marriage to the president's open mic moment with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, "where he said just wait until after the election, I'll have a lot more flexibility then."

"Well I think the American people deserve to know today where President Obama stands today and where he will stand next year on this issue," Pataki said.

Obama will appear with current Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering's Albany NanoTech Complex at the State University of New York Albany for an event on Tuesday. The first-term Democrat has publicly supported same-sex marriage and signed a law legalizing the unions last year.

A Gallup Poll released Tuesday indicated half of Americans believe same-sex marriages should be recognized by law as valid, with 48% saying such marriages should not be legal.

- CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin and CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • George Pataki • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Bren

    Obama does not want to make his support for gay marriage clear, because he does not want to lose the Independent votes. But, the Independents are not stupid--and they realize that Obama supports gay marriage. And, Biden, Clinton, Axelrod, etc--making it clear that they support gay marriage, proves Obama's position on this issue. And, this opened a can of worms that Obama definitely did not want opened "before" the election.

    Being that there is a large population of evangelicals in North Carolina........If they vote in favor of the amendment today making it clear that marriage is between a man and a woman ONLY in North Carolina........This will definitely hurt Obama's chances in North Carolina in November!!

    May 8, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    Sociobishop stood on the patio od papa johns pizza founder in Knoxville, KY and said that all the teapublikans want a house lid this one with a pool and the golf course as a backyard. The Democrats don't think anyone can achieve this dream (or something stupid like that). Yes, because we can all borrow 20K from our parents and milk the American worker dry shill sending their jobs (or hiding money) overseas.
    First of all, flip flopper, I would like a pool, yes, but i like the ocean 100 better. Golf course? I like privacy in my backyard and while some people's idea of reaching their goal is to have a huge house some of us think, firemen, teachers, policemen, most of the vanishing middle class, have other priorities, family, healthcare, food on the table, a good education for our children,
    things yiu WIKK NEVER UNDERSTAND!

    May 8, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Pataki ,
    who cars what this looser thinks.

    May 8, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real

    Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney was for GAY RIGHTS before he was AGAINST IT!

    Yeah, just like Mitt Romney hiring & firing Grenell his gay campaign spokesman just to satisfy his bigoted GOP & Severely Conservative base that Etch-a-Sketch Mitt has fully embraced!!!

    May 8, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. Sue

    Romney has already made his positions very clear. He supports civil rights/unions/partnerships for gays–such as the right to have power of attorney, the right to be on their "partner's" health care benefits, etc. But, he does not support the rights for gays to be married. He supports marriage between a man and a woman only. And, if the polls regarding this issue were done properly and without bias-this is what the polls would say as well.

    May 8, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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