May 13th, 2012
11:22 AM ET
2 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. Are you kidding me?

    It also may encourage more people to come out to vote for Dems. The mid-term losses were due in part to folks being too complacent and did not realize the tea party would have such an effect on the GOP. Now the Gop may be in for a shock close to 2008 measures.

    Yes there may be people who are not for gay marriage but it is not one issue alone that the president is in charge of. Mitt is not a well balanced candidate and his flip flops are a true indication.

    May 13, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Four and The Door

    Are you kidding me?
    It also may encourage more people to come out to vote for Dems. The mid-term losses were due in part to folks being too complacent and did not realize the tea party would have such an effect on the GOP. Now the Gop may be in for a shock close to 2008 measures.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    You are kidding yourself. The reason 2010 losses were not much larger for the Democrats was that Obama's name was not on the ballot. It is this time and 2010's shellacking will be completed.

    May 13, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. jocko

    Shouldn't Bauer and Perkins be celebrating that they, and Marcus Bachmann, can now wed one another? I think that is their secret desire......

    May 13, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    people that were NOT going to vote for Obama in the first place STILL are not going to vote for him so I don't see why this will be an issue. The Republicans HOPE it will be but most Americans can careless about support for gay marriages just about as much as they do interracial ones. Why don't these same hard core conservatives get upset when one of their own Dick Cheney came out in favor of gay marriage? When he did all you heard was crickets from the right.

    May 13, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. chuck weidemann

    The turn out will tell all! The fringe wins with low turn out ...look at the tea party. The few who want to govern the many!!! I somehow don't belive Obama is anti- family...no matter how much the extreme pushes that view.

    May 13, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    This is why politicians can not be honest! The man is doing what is right and just according to the law of the land, NOT the biblical scripture. We formed this government with the idea of separating the religion from the government. Now the Republicans want to RULE by the bible and have religious persecution on those who disagree. Bull snot! Aitn't gonna happen.

    May 13, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. realitycnn

    It may cost the GOP, because most of President Obama supporters will continue to support him, but many Independents and some rational thinking Republicans will applaud him for his decision and may vote to re-elect President Obama.

    May 13, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. vic , nashville ,tn

    May be true

    If I remember right In 2004 this topic came up , that time Dick Cheney didn’t support he wants to win election But in 2012 Obama didn’t consider the election he showed the leadership

    May 13, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. OCVoterinCA

    Bauer's opinion is deaf ears. GOP/Congress is at the lowest point of the careers it's pathetic. Bauer's should try to apply for a new job because he's going to be unemployed soon.

    Obama2012

    May 13, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Conservative leader: Obama marriage announcement comes at a cost◄
    NO, that's what YOU want to believe because only the RED STATES will be lost
    President Obama is on the RIGHT side history and the PUBS "despise" him for that
    Because all that got is a "Flip-Flopping LYING wannabe in CHIEF" that's all about CRAP!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    May 13, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. T'sah From Virginia

    ►You are kidding yourself. The reason 2010 losses were not much larger for the Democrats was that Obama's name was not on the ballot. It is this time and 2010's shellacking will be completed.◄

    In your DREAMS because this time, President Obama's name IS on the ballot and all the Right has is a Flip-Flopping Liar and now more recently, a Bully that should have been charged with an ASSAULT!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    May 13, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Steven Colo

    If Bauer were to say that Obama's stance wouldn't change anything, he'd be talking himself out of a job. It's in his self-interest to make this as big an issue as he can. Plus, it's all the guy thinks about anyway – it IS a big issue for him.

    That said, nobody is going to change their position. Obama supporters will cheer the stance, and Obama haters will boo it. A wash.

    May 13, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. mcskadittle

    so we have a fight on our against the forces of bigotry and hatred vs fairness and understanding, which side do you think Jesus is really on

    May 13, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. Dave Harris

    It's pretty much a given that the loony, hyperreligious Republican right wing would never vote for Obama anyway. They think he's the anti-Christ because he's black. Bad religion makes bad politics, but they'll never learn, even when the more reasonable majority rejects them again and again.

    May 13, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. lies from the right but mostly hate

    Wrong if you pay taxes and fight for this country you deserve equal rights. All men meaning people are created equal no matter what you believe or who you are or who or what you worship. In this country it is guaranteed by the constitution. Gop quit trying to twist it to your satisfaction

    May 13, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. Pander Bear

    Coming from the obviously closeted and in-denial Gary Bauer, this is hilarious. The people who will not vote for Obama because of his position on same sex marriage had no intention of voting for him in the first place.

    May 13, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Thomas

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

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

    These guys don't care about compassion , they only care about MONEY !

    May 13, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. dnick47

    Obama cannot loose what is already lost. The teabaggers and other off-the-wall right wingers were never going to support him anyway. This statement is merely preaching to the choir.

    May 13, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. Hammerer

    mcskadittle ; which side do you think Jesus is really on

    If you want an answer to that question read Romans1: 18-31. The answer is there for you to see and not repeat someone else's opinion!

    May 13, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. PJ/TX

    Two hypocrits telling us what they think is about as interesting as watching a blank TV screen. Dark, dull, and
    puts me to sleep.

    May 13, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. dnick47

    Also, why are these conservative christian republican so concerned about "gay marriage" when they are will to swallow an anti-christ? It would seem to me that a olitician who, such as Romney, who openly espuses a cult that denies the divinity of Christ is far worse then one who says "live and live" to gay marriages.

    May 13, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Yeah, and while they're sitting up there hating on gays, take off those designer suits, ties, shoes, shirts and underwear that were designed by our professional gay community.

    May 13, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. Four and The Door

    Claudia, Houston, Tx
    Yeah, and while they're sitting up there hating on gays, take off those designer suits, ties, shoes, shirts and underwear that were designed by our professional gay community.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________
    So you are also then calling Obama a gay hater? If you remember he was FOR gay marriage as a Senate candidate, he was AGAINST gay marriage in his 2008 campaign and so now in Obama/ Biden 2012 he is FOR gay marriage again? Did he go from lover to hater to lover again? No. With him it's all politics all the time. That's all he has.

    May 13, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. vlahos

    Signs of the times, folks are duped, thinking this is "new" and "revolutionary" when it's a prerequisite to destruction, television has deceived an entire nation, folks see "Ellen" and "Rosie" and because fire hasn't come down and destroyed there then "times must have changed". Tehehe. America is doomed! courtesy of their fallen state.

    May 13, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. macrasta

    these guys are clueless.. and another thing... Rubio has got so many skeletons in that closet....which makes him so nervous..he won't accept an invite to be VP...but he will be browning with Romney to get more favors from the GOP..

    May 13, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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