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. Franny

    Shame on you Keith. I do hope you wont vote against your own best intrest, and that of the Country. You of all people should support the President, and stop with the Faux nonsense!

    May 14, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  2. Andrew

    Apparently, HATE Is a traditional, family value.

    May 14, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  3. alan

    You're kidding yourselves, 23% of swing voters won't vote for him because of this while only 11% are more likely. As you well know that majority represents the majority of the rest. Romrom can in to Massachussets when it had th 50th worst unemployment rate in the country and left it in 2007 with the 12th best. He got this done with an 85% democrat congress while Obama couldn't get a budget through a packed house and decided to spend all his political capital on giving control of a sixth of our economy to the oh so efficient federal governement AGAINST the will of 70% of the people. H can blame dubya all the way out the back door of the whitehouse as far as I'm concerned. Sincerely hope it doesn't hit him on the way out.

    May 14, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  4. alan

    It's not possible for them to have the same rights I enjoy. Children are not produced by injecting sperm into the male colon. Nature is removing them from the gene pool, I think that's a problem that needs to be solved rather than a political agenda that we should dress up in a wedding dress and tuxedo and give it unwanted children so it doesn't feel left out as it slides into evolutional oblivion. What is wrong with you people?

    May 14, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  5. NClaw441

    Yogi, and others: This issue is not nearly as black and white as many would like to make out (on both sides). One need look no further than President Obama's stance(s) on the issue over the past years. He once supported gay marriage, then moved away from that position to supportig civil unions, only to be "outed" by his Vice-President, coming out in favor of gay marriage one day after North Carolina joined about 30 other states that prohibit gay marriage. (Interestingly, I have not heard many say that President Obama was a bigot, a hater or anti-Constitution during the time he opposed gay marriage publicly. One might argue that there is hypocrisy on the pro-gay marriage side.)

    Many people are conflicted on this issue, and for differing reasons. Some look to their strongly held religious convictions. Others base their opposition on moral grounds outside of religion. Still others, like me, are troubled by changing the definition of words that have had a meaning for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years, and ask: If the definition of marriage is changed to include gay couples, what reasoned basis is there for excluding others who may want to get married (3 or more people, siblings, etc.)?

    Yes, there are bigots and hateful people out there (again, on both sides), but not everyone who opposes gay marriage does so out of hate or bigotry.

    May 14, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  6. Abnguy

    I think they were talking about this hurting President Obama with the Democratic Black Christian community. Sure it will hurt a little with moderates and most conservatives will not vote for a socialist anyway.

    May 14, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  7. JoeProfet

    This is not an issue about gays, lesbians, or marriage. This solely is an issue about a politician looking for a voter pool that he can tap into. Obviously the rest of the candidates don't have access to this voter pool because of their stance on gays, lesbians, and marriage. Obama saw an opportunity out of desperation to gain those votes. His ONLY agenda is to win, and he'll use gays and lesbians if necessary to do so. What does it mean for them...nothing because he isn't really behind his statement, just wants your votes. On controversial issues such as these, you are either for or against, there is no middle ground. "Evolving" is perhaps one of the weakest words to describe what he is doing. He's not evolving, he is caving into the pressures of needing more voters. Don't be fooled by it.

    May 14, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  8. John

    I don't think It will cost the President Obama any vote. Mainly because today Is 2012 and most America just don't care If gay get Married any more, after all they have right too. If nothing else It will give the President some vote he may not have got.

    May 14, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  9. Kevin

    True ,nothing has changed as of right now by this presidents announcement, but what do you think is gonna happen if he is elected for a second term? Marriage will be redefined by Obama..chances are bigamy,polygamy,beastiality,and marrying 10 year olds will be a few years down the road too. Listen people it all starts somewhere and the slope is a lot more slippery than it was before he took office!!! Why is it so hard for you to see if you open that door to sin and depravation it is hard to close!

    May 14, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  10. Romney Yep G a y Bas hing Bu lly

    That Romney outed in Washington Post over the weekend showed a person who strategized and attacked a gay person and held him down to cut his hair. Wow.... not thats a leader of the free World at age 18 years of age right?

    Wake up folks Romney is not a good guy and a rich snob out of touche with reality.

    Republicans picked a W e i n er again huh!

    May 14, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  11. blake

    This shows he has principles? Which set? The one in 1996 when he was for it running for senate. Or in 2004 when his "christian faith" required him to be against it? 2008 when he just wasn't sure? Or now when his Christian religion suddenly requires him to be for it? It must be exhausting to be his wife (who he says shares his opion on the matter) just based on this one issue.

    May 14, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  12. Romney Yep G a y Bas hing Bu lly

    Romney was a g a y bashing guy at 18 years of age. He is not presidential material. Check out the Washington post.

    May 14, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  13. Reddog9500

    It took courage for the President to "come out" in favor of same sex marriage. I don't anticipate any backlash against him because of it, because the people who are against same sex marriage aren't going to vote for him anyway in view of their conservative views. As for myself, I see it as a less important issue at this time than other problems that America is facing. And, frankly I don't care one way or the other.

    Now, that said, I would be more impressed if the President would come out in favor of the legalization of drugs because the "War on Drugs" has been a total failure. Thousands of lives and billions of dollars wasted to continue to deny the fact is nothing short of madness.

    May 14, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  14. Eddie The Barber

    That's wishful thinking Gary. That and $6 will get you a fancy coffee at Starbucks you dork.

    May 14, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  15. dick

    You've got to remember that Biden is a loose tonged idiot and a cafeteria Catholic which means he has his own rendition of that faith, mostly a wrong edition. Obama was stupid to join him in that "evolving" position. "Evolving" is a word used by the ultra liberal press to cover up a monumental mistake. Obama thumbs his nose at religion, families, medical treatment and middle class taxpayers. You have to be drinking lots of Kool Aid to vote for this arrogant outspoken socialist. A disaster of unparalleled dimension.

    May 14, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  16. cashmeremafia

    72% of the country opposed interracial marriage in 1967; imagine where we woud be if the majorty prevailed

    May 14, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  17. JimTheBoy

    Who puts in "stock" in what these two bias men think? In my opinion, they have shown that they are more interested in politics than they are in spiritual matters. Much like the "t.v. preachers", they have one goal, lining their own pockets.

    May 14, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  18. mike

    What is it with the way they look.....look at the picture/video on top. These guys look plastic. And they both have a twinkle in their eye. I doubt it's because of a higher power.

    May 14, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  19. Anti Sarah

    Out of touch. Log Cabins should open there doors and jump ship.

    May 14, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  20. Bruce

    I'll repeat my question: If the state cannot dictate who I can marry why can it dictate how many? What if I want one of each?

    May 14, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  21. thinktwice

    Obama is the biggest hypocrite! He has so many blind followers, it's pathetic. So it took him almost 4 yrs to declare that he is pro gay marriage? Why now? So who is the biggest flip flopper?

    May 14, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  22. steven stevens

    i have always beleived that marrige was a civil contract granted to individuals by the city or state since one must first get a licence from the state or city government....the church wedding is just a symblolic event that couple choose to go through...so what really does the church have to do with the marriage of two people who happen to be gay.

    May 14, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  23. independent

    State Supreme Courts have ruled that it is a Civil RIghts issue.

    May 14, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  24. AM

    I'll admit, I'm on the fence on the whole thing. Parts of the arguments on both sides concern me, and one question no one has been able to really answer for me is this: by allowing/accepting marriage as anything other than between a man and a woman, are we opening up opportunity for a slippery slope? What's to stop mormons from claiming that polygamy should be legal and within their civil rights? Like I said...on the fence.

    May 14, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  25. bkgrandma

    Am I missing something here? Do all of these right wing conservatives really believe that they are following the teachings of the man their "religion" was named after. In the book I read "He" taught love and to judge not, lest ye be judged. Read the whole Bible, not just the parts you like, and you will see that your bigotrey is not what Jesus taught,

    May 14, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
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