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. Agenda expozee!!

    Why keep on arguing about this issue!! God is/was gracious to this man but instead of thanking the lord he just did the opposite slapped him on the face with immorality! packed as equality.

    May 14, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  2. MaryM

    What is the cost to the Repub party. Lots of gay republicans will now be donating and voting for President Obama

    May 14, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  3. weebitwidd11e

    President Obama took the right stand. What most don't think about is equal rights, and the separation of Church and State. President Obama could use both of these reasons for his decision. Future Presidents need to think twice before they put their religion first in place of their politics. As soon as one does this it opens the door for Religion to be the deciding factor in ALL decisions of future Presidents. This is not Constitutional. Our forefathers put this in writing for a reason.

    If you don't like gay people getting married then tough. But you have no right telling them what to do. Churches don't have to participate if they don't want too. Chances are a majority of gays would not set foot into certain churches because even though they claim to "Love thy neighbor", they never have practiced what they have preached.

    Those among you without sin cast the first stone.

    May 14, 2012 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  4. Wired

    It's interesting that "small government" conservatives love to have such a big government.

    May 14, 2012 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  5. CSM

    Gay marriage is nothing more than a red herring... The GOP would like to consider this an issue, but it's just a distraction. Never forget the fact that Romney is a mormon, and his "religion" is a CULT. Is this really what you want in the White House? Romney would rather divide people rather than try to bring them together. Romney would rather quell civil rights rather than uphold them.

    May 14, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  6. Reggie222

    For the first time this election I'm finding myself energized by a politician. Finally somebody with the guts to stand for something that he believes in. I think this will be something that will energize a young and more educated electorate to get out there. Bravo Obama!

    May 14, 2012 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  7. bcisleman

    Bauer & Perkins are deluded. They believe that America should be a theocracy controlled by people like them and they believe that most Americans share that belief. They are very much mistaken.

    Most of the people who focus on this issue were going to vote against the President anyway. They may turnout in larger numbers, but so will people who are concerned about Bauer, Perkins & their consituents. At the end of the day, it will probably be a wash

    May 14, 2012 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  8. Eric

    The word 'abomination' is used 65 times in the OT and 2 times in the NT. The only named abomination in the NT is Luke 16:15 where Jesus calls the love of money an abomination. Many more speeches need to be given about this one.

    May 14, 2012 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  9. bcisleman

    Bauer and Perkins want their beliefs to control this country and believe most people think as they do. They are sadly mistaken.

    Its unlikely that this statement by the President will convince anyone who wasn't going to vote against him anyway. It may increase turnout for evangelicals, but it will do the same for people opposing their ideas. The political effect willl be minimal.

    May 14, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  10. NJBob

    Perkins and Bauer - the ultimate 15th century clown show.

    May 14, 2012 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  11. RMKH

    This hurts the President with the most likely group to vote for him: the Black Constituency. When Proposition 8 was on the ballot in California one of the groups that helped it pass was black voters. Voters who were motivated to go to the polls to vote for President Obama.

    May 14, 2012 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  12. Ha, ha, ha.

    I knew didn't want a second term.

    May 14, 2012 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  13. Iamnotfooled

    Happy Mothers Day-To all the mothers out there-–Same Sex Marriage has been in the news this week. I know most religions are against them. But what if you are the mother of one? What can you do but love them? By the time you figure out if they are gay or not they have been your child for 15 years or more. How can you stop loving them? Well the answer is you can't. They were born that way. And if you believe in God, then he made them that way. I am not the mother of one, but I can certainly sympathize with the mothers who are. I doubt if God would hold that against them, you, or me. To punish them for who they love would be cruel. God is not cruel.

    May 14, 2012 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  14. defff

    i don't see how religious organizations are going to be able to back him now. the contraception thing, and now this? i have a theory on why his poll numbers aren't lower too. its because the pollsters call land-line home telephone numbers during working hours

    May 14, 2012 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  15. Chedar

    I would rather pick an honest person like our great president Obama rather than the great flip flopping magic wearing underwear Romney who shows no integrity as a human being.

    May 14, 2012 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  16. Barry from Wisconsin

    A "conservative leader's" opinion is completely worthless. Who died and appointed him spokesperson for other people?

    May 14, 2012 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  17. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    These wingnuts also never saw it coming in 2006 and 2008. That is the only good thing about the unhinged GOBP.

    May 14, 2012 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  18. Marie MD

    Somebody want to remind these two weird looking guys that the sociorobobully said a while back that he would be a better friend to gays than Senator Kennedy? Maher is right, any organization with "family" in it is dangerous because it's the right hiding their pe do phi les and their own gay members in the fold.

    May 14, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  19. Terry

    I am not buying the media hype, or the Black Ministers beating their chest, all over a "Human Rights Issue". First, I would ask a very simple question, "What would Jesus do?" Religion always seems to be at the hub of key arguments or discussions, when politics and religion co-mingle on an issue, but I never hear people quote from the bible when the discussion does not favor the basic discussion of the bible's intent. The best part of this argument is the fact that most heterosexuals (the majority) understand that human rights are basic freedoms afforded by the Constitution of the United States, and I believe the Founders wanted to keep government, as well as religion, in their proper place. I for one support Gay Marriage, and did so long before the vice president and the president found it in their hearts to see that basic human rights cannot be fought for on foreign soil and forgotten here at home. By the way, I am a very Conservative Republican, who believes in Human Rights.

    May 14, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  20. raul

    gays need to start voting againts str8 couples and removing thier rights.. unite and rid str8 people of thier rights. and make it a constitutional admendment. bring the war to them. its times like this that im glad for the second admendment.

    May 14, 2012 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  21. The Other Dale

    Sometimes I think Obama plays the elections like a game of chess, and this is an easy way to draw the Republicans into focusing on one trivial social issue when a vast majority of Americans are more concern about the economy. You can certainly see this in the avalanche of responses it has been getting from greedy Republicans who think this will cost Obama the election (meanwhile a Time magazine cover showing breastfeeding has gotten more people talking than Obama's stance on same-sex marriage). Even Romney had to fumble around with a wishy-washy response to Obama's comment, which is consistent with his "trying to catch up with the leader" campaign he has been running so far. Meanwhile, Obama has moved on to other issues.

    Come November, the Republicans are going to be in hysterics over all this, Americans are going to be angry with Republicans for focusing on things that matter little to them as individuals and families, and Obama will have wrapped up the election. Well played, sir, well played.

    May 14, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  22. revmlo

    Isn't it interesting that so many criticize evangelicals for having already made up their mind about the election when it is ridiculously obvious that many more categories of voters have their decisions set in stone just as much or even more? If there is anyone still out there who has not made up their mind, then I'm sure the same-sex announcement will have an influence on their decision in November. How could it not? The real intrigue of the President's statement will be to see the effects on the black vote. Will the black vote, which traditionally opposes same sex marriage, disregard this position because they feel a common bond from a racial standpoint, or will this be an issue that is closer to their conscience from a moral one. Thank you Mr. President for making the election interesting again. Prior to your announcement, I was without a doubt that you would walk away in November with a second term. Now I'm not so sure-and evidently a lot more people are curious as well. Maybe "curious" isn't the right word. I think some of President Obama's supporters are downright frightened. Just listen to the rhetoric.

    May 14, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  23. NoTags

    As a Christian, I have to ask myself this question. How does same sex marraige, plural marraige or being an atheist affect my life? The answer is; they don't!

    Everyone individually has to make decisions about their own life.

    May 14, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  24. king

    In an age of math and science, we can ill afford to allow traditional ways of thinking to allow other countries to past us by. The repubs inability to think out of the box and believe in science, will be an obsticle for the next generation of Americans to compete and win the future. Solomon was a very wise man, and because of this he was successful. I don't condole the presidents personal view on every thing. But I condole the past that he has chosen for this country over the trickle down crap the repubs have been pushing for the 40 years, that have destroyed our country. The middle class is the foundation that this country should stand on, not the super rich.

    May 14, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  25. JustWho

    does this mouth piece speak for?? Not for millions who are smart enough to make their own decision. The lambs are too dumb to follow this mouthpiece.

    May 14, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
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