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. Fred

    What's the point of this story? You have two extreme Obama haters saying what they'd say if Obama picked paper over plastic. Why not ask this question – for two guys that are all about the family, why do they look like the kid of guys arrested for kidnapping children from shopping malls? Bauer is the twin of the rape dad in Austria.

    May 14, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. JC in Western U.S.

    So who would expect a conservative organization's leader to say that this was going to benefit Obama? It seems like over the past few weeks I've seen quite a few CNN headlines saying "This could hurt Obama." "No really, this one WILL hurt Obama". "For sure this one is going to hurt Obama." And then the article is about a conservative pundit predicting damage to Obama.

    All of the things Obama has done or said that the pundits predict will hurt him don't seem to have hurt him with anybody who planned to vote for him in the first place. They might make his opponents froth at the mouth a little bit more, but they're having zero effect on his base. Not a single thing he has said in the past six months makes me want to vote for Romney. Evangelicals weren't ever going to vote for Obama. Just exactly who is Obama driving away who wasn't already going as fast as they could in the opposite direction?

    May 14, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Ozzie

    You little, righteous boys have no right to call a person's decision of conscience an ill-conceived position. Bauer and Perkins have politicized spirituality. They know that. We know that. Nothing about them reminds me of the way Jesus ministered to others, particularly those whom the majority kept at arm's length. By the way, those states that are now "in play", they would vote for slavery and segragation, if they could – with the support of Bauer and Perkins.

    May 14, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. SoSad

    Freaky looking people with dyed hair? OK, are these people for real? Amercian Values, ok, this is a front for closet racists, period.

    May 14, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. once upon a horse

    when a FoxNews commentator said that the president will be on the "right side of history" with this decision you could see some on the right try to go into a prevent defense. This is not going to make those who were going with Obama switch...maybe a few but not enough to make a difference. What would REALLY be funny though is if this race is as close as they claim it will be and Obama wins with the LGBT vote!

    May 14, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. UnFred

    "Obama marriage announcement comes at a cost" Does it? This article seems written by someone with pretty right-wing views. How do you know the gays are not going to come out to vote in droves? Romney is "defending the family" a transference that means somehow gays are threatening peoples families and of course who's not going to fight for their families. Yeah.. I haven't seen gays with torches and pitch forks going to peoples doors in the middle of the night. Apparently this happens in Romney s neighborhood. I may not like your views or religion or even how you live your life, but this is America Land Of The Free. And I don't want another president who can be bought and sold to the highest bidder.

    May 14, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. VA

    I am an African American Chrisitan who planned to vote for Obama. After last week's announcement, I will no longer vote for him. Plain and simple. He is over-reaching the parameters of his office.

    May 14, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. Big_D

    Why do the folks that preach to "judge not" seem to be the first to judge? They sure have a lot of pride and hardened hearts. Now they can throw their weight to the party of greed and have a trifecta.

    May 14, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. FactCheck

    This will increase turnout FOR Romney.

    I see someone forgot to take his anti-psychotics again.

    May 14, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. mlh6

    Really? No one is silly enough to believe that this stance would cost Obama. You think anyone believes Obama is not gay-friendly? Or that 95% of the blacks voted for Obama because of his policies and anot because he is black? Anyone shocked by this gay stance grandstanding by Obama would not have voted for him in the first place. This was an easy decision and goes towards appeasing the leftist base. Stop pretending Obama is the "decider in chief", he's like every other politician: no action that does not benefit him personally.

    May 14, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Wake up people

    @VA. I respect your decision but please remember and NEVER forget, these are the same group of people that if it were left to them, YOU would have absolutely no rights. Discrimination is discrimination, and only God has the right to judge.

    Btw, I'm a black Christian also.
    OBAMA 2012!

    May 14, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |

    TO ALL LIBERALS. Mitt Romney will be elected in November 2012. This is a 100% definite. Obama, you are fired.

    May 14, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Darth Cheney

    Specifically, what type of voter who was intending to vote for Obama before this will now vote for Mitt because of it? There would seem to be very few liberals or moderates who are vehemently anti-gay, and very few conservatives who would vote for Obama under any circumstances. Now which type of moderate voter might lean more Obama's way because of it? This is easier to visualize. Thus, Obama's position will help, and not hurt him, though it seems unlikely by itself to flip any states from one column to the other.

    May 14, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. ironman59

    The problem with these "family values" groups is that it is never truly about "families". It is always about putting a church in every home. They don't focus on reducing divorce rates. They don't focus on providing resources to lower teen pregnancy or divorce. They don't focus on resources to simplify the adoption process. All they want to do is put their brand of religion in your home.

    They always talk about what their fairytale book says about "marriage" but conveniently leave out poligomy, incest, etc. They spout "this is the way it has always been". The same was said about slavery, civil rights, the earth being flat, etc. Religion is the kryptonite of rational thinking. It can drag society down to levels where common sense and equality don't exist. It narrows the mind instead of expanding it.

    When these "family" groups actually focus on real family issues instead of putting religion in my home, maybe I will listen to what they have to say. Until then, they are just right-wing windbags.

    May 14, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Lizzie

    chuck weidemann, you said "The few want to govern the many", so you're comfortable that according to
    The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a sexual orientation law and public policy think tank, estimates that 9 million (about 3.8%) of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (2011) can tell the rest of the country what we have to believe and how we have to vote.

    May 14, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. ObjectiveGuy

    The cold, hard fact is that Obama doesn't give a rat's rear end about gay marriage. This is a diversion, plain and simple, to take the focus off of his failed economic and foreign relations policies, not to mention the health care debacle. Obama cannot run on a track record of successes, so he is using a politically divisive issue such as gay marriage to distract us from the more important issues of the day. Please tell me we, as educated voters, are smarter than to fall for this political ploy!

    May 14, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. JustMe

    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.

    The only problem with this for Mr. Bauer is that most of the country does not agree with him. In virtually every poll done at the nationwide level recently those who support gay marriage is higher than those that don't. I personally do believe marriage to be between a man and a woman, but that said, what I believe does not and should not matter. All adults, whether gay or straight, white or black or whatever color or ethnicity, male or female, etc ... should have the same rights as every other adult.

    May 14, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. trex

    ..........My 37 year marrage is NOT THREATENED by LGBT at all. ..............Does LGBT threaten your marrage?..................................why?

    May 14, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. trex

    .................."with Liberty and Justice for ALL".........................unless you disagree with the RADICAL RIGHT.............

    May 14, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. ClarasBeau

    Look a man in the eye, they say, and you can tell a lot about him. Now, what do you see when you look at these two men? Thoughtfulness? Compassion?... Or something reptilian?
    I know what "I" see...

    May 14, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. trex

    ........LGBT......REPUBLICANS..............WHERE IS YOUR VOICE?........................I know you are there, so why not TAKE THE STAND FOR YOUR RIGHTS?.......................Does your love of conservative values overshadow your love of your life?.........................LGBT REPUBLICANS.............SPEAK OUT..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 14, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. Robert

    So now the GOP see's ddoing the right thing as a "position".
    While politicians are running about trying to consolidate power, real Americans are just trying to live their lives without giving a second thought as to how they can control the lives of others.

    May 14, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. JDinHouston

    This just in – Evangelicals say they won't vote for Obama, now insist they really mean it, they won't vote for Obama. And this surprises us how?

    May 14, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Dallas

    Look at the 2 men in the pic. The GOP repesents a party of old, white, males that are on the wrong side of an issue. Stats prove that gay marriage is inevitable. Instead of just dropping it they're going to look like a party of bigots to future generations once again. I'm in my 20's and friends regardless of political affiliation are in favor of gay marriage. The GOP should just admit defeat and grow to accept it before they risk alientating younger voters who are tired of their friends being looked down on b/c of the people they love. Gay marriage isn't a wedge issue like gun control or abortion. In 5-10 years it'll be a fact.

    May 14, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Robert

    VA, truth is you're an angry middle aged white christian male.
    No black person with a brain would ever deny another group their civil rights after the way blacks had to fight for their own.

    May 14, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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