May 13th, 2012
11:22 AM ET
9 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. angryed

    smoke and mirrors....this issue is nothing to most people, this is a pure political play, a distraction.....the REAL questions are...who is going to get spending and debt under control...who is going to do better to promote AMERICAN business and bring jobs back....dont know how up to challenge Romney is, but Obama is clearly inept and needs to go

    May 14, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Mike in Wisconsin

    Give me a break! This is no big deal! Most of us knew Obama's thinking and I am proud of him for being a REAL leader!

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

    I think whatever the President agrees with, we as a majority should do the opposite. Somewhat like that Seinfeld episode called; "opposite George" . George understood that all of his decisions were the wrong decision, kinda like President Obama. But unlike President Obama, George realized his own short comings and decided to do just opposite of what his instincts told him to do. His life turnaround in many positive ways from personal to professional. So my advice to this President is to adopt Opposite Obama thinking and then the whole country can benefit.

    May 14, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Just Sayin'

    OK, if I understand this correctly, Obama has said that a Catholic hospital must pay for a woman's contraception, but if a gay man working at the same hospital wants to provide insurance for his partner, the hospital can deny that coverage if the state says it's okay. And the gay community calls this a victory? Sounds more like a 'war on homosexuals'. I saw a columnist compare Obama's annoucement to Abraham Lincoln stating that he was personally against slavery, but that he believed that it was for the states to decide.

    May 14, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    This will increase turnout FOR Romney. It'll also cost him support from some Independents, where he is losing support. It will also help add to the radical leftist image of Obama. He's finally coming out of the closet and showing America who he truly is. I'm sure the guy is hiding even more and just neeeds the "flexibility" of not having an election to then come out of the socialist closet.

    May 14, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. JuliaH

    It SHOULD come at a cost! Marriage is between a man and a woman and any Christian who says otherwise is ignoring the Bible and the will of God. How can Obama call himself a Christian when he ignores God's word? He said he was against gay marriage now he's for it ... so now he isn't a Christian!?. But that doesn't surprise, he never was a Christian. This man has lied to the American people from day one. It's time for him TO GO.

    May 14, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Ronda in Houston,TX

    Bauer and Perkins have always interjected their beliefs as the only pure belief, especially during political elections. It's either their way or no way! I live in the Bible Belt and yesterday my church didn't mention anything about this matter. Clearly, Jesus is not in their teachings. I feel sorry for them.

    May 14, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. codepink1908

    "Obama marriage announcement comes at a cost" LOL; Keep telling yourself that. Even if it does come with a cost it will be a minute cost; not worth mentioning. WHATEVER THE COST, IT WILL NOT, IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER, JEOPARDIZE OBAMAS CHANCES FOR A 2ND TERM!!!!!

    May 14, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. srvctest

    Having several homosexual friends in various stages of relationship, I have had manyh conversations on this topic over the years.

    There is a simple solution to this problem, which I see as both an equality issue as well as one of separation of church and state. Simply make every "contracted" relationship be a civil union in the eyes of the law, with equal rights, protections, and responsibilities for everyone regardless of the gender of the participants. Keep "marriage" in the purview of the church. If a couple wants to be joined in a non-religious ceremony, they get their Civil Union from a JP or other state-approved legal authority. If the couple wants to be "married" in the traditional sense – and if their church allows them to do so – then they can do as is done now and have a religious ceremony presided over by a member of the clergy. In the latter case, a couple really gets a "twofer" with a marriage (in the eyes of the church) and a Civil Union (in the eyes of the law) together. In both cases, you have equal rights and protections under the law.

    What I can't understand is why it's so important for certain clergy, politicians, and discriminating members of the public to keep this issue alive as a "wedge" to cause more division in our society. Even worse is when self-righteous politicians decide to write prejudice and discrimination into their state constitutions.

    There are far, far more important issues facing us today that desperately need the attention and action of our government than trying to discriminate against and marginalize a segment of society in the name of "righteousness."

    May 14, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Arun

    All these right wing religious nuts really don't care about anything except themselves and their agenda!! These idiots don't have any problems witha nut like Romney flipping all of his beliefs compared to the past. He idiots, remember the 1994 MA sentare race. Your boy wanted to be the the left of Kennedy on the issue of gay rights. Now that he needs to be the right of this, he has flipped. You guys want to vote for a moron that will change his beliefs based on what he can get for them. Remember, his belief, in effect is vote will go to the highest bidder. This time it's for the nuts on the right. Next time it can be for some rich shmuck on the left!!!

    May 14, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. Patrick

    @KennyK but what if a gay couple wants to get married in a church and the church says no? Would the law allow the couple to sue? I don't care if a gay couple gets married by a judge, but it is the church's right to deny allowing gay couples to get married in their church.

    May 14, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    JuliaH - He said he was against gay marriage now he's for it ... so now he isn't a Christian!?.
    Actually, he said he was for it, until it wasn't beneficial to him politically. Then he was against it, until it wasn't beneficial to him politically. Now he's for it again, because he thinks it will benefit him politically and financially. Yes, a profile in courage and core values HAHAHAHAHA!!! Obama, the snake that will shed his skin for a dollar and a vote.

    May 14, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. srvctest

    Here's the problem for all of you thumping on your Bibles and saying homosexuality is contrary to the will of God/Jesus etc. (forget about whether that's actually true): this is a LEGAL issue and our Constitution and entire government are based on a tenet of "separation of Church and State." If you want to cast out the heathen and pass judgement on anyone who does or says things you don't like, by all means join a like-minded organization and do so. The US government should not be legislating this, period. "Separate but equal" doesn't work.

    May 14, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. Lady

    I the media wants me to believe that these two tight lipped white guys speak for the whole of the country. Give me a break. My statement is by no means a racist comment, but people come on. They don't speak for everyone.

    May 14, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Enrique

    These so-called "Christians" are really good at judging and hating.

    May 14, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. ThinkAgain

    @Enrique: "These so-called "Christians" are really good at judging and hating."

    That's what fear does to people. These "Christians" world view is all about saving their own fannies and NOT trying to live a good life for its own sake. They are so afraid they will do anything to promote their delusional self-interest.

    May 14, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Pete

    Obama's announcement affirms his belief that all law-abiding U.S. citizens are entitled to equal rights, including the right to love and marry whoever you chose. The large number of racist, homophobic, nasty comments, tweets, etc, show that he's on the right track, and that the "silent majority" will support him while rejecting the haters and the whackos. While many will still hate Obama simply because he's black, a Democrat, and supports equal rights for all, it's hard to imagine that any sane person would want to repeat the extreme disasters of Republican rule ny electing Romney.

    May 14, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. iowa

    All I know is that it's one more small push causing many of my moderate Republican friends (and even including myself) to lean closer to Obama. Way to kill the moderates, my "friends" on the Christian right – despite what you think, you are killing the party. Your insistence on one of "your" candidates kicked the moderate candidates out very early on, and you didn't even have the "decency" to win! What is up with you guys? Seriously.

    Obama and Romney really aren't all that different anyway when it comes down to practice (although Romney is a lot less likable). Keep your focus on your local elections and STOP voting the same idiots into Congress.

    May 14, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. eldridge simpson

    all you had to do was keep your mouth shut or hold the same stanze you had 4 years ago, you are not being real if you don't think this won't affect him.

    May 14, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Pete

    This marriage thing is confusing – if we don't allow gays to marry because of the marriage/religion connection, why do we allow atheists to marry???

    May 14, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. julie

    for me I could care less about gay and marriage......if they want the same rights we all have for their family so be it........their choice for same sex mate is between them and GOD

    as for those that say they will not support the President b/c is for gay that is just stupid...this is the prez' opinion.............there are far more PRESSING Issues then gay rights...........keeping the country moving forward is to me way more important................and if you vote for mitt solely b/c he is not for gay marriage, then you have a much bigger problem then gay rights.maybe you need to re-examine your issues for this country............don't come here complaining if you put mitt in rights will be the least of your problems..

    Obama 2012 for those that want to move forward, they rest move out the way...

    May 14, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Barry Dingle

    This is the problem for Obama. He has completely miscalculated the cost of this strategy. He actually believes the polls that say the country is split on this issue. In a phone survey it might be split, but in the privacy of the voting booth the country is overwhelmingly against it. If the country is in such favor of this stance, why have 32 that have taken it to a vote actually voting against gay marriage? No one can seem to explain that.

    May 14, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. Saboth

    "ill-conceived position"'s always a bad idea to believe everyone is created equally and has the same rights.

    I'm really confused by the Right's argument and Bible quotes. What does this have to do with The Bible? Obama states he wants equal rights and unions in the eyes of the government. When the IRS asks if you are married, do you think they are talking about what religion you are? They are talking about a legal civil union. Same goes for insurance, hospitals, etc. It's like the adults are talking about one thing, and religious conservatives are having their own separate conversation, but think it applies to the adult situation.

    May 14, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. Sniffit

    What a freaky looking pair of muppets those two are. They really need to do somewhere else to self-declare their moral superiority to the rest of the planet...and stop polluting the adult conversatino the rest of us are trying to have.

    May 14, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. James

    Christians are the last people to point fingers, most do not even folloow Christ's teachings in their everyday life. Every Christian needs to revisit these teachings and refrain from passing judgement. Let those without sin cast the first sone!!

    May 14, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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