May 13th, 2012
11:22 AM ET
3 years ago

Conservative leader: Obama marriage announcement comes at a cost

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage will hurt him in states he captured in 2008, the president of American Values, Gary Bauer, predicted Sunday.

“I think the president this past week took six or seven states he carried in 2008 and put them in play with this ill-conceived position,” Bauer said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage on Wednesday after previously saying his opinions on the issue were “evolving.”

However, the conservative leader said Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, should not focus solely on social issues and should instead “explain to the American people why he would be a great president.”

“I think you do that by giving your views on a whole range of issues,” Bauer said. “If he does that he’ll be very successful.”

Bauer appeared on CNN alongside Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who said social issues should not be a “central point” of Romney’s campaign, but said defending the family “should be a priority.”

“I just think he needs to continue talking about all of the issues that are important to evangelical voters, and I think yesterday was a good start,” Perkins said of Romney's commencement address at the Christian Liberty University on Saturday. “He didn’t dance around the issues; he talked about the common values that he shares with the evangelical community.”

The influential social conservative criticized Romney earlier in the presidential cycle for not speaking out strongly enough on social issues and more recently said he should learn from the campaign message of Rick Santorum, who repeatedly invoked such issues during his failed bid White House bid.

On Sunday, Perkins said Obama's statement helped boost Romney's standing with evangelicals, who overwhelmingly support him over the incumbent president, according to recent polling.

“I think the president is what helped Romney this week the most this week with his announcement,” Perkins told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Yet Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois disagreed, telling CNN the president will not "lose votes that he otherwise hadn't lost" following the marriage declaration.

"I'm not sure the evangelicals were going to lean toward President Obama anyway," Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, said.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, a swing state that banned same-sex marriage in 2006, predicted the announcement would have little impact in his state, which supported Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

"I think what the president's personal opinion is and how he's wrestled with this is just another example of who he is and the strength of his character," Hickenlooper said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I don't think that's going to affect - have much effect in Colorado."

Turing to vice presidential politics, Perkins and Bauer also offered their suggestions for who should be the former Massachusetts governor's running mate in 2012.

Perkins' pick: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal or former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Bauer's pick: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Also see:Also see

Romney talks faith, pranks in Christian television interview

Romney builds inter-faith bridge in Liberty U commencement address

Santorum to Romney: 'Step up' and use 'potent weapon' of same sex marriage

Poll: Majority approves of Obama's marriage decision

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (468 Responses)
  1. Pat

    We have bigger fish to fry. It's a civil rights issue plain and simple. Grow up, accept people for who they are and move on so we can tackle real problems like debt, hunger, dying industry and energy. Chose to be on the right side of history...you will regret it later when your grandchildren ask.

    May 14, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. AJM

    I've seen a few individuals say this is a states right issue. This makes no sense to me as a non-american outsider, could someone please explain to me how this works?

    May 14, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. tellin it like it is

    obumma better support gay marriage becuz hes gonna take it in the backside come november. im sure he will enjoy it too.

    May 14, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Jess Sayin

    All Mr. Bauer needs to do is scroll down to the links below this article to find out whether the majority of the country is against equal rights for all, including gays. Times have changed, and many gays are out of the closet, living respectable lives. I suggest the same for Mr. Bauer and Mr. Perkins.

    May 14, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Closeminded Bigots

    Chuck

    What's next? People will want to marry their Son/Daughter or their brother/sister. So I guess people should have that right also
    _____________________________________________
    I hate you people so much. I'm waiting for the marrying your dog strawman to come out next.
    Oh, and while you can't marry your brother/sister, you can marry your cousin in NC. Just not your gay cousin.

    May 14, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. charmed4sr

    The Bible also states not to judge (Matt 7:1).

    May 14, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Jim Hahn

    These two are very amusing in their outlook on the US. They only see what they want to see. Those people who would actually vote according to how they feel on this issue, wouldn't be voting for Obama anyway. There is virtually nothing lost here. 60% said that they would not change their vote while 13% said they would be more likely to vote for the president. My guess is that the 26% left over already come from red states and thus won't make a difference.

    Conservatives and Republicans have already alienated women, gays and lesbians, seniors, the poor, Hispanics, young voters and most of the middle class and those that know, love and care for them. They might want to quit while they still have rich, old, white, straight males to count on.

    May 14, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Hmmm, These two look like a couple of closet queens...Just sayin'!

    May 14, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Silly Willy

    Which one uses the better hair dye?

    May 14, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. LIP

    I am doing a lot of reflecting these days and wish that President Obama was more like Bill Clinton as far as how Bill was able to move towards the center to get the people's business done...learning to compromise. I don't agree with National Insurance, but don't like the system we currently have because it leaves too many people out. I don't agree with class warfare nor do I agree with race warfare as neither one will help us in the long run. Class warfare will leave us with two classes, the rich and powerful and the poor. All middle class people will cease to exist and everyone will be poor. Race warfare will simply leave this country ripe for takeover by the Russians and Chinese.
    With all of that said, I can't in all good conscience vote for someone that doesn't believe that all hatred must stop. I really don't care if mem marry men and women marry women. We did this once with Blacks and Whites and finally have most to that issue behind us, but this is just another form of discrimination and I for one can't stomach it. It would make it easier for me to vote for President Obamam if I knew he was truly giving his blessing and if I knew he really meant it and if I knew he was going to try a little harder to truly work with the other side of the isle and not try to have everything his way or no way it all. With or without all thowse "wants". Mitt Romney's stance has pushed me to "God forbid" the left.

    May 14, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Gays were holding back contributions to Obama's campaign. Obama only came out of the closet to collect their money. His statement pretty much said he wasn't going to do anything and it is a states right issue. Gays are so gullible. Democrats just keep playing blacks, hispanics and now gays like fiddles. Such suckers, all of them.

    May 14, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. steven

    Sometimes doing the right thing costs you. That shows true character. No politics, no false claims, and no extra votes; he did it for the right reason.

    May 14, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Dennis

    What should cost Obama is his handling of the economy. This should be a non issue.

    May 14, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. steven harnack

    Just keep telling us which Americans shouldn't have equal rights under the law and see how that works out for you in the long term. They bring to mind the fate of dinosaurs. More of them are dying off as I type this.

    May 14, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. More Tape Please

    This has nothing to do with being gay, purple or a martian. This is all about the government telling us how we should live and behave. And I bet it's the same knuckleheads who want government-imposed regulations on who you are who are opposed to Obamacare.

    May 14, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Jack Tors

    Why are republicans such backward pigs?

    May 14, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. jenkoosh

    Bauer's heavy-handed, sanctimonious rhetoric will backfire in states where jobless rates remain high. Yes, many unemployed people are conservatives, but first and foremost, they are parents who need to feed their kids. They'll get tired of listening to Bauer's shrill whining about a non-issue. What would be BEAUTIFUL is if gay employers "came out" and offered them jobs.

    May 14, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. Hap

    These are the same tired arguements people used to justify any equal rights issues. Equal rights are for everyone, not who you and I think should have them and certainly not what the Bible says. The Bible recognizes slavery and bigomy but somehow we "evolved" from that. How does it harm others should be the test, and if what I do doesn't harm or inconvience you I think it's my right to do it. You know live and let live, free country, mind your own business.

    May 14, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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