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. Afi

    If you're a Christian, now, you know why the bible says to pray for our leaders. Christians were praying for President Bush every day but how many times has those same Christians call for prayers for President Obama? Don't judge President Obama if you don't want God to judge you. My Humble request!

    May 13, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  2. Guest 1

    The potus had no choice but to make a statement after the vp forced the issue upon him because it's obvious...the vp is NOT behind this potus

    May 13, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. julius raynor

    I admire the man for his stance..........Great Courage!

    May 13, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  4. C

    To the person who commented that he doesn't think a conservative would vote for Obama anyway...a whole lot of us did in 2008.
    I could care less about birth control, same-sex marriage and all these other distractions.
    Conservative is about personal and financial responsibility to me and alot of other 'Righties'.
    Let's focus on the economy and solutions please.

    May 13, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  5. DERASA

    Actually I think that will be beneficial to him..

    May 13, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  6. Silent Majority

    I don't know very many Democrats that are single-issue voters. In other words, the president's position on gay marriage won't have any effect at all. (Do you really think anyone is going to say "Well, I was going to vote for Obama, but now that he said he supports gay marriage, I'm gonna vote for Romney.")

    May 13, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  7. Conrack

    American Values? American values are what Americans, all Americans, decide for themselve, not some self righteous bunch of hypocrtites who hide behind their quest for power and money with quotes from the Bible. Live and let live.

    May 13, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  8. ted

    who cares what the conservatives think? I don't. I already know they want more tax cuts for the non-job creators and they want to do away with entitlements for the needy and poor. As far as I am concerned, the conservatives can go find a desert island somewhere and stay there. They are not interested in helping the country get a head. They just want to citicize Obama for everything. Tired of them.

    May 13, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  9. Larry L

    Abortion, gay rights, guns and god are cheap for the fat-cats and Karl Rove. These issues stir up the toothless masses but these things won't actually cost the high-rollers any money. Romney has no actual platform except to embrace the Ryan Plan – meaning he plans to trash Medicare and Social Security. Hate is cheap and elusive but an actual economic plan means he must stand for something concrete. We need to refuse the "bait" and stick to the issues that help the middle class.

    May 13, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  10. American1776

    They have dollar signs written all over their face! $$$$ GOD $$$$ devil $$$$ Romney evil!

    May 13, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  11. Larry L

    @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)
    ------------------------------------------------------------–
    These are words written by actual men. The words were edited and the more powerful of the religious leaders got the words they liked in the book. The words conflict and many of them propose evil concepts. Let it go... it's fantasy and mythology. Every civilization creates these beliefs and none of their "gods" evfer appear. Yours won't either.

    May 13, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  12. Sue

    Romney is definitely going to win the swing states of North Carolina, Virginia, and Missouri, now that Obama has made his support for gay marriage clear!!

    May 13, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  13. Paul

    WAIT. You are telling me the head of an extreme right wing hypocrisy group opines that the President could be hurt by this???? I'm absolutely shocked! I mean, they're usually preaching small government and all that blather, there's no way they could be preaching government intrusion into the bedroom, right? Right? Tell me it ain't so, brother preacher!

    May 13, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  14. sqeptiq

    Better a President who loses doing the right thing than one who wins doing the expedient thing. Our country is in trouble because of politicians who do the expedient thing.

    May 13, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  15. MikeinNM

    Good on Obama to support gay marriage. But while that affects about 5% of the electorate, time to further address the economy, which affects 99% – with 1% easily weathering any legislation affecting their pocketbooks.

    May 13, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The thing that most people are missing is that Obama isn't rushing to get this passed through Congress. He is leaving it up to the states to decide.

    May 13, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  17. steve

    Sort of interesting that a politician might actually take a position based on what they actually believe, rather than just on what they think will get them elected...what a radical new idea on the idea of leadership rather than simply connivance

    May 13, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  18. tullymd

    It will help Obama. People will see the stark contrast between the 2 characters. It's no big deal one way or the other if gays can marry. Obama has values and articulates them while Romney is a cameleon.

    May 13, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  19. Mike

    It’s all about true freedom. Do you want America to be a free country or Not. Simple test do you want the right to preach and practice your beliefs. If so then why would you want less for anyone else? Maybe there should be a movement for denier's of freedom. We are either all free or we are all phony’s, you can't have it both ways. For those who preach "Don't tread on me", well don't tread on them. Anyone who believes their belief is the only way would be livid if someone told them they could not practice their own belief. So as Thomas Paine said wisely "to deny someone of their own belief is only to be bliss of your own”. If you believe in an “eye for an eye” then don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want done to yourself. Whether you are a God fearing person or not, isn’t the point. In a Truly Free Society we are either all free, or we are all hypocrites. There can be no in between, anything less would expose us as guilty, as to having no Honor. You would not look a passerby in the eye, then stab him in the back because you didn’t like the way he looked, nor would you want it like wise. To expect respect when none is given is delusional, and out of touch with reality. So to anyone who would not defend True Freedom for person and conscious shall be doomed for eternity to that which they deny others of. If you vote to deny someone of their freedom or beliefs because they don’t coincide with your beliefs than don’t expect Mercy.

    May 13, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  20. BlueDem1

    The only votes this will "cost" Obama are the votes of social right-wing extremists like Gary Bauer and Rick Santorum.....votes Obama never had anyway!

    May 13, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  21. David

    As opposed to Gary Bauer's comments, which cost him all his credibility years ago.

    May 13, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  22. ton

    It WILL come at a cost and should. It's a diversion from the real issues that need to be addressed and not ignored. And the media is helping Obama with that diversion. This is not important and certainly is not one of the important issues we're dealing with today. Not even close.

    May 13, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. Mike

    Anything any "conservative leader" says about Obama or anybody not with an 'R' next to their name should be immediately dismissed.

    May 13, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  24. once upon a horse

    where were these two with their news conferences when former VP Dick Cheney , as he well should have, came out in support of gay marriage? He came out in support of his daughter, her spouse and his new grandchild. I don't recall EITHER of them saying a word. Were they afraid of the the man the far right loves to love? What is the difference in Cheney supporting gay marriage as to Obama supporting it? The telling hypocrisy of the GOP at times is mind blowing to say the least.

    May 13, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  25. John P. Tarver

    Obama's revolving back to his position from before 2004 on gay marriage is a loser position, but since he is going to lose anyway he may as well.

    May 13, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
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