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. W.G.

    Polls are 51% are for gay Marrige and 45% are against it . Add to that how the republicans have
    Criminalized A whoile race of people with preWW2 German effinciancy the Latinos and add to that
    the War on Women and poor people , it would seem the democrats have this election sewed up !

    May 13, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Oh, and I forgot the makeup these clowns wear.

    May 13, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. mike

    Tony Perkins the biggest bigoted hypocrite around these days. He will interpret the bible any way he sees fit. He doesnt follow Gods law of love, equality and compassion for everyone... he is morally inept!.

    May 13, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Squigman

    Dear conservative: You preach one thing, but mean another. You want and desire smaller involvement from your government, but are hell bent on controlling peoples personal lives. You and your party are nothing if not contradictory. as well as hypocritical.

    May 13, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. EJ

    The Republicans are the most intolerant group of people we have ever seen. Remember what Colin Powell said as to why he voted for Obama in 2008, it was because the Republicans are intolerant and mean-spirited. They are only getting worse. Another point, if Jesus wanted to run for President, he could not because he was Jewish.

    May 13, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Liz the First

    This president once again showed tremendous courage in declaring his support for fairness for all Americans in the area of marriage. this should be a no-brainer, but with so much rampant bigotry, it may have been a political risk. i don't think so, though, because it shows his supporters he is who we believed him to be. it's a shame this is even an issue in a country that prides itself on freeom and equality, liberty and justice for ALL, and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. republicans like to talk about freedom, but that's all they do is talk. they're our own home-grown Taliban.

    May 13, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Jake

    i do believe that honesty and fairness will prevail for Obama. Something the GOP has no grasp on.

    May 13, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Chipster

    I'm certain that Evangelicals (i.e. the American Taliban) will not vote for President Obama. It's my hope that the majority of American people will realize that these religious fanatics are no different than the ones we are fighting in the middle east. They just have become as violent, YET. They use fear, prejudice, and religion to stir anger but they overstep when so many of their claims are exposed as false, misleading, and self-serving. Corporate interests are only using them for profit (not prophet). If we cherish our freedom, we had better verify any and all claims, then defend our Constitutional rights not just for ourselves but for all people. To do that we must VOTE !

    May 13, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. joe800

    ....lets be frank: money wins elections, not votes ... & the LGBT community has a lot more discretionary income to give to a campaign..I hope they give Obama another $15 million in one night...

    May 13, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. DaveC

    Bauer and Perkins have got to be some of the most clueless individuals on the face of the earth. First of all, it's May. Long, long way till November. There is a whole lot of months there. Second, even in the states these two bozos are talking about there is a whole lot of people who support this opinion. Third, like Durbin said, Obama was not going to get the white evangelical (read borderline racist) vote anyhow. He does not believe that a woman should only be barefoot and pregnant all the time, the man has all the answers, etc.

    Listening to these two nuts is why I am no longer a republican. This is coming from a die hard Reagan and Bush Sr. republican. The party needs to throw out (or at least marginalize) these idiots for me to come back. The party also needs to learn the word compromise. Till then I am an independent voter.

    May 13, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. MaryM

    President Obama will win the election in NOV 2012. The MAJORITY of Americans will not be voting on this issue And the majority are for marriage equality .

    May 13, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Bill

    There is no way on this planet that Mike Huckabee would be a VP running mate with that cult member. He would much sooner be a running mate for Obama.

    May 13, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Phyllis G Williams

    Beware of Dis-obedience to Genesis 2: 24 –

    Here is another of "the wrath of God upon the Children of Dis-Obedience" (Ephesians 5: 6)
    Pharaoh disobeyed and suffered with 9 plagues + (Exodus 10-11)

    May 13, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. JD

    The homophobic vote already was anti-Obama. It's the same people who are against him because of his ethnicity. I would bet they were already solidly anti-Obama.

    May 13, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. blf83

    Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer = bigotry.homophobia/discrimination = hypocrisy.

    May 13, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Pete

    To all you republican,so called political wizz kids.The reason we the Democrates got the beatings in 2010 was from complacency,not the great choice of candidates you have representing you now.You caught us at a vunerable time ,when people especially new in this voting process thought Pres.Obamas presidency was everything,including the power over policy making in states being included..They're not stupid anymore and with veteran Democrates telling them who to vote for and why,the results will be much different,I assure you.They're wanting candidates that are for them,and they don't and you republican hypocrites know it by the rash of lies and deceptive moves you've takin especially in the voting rights of the elderly,college kids and newly citizenshiped voters.Now they're informed more about your deceptive agenda and the gig is up,you'll all be going down in November,the wiser voter will prevail with the Democrates returning to their seats on Capital Hill.

    May 13, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Delusional thinking by the same people who never saw it coming in 2006 and 2008. Cue the tape of Mitt McCain endorsing same sex adoption over and over again.

    May 13, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Shawn

    Islam has its Taliban. Christianity its US evangelical, right-wingers. The big R–still the opium of the masses.

    May 13, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. sharon

    This is ii2012, right???? I can not believe we are arguing over gays right. (Smh). They are people too, they lived in our community, go churches, working along side of us at work, paying bills, taxes and voting. They have the right to be happy as anyone else. Pres. Obama was just stating his personal opinion like everyone else does. He stated it is up to the State to handle it. Btw, what rights do some of you have to judge people. I was taught God loves all people and he also forgives. He died for our sins. And Im quite sure some of you are still committing sins. I truly dislike it when some people call themselves Christians but they don't follow his words. Hate & Racism is a sin!!!!

    May 13, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. CaliforniaBC

    He put some states in play?? Really?

    Or is it that people don't care so much about same-sex marriage instead are more concerned about substantive issues like the economy. Apparently, the GOP would rather fight on their limited agenda of oppressing the rights of anyone that doesn't fall into their fictional "Leave it to Beaver" 1950's America than find cooperative solutions to our problems.

    They've been on a crusade to extend their big government ideals at the most intimate, individual levels since the 2010 midterms. People need to remember this come November. They accuse Democrats of big government extremists when it is the GOP that does more to control individual lives and choices, taking away rights than anything the Democrats do.

    May 13, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. Will

    Gary Bauer and American (Confederate) Values doesn't speak for me or my family.

    May 13, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. GetEd

    Who cares what you think?! You're the "president of American Values", so I don't see any connection with reason...

    May 13, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. alpg49

    The chairman of the RNC said marriage is a religious practice. Are the states now religious institutions? He wants to grant to Caesar that which is God's. A government-issued marriage license is no more a certificate of moral rectitude than a government-issued driver's license is a good-driver endorsement.

    This issue involves the separation of church and state!

    May 13, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. don in albuquerque

    Please take your bibles and stick them where the sun doesn't shine. The rest of the world is fed up with having them thrown in their face.

    May 13, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Scott

    Does it really matter who the President is anymore?
    Policy and law is made in the back rooms, Our entire Govermental system is awash in greed and lies. Bribery is legal, we just call it lobbying now.
    Political seats are bought by the highest bidder, and won by making the other guy look worse than you.

    America, land of the not so free, home of the 1%.

    May 13, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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