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. gcg1956

    I have a BIBLE. It is the kind which all the statements made by JESUS are highlighted in red text.
    There is no red text that mentions anything against gay or homosexuals.

    May 14, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  2. M-AZ

    Stuart A L,

    I read sincerity and honesty in your posting and was very moved. Maybe, you will have a chance to help repeal this law.

    May 14, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  3. Wake up people

    I am very proud of President Obama, imo he rates right up there with President Lincoln. He made a bold move that a lot of people don't like, but he did it anyway. I support his decision, especially being a black woman, who would have had absolutely no rights had I been born 20 years earlier.

    God bless you and yours President Obama!
    2012!

    May 14, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. JD

    Do they actually believe the evangelicals are the only ones in the US that are voting?

    May 14, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Patrick

    So if the federal government allows gay marriage, will it forces churches that believe that it is wrong to perform them? I have no problem with civil unions between a man and a man or a woman and a woman, but if you force a church to go against their beliefs, then you violated the Bill of Rights.

    May 14, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. zod

    This SHOULD hurt him. It makes Mitt look better each day for those who believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman, who like the way things are and who find this to be an obvious diversion from the real issues. If he gets reelected and we go back to addressing the jobs economy etc afterward, people will and should feel pretty duped.

    May 14, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. rika33

    No chance – the GOP has put up such a loser that there is little chance he'll win. The media is just playing with the "race" because they need news to fill the cycle – just like they pretended Newt and Santorum were serious candidates.

    May 14, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. CBR

    This whole argument comes back to a person's right to choose. Human's were born with the ability to think and speak for themselves. Today, the word marriage does not cover the reality of how marriage is perceived. The divorce rate continues to be high. People marry two or more times. Sure there are couples who marry only once and stay together throughout their lives.

    If two people share a commitment to a life lived together they should have the right to call that union a marriage.

    May 14, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Jt_flyer

    What a typical political statement from a partican zombie. Everything of value comes at cost Mr. conservative Leader. Perhaps you underestimate the importance the American people put on our freedoms. Perhaps not. Looks like we'll be voting this one out. I love this contry!

    May 14, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. mj

    I do not support same-sex marriage. Have several gay friends and could really care less as to who they want to sleep with. Does not make me a bigot or prejudicial. Just my own belief and I am entitled to it. Let's get past Obama's latest distraction and concentrate on the Economy and Jobs.

    May 14, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Mr.Morrow

    No Matter What Obama Says some Republican Will find something wrong with it, rather he is for or against! Secondly, This is a topic that is covered in the Bible. Marraige is a Binding Between a Man and a Woman! God didnt take Adams Rib and make Steve. But to the Defense of the President, If you guys want to live Like that, its on you. You have to answer to God on Judgement Day, not Him. Politics and Religion will never Mix. Some will like his decision, and Most will criticize the decision. Bottom line is, This is a Politician trying to get votes! And most politicians will say whatever to get re-elected or Elected. Now Romney is going to be against because Obama is For it. History Repeats itslef. Its a mind Game. This is not an Issue that will keep Obama out of his second term. He has My vote! Romney is another bush that has no idea on what to do, and he is just a puppet on a long string of people that think they can do better then Obama but has absolutely no intention of Helping America become a Better place for the hard Working people that keep this country going. OBAMA 2012

    May 14, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. Bill, NY

    American Values? Whos Values? In a country where we are supposed to have freedom of choice there are many who would deny others to live and believe as they wish. No one should have the right to tell another who they can or cannot love or marry. By the way I do draw the line at horses, sheep cows etc.,etc.

    May 14, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. Jess C

    This does not represent all "American values". Some of us learn from life experiences (that gay is not a choice) and that climate change is real. While some listen to hysterical Fox Noise talking pieces or take the Bible literally. The latter make decisions based on emotion and bias, while the rest use deductive reasoning and science. Happy to be part of the latter and sad that we still have hysterical bigots (regardless of color, race, etc.) who's bible-thump[ing ideology gets in the way of common sense and fairness to all. Obama made the right decision. The fact that he can "go down" did not change his mind. Tells me he stands for what's right for America and not his own personal agenda. That's the kind of leader I want, not a pandering mouthpiece.

    May 14, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Bessy

    Just take a look at these two " pious " jokers. Makes me sick to think that so many in this country fall under the influence of people like this. I wonder what their deep thoughts and actions really are. Probably a couple of
    " lechers " in real life.

    May 14, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Mary

    If two people share a commitment to a life lived together they should have the right to call that union a marriage.
    I have no issue with same sex marriage. I don't think it will cost Obama as he only told his views and not proposing any new policy. In any case, what do you expect the conservatives to say?

    May 14, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. Donnie the Lion

    People pull words and phrases from the Constitution, the Bible, and other sources to justify their beliefs and actions....especially political figures. You know who has been left at the alter? A jilted bride named Common Sense. It makes perfect Common Sense to legalize gay marriages. It will stimulate retail sales and the hiring of services. And it will reinforce the USA's reputation as the land of the free.

    May 14, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  17. ObjectiveGuy

    Obama is simply using this issue as a diversion, to keep the focus off of the issues which are the most important to most Americans. The ECONOMY and Obama's horrendous stewardship of it is the real issue, and he will try his best to keep us focused on other, non-essential issues, such as gay marriage, etc. Don't be fooled, voters–make him be accountable for his failed leadership.

    May 14, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. Natalie in MN

    The fact that Evangelicals are against this decision just solidifies my vote for Obama. They are vestigial throw backs; we are moving forward in this country; not backwards.

    May 14, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. bethjoyce

    Bauer is not qualified to be a predictor of political outcomes. His prediction that this would hurt Obama comes as no surprise. This may solidify the Republican base, but that's about all it will do.

    May 14, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. Kenny K

    @Patrick

    So if the federal government allows gay marriage, will it forces churches that believe that it is wrong to perform them? I have no problem with civil unions between a man and a man or a woman and a woman, but if you force a church to go against their beliefs, then you violated the Bill of Rights.
    ________________________________________________________
    Don't get scared; it is for court marriage. Sometimes, people actual marry twice at a time; 1st is in court and the 2nd is in religion.

    May 14, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Erik

    This is a civil rights – not a religious – issue from the standpoint of government. If any religion does/doesn't want to grant marriage rights in their church for any civil marriage, then they still can. Equality for all.

    May 14, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. MNTaxpayer

    Possibly. But he had to state his position. The evenagelicals won't be happy until we are a complete theocracy. It's incredible how we continue to de-volve rather than evolve.

    May 14, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. J

    I think the gay marriage issue will die out before American's cast their vote in November. It was smart of Obama to get that out of the way, Once the debates begin, it will be about the economy, which John Boehner has claimed has been the issue all along for the right wingers. Right John, so where are the jobs?

    May 14, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Michael Q

    As a Canadian and educated in Boston, I follow USA politics because over my life span the US has had such an impact on Canadian politics and its economy whether we like it or not. But, here's the problem, those in the US have had a tendency to look down at us and forget we have experienced some of the problems you have in the US. On the issue of same sex marriage or civil unions or whatever term you prefer to use, it is not an issue of religion, but a civil rights matter. Our gay community have been a very productive segment of the Canadian economy and social structure. No problems have arisen with their adopted children or the children they hang out with. We are a proud multi-cultural country and we do get along for the most part. You, the American citizen, should be proud of your President because the man is outstanding in all areas and one day in the future will rank as one of its greatest Presidents. Now, that's an outside view, and whether you believe it or not, most of the free world is very happy and comfortable with your leader. Oh, and although I do not believe in any man-made religion as science is my foundation, let me express my gratitude to a man who does have integrity and acts on his beliefs between what is right and what is wrong. I believe you call it the 'Golden Rule' and I'll take that over some religious leader or monarch telling me what discriminated race, color, religion I should believe in at the exclusion of others.

    May 14, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. Kenny K

    @ObjectiveGuy
    Obama is simply using this issue as a diversion, to keep the focus off of the issues which are the most important to most Americans. The ECONOMY and Obama's horrendous stewardship of it is the real issue, and he will try his best to keep us focused on other, non-essential issues, such as gay marriage, etc. Don't be fooled, voters–make him be accountable for his failed leadership.
    _______________________________________
    ECONOMY is just one of the issues the country face. He have to address and deal with all of them.

    May 14, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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