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. REG in AZ

    They own and control the Republican / Tea Party and now they want to own and control America by having their “puppets” voted into power so they can “pull the strings” and just feed their insatiable “more” (never enough) appetite. Under their control America steadily moves to be a two-class society with “the few” (1%) competing in having it all while the majority (99%) continues to loose more. They feel that with their power, influence and money they can literally con the people and manipulate public opinion, simply insultingly taking the voters for granted as if just “pawns” to be used and abused. They are literally emboldened by past successes: first, with the politicians and candidates in their control who have sold out for “the money’s” support; second, with their prior manipulations of the people, including the “conservative Christian”, the Swift-boat propaganda and the Tea Party movement; and third, in effectively achieving their ideal model with Bush-Cheney. They are cocky confident and clearly demonstrate they have no conscience and no limit to their self-serving goals. The only chance for the people is to recognize their ploy, to reject their aggressive efforts aimed to deceive, and to firmly and totally reject their candidates – otherwise the country could just be returned to “more of the same”, Bush-Cheney style, and the continual downslide for the majority.

    May 14, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. JDinHouston

    Always funny to see how the evangelicals and fundamentaliists have taken over the Republican party. A Republican long ago emancipated the slaves, now extreme religious fanatics seek to enslave us to their religion.

    May 14, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Paul

    Your conservative base and vote are outnumbered. All your fighting and politics and hatred are going to motivate the liberal base and you and Romney are going to be slaughtered in Nov. The only question you should be trying to answer is 'how many seats are we going to lose?'.......

    May 14, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. JDinHouston

    I think people are missing the real truth – the evangelicals and Mitt Romney's kow tow to them has actually turned me away from Mitt. I'm a moderate, I was leaning toward Mitt but at this point I have decided I will vote for Obama in order to take a stand and protect my freedom of religion from those who seek to oppress all of us under their religious dogma. This isn't a gay rights issue to me, it is an issue of the Bill of Rights and separation of church and state, a founding principle of the country that the evangelicals seek to destroy by all means possible. And no, I'm not atheist, I'm a Catholic and I am no more for my church dictating law than anyone elses.

    May 14, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. RINO Bil

    ... and exactly how many conservative were actually going to vote for Obama had he not come out in favor of gay rights?

    The way I see it, his stance changes nothing.

    May 14, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. James

    Separation of State & Church is written in the Constitution. The President is voted in office to work for everybody, not only anti-gay people. He is basing his decision to support gay 'marriage' on non-discrimation as regards to race,sex, age, religious, weight etc factors. Pornography is a greater tthreat to the social fabric of the country than gay 'marriage'. Why do the Christian leaders not devote more efforts and money towards this issue

    May 14, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. shugee

    They're queer and they're here.No amount of bigotry can change them from who they are.Like the rest of us, they want basic rights and freedoms.As creepy as I personally find the whole gay thing, it is none of my business.
    It is ironic how the tea party et al lobby for less government in our lives and yet want the government to be used as a tool to push their bigotry into the lives of citizens who impact them in no way what-so-ever.

    May 14, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Joe B

    Please pick Piyush Amrit Jindal as running mate, what a circus that will be

    May 14, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Laverne

    These folk are betting on Obama's failure, but it is my strong belief that the republicans and naysayers are going to be in for the shock of their life when they realize that people aren't as stupid as they think they are. President will continue to get support from the people who were supporting him in the first place and the people who are having a hissy fit were not going to support him anyway. He will gain supporters for any that he does lose, so it all balances out at the end!

    May 14, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. Ferret Out The BS

    The Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantees rights and freedom to all, not just those we agree with, have similar beliefs, or like.

    May 14, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Lolo

    The people that were not going to vote for him regardless still will not vote for him. Who cares about what the republican morons think. Also @ shugee, I agree with you. The republican/tpers want to be judge, jury and executioners all in one. It is none of their business how people live there lives. I f they paid attention to their own lives we would not be going through the same personal issues every year there is an election. These people only care about guns, religion and abortion like they are the only ones living on the planet. I hope they hurry up and build that moon colony.

    May 14, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. K3Citizen

    It is hard to believe the republicans really care about the Constitution being that they are seeing history being repeated, yet they still want to prevent or take away others' rights. I don't feel like we should have to ask republicans permission to treat people the same.

    May 14, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. steve

    The reality is the 50% in favor of gay marriage dont vote and the 50% opposed do vote. Why do you think it keeps getting rejected at the polls

    May 14, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. nvtncs

    The GOP appeals to the basest human instinct: fear and hatred, and divisiveness; their tent is small.

    May 14, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. niet32

    People qouting the Constitution please do your homework. When it says it protects "sex" it's male/female not what kind you are having. Good grief. If you use this logic then ALL forms of marriage should be on the table and not gay marriage.

    Second, seperation between Church & State was established so that there would be NO official Church and that all could worship as they will. This is the #1 most incorrectly qouted. It was never meant for arguements on whether God can be put on our money or in classrooms.

    Finnaly, when the gay community came out and said they were comming after relgions once this passed they shot themselves in the foot. They scared both Conservative Democrats/Republcans and that's why actual voting has shown a huge margin. This will not pass any election. 0-30 is bad no matter how you spin it and that includes CA.

    May 14, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Honestuck

    Wishful Thinking...

    May 14, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. Bob

    NEWSFLASH: Conservatives think the democratic president's announcement that they dont agree with will damage him. Um....DUH!?!?!

    May 14, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. helpuz

    Let' hope it costs him the election – we cannot afford his ill-conceived economic policies any longer!

    May 14, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Jesse

    Marriage in the religious sense and marriage in the governmental sense are not the same thing. In the governmental sense, marriage is a legal partnership between two individuals that combines assets, allows for tax and insurance benefits, and allows the individuals to speak on each other's behalf when one is incapable.

    The arguments about the sanctity of marriage and the need to raise children is poor reasoning. Every religion has every right to define marriage as they please and hold their followers to that credo. Allowing the government to infringe on peoples rights to partner with whomever they wish is big government. And isn't the republican party against more gov't regulation?

    May 14, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Dejavu65

    The old boring out of touch Conservatives dont realize its 2012 and try to tell everybody especially women how to think..This guy are so out of touch just look at them!!....They will take away the middle class money first and our rights second!!

    May 14, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Ed

    “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.

    Here in lies the trouble with the right. Positions are always about political expediency rather than a person's actual views. Obama's timing may have been "ill-conceived", but his position appears to be a personal shift after much reflection.

    May 14, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. Loathstheright

    It's called "Equal Rights", something conservatives don't understand.
    They say, we want our Freedom, but not for you, or you and certainly not you.
    They are as UnAmerican as you can get.

    May 14, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |

    "Conservative leader: Obama marriage announcement comes at a cost"
    On the American political landscape the only group of people who are STILL homophobic enough to deny gay people equal rights and equal protection under the law IS Conservatives.
    In the real world, Gay people are co-workers, mothers, aunts, fathers, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters. And you want us to deny them the same rights that we enjoy because we are straight and they are gay?!?!
    no, the only impact of Obama's announcement is that the people who were not going to vote for Obama STILL won't vote for Obama...moving on

    May 14, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. Nope

    "Separation of State & Church is written in the Constitution. "

    No. No it's not. It was mentioned in a letter from Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in 1802. Here is the quote, "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

    Please learn the facts before you make an argument.

    May 14, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  25. Bob

    The president did NOT endorse anything about law, he accepts it. I believe he is married with two lovely daughters...last I knew. Just as we don't wish others to force their beliefs on us, we should not force our beliefs on them! We are a country with freedom of religion...whether you are Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, or Atheist...Straight, Gay, or somewhere in between...Black, White, Red, or is your right in America. Those that do not like these rights have one other right as an option...the right to leave.

    May 14, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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