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. Jean

    It is not a civil rights issue. Two men have decided to have sex with each other. Suddenly they deserve "special" rights. I don't think so.

    I am a lifetime Democrat and I will NOT be voting for Obama this time.

    May 14, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |

    @Steve If that's the case then it should lose 100% to 0% every time, but I don't think that's happened yet.

    May 14, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. P.J.

    I'm a republican, and have been pro same sex marriage for several years now. However, I'm about 99% that more than half of the Obama Supporters out there had no idea that Obama was against same-sex marriage up until 6 days ago, and that it was part of his platform in 2008. They won't admit it though.

    May 14, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. justao

    FYI conservatives...the kids are not on your side. When all the folks over 50 pass, this country will move with the trends and be more it always does.

    May 14, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Tom

    53% of the country agrees with the Presidents position on this according to the latest polls. The radical right wingers were not going to vote for him anyway. Big win for the President and the morally right thing to do.

    May 14, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Luke,AZ

    President Obama exemplifies great leadership. His decision to support gay marriage will ensure hi re-election.

    May 14, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. Mike

    Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. - Supreme Court, on Loving v. Virginia

    May 14, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. C. K. Justus

    I do not approve of same sex marriage, but I am certain since Obama said he not against same sex marriages it will affect my marriage at all or anyone's heterosexual marriage that I can see.
    Now anyone who is married thinks the decision of Obama to support same sex marriages will have an effect on their marriages, they had serious problem before his announcement

    May 14, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. Wake up people

    I don't care if President Obama changed his stance 6 days ago or 6 weeks ago, because I have done the same. I was raised to believe marriage is between a man and a woman also and I still somewhat feel that way but I cannot and will not discriminate against anyone. I also don't feel the government should be allowed to tell any human being they can't be married. My people barely have rights in this country as it stands, it's still not a law for blacks to vote, it is a mere voting rights act that gets extended. How can I discriminate against anyone when my very own people are still being discriminated by this same group of extremists?

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 14, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Cheryl Brooks

    Me and my family will not be voting Obama this election. God has not changed His views on same sex marriage... Man and Woman is the reproduction team that has began since we were created. I will not go against God for no man and loose my Blessings! I will not teach this type of union to my grand-children... Two married men cannot birth a child, how will they reproduce... Two married women cannot reproduce a child from their union... how will they reproduce... some unnatural way? All of this is so unnatural to nature. We will choose God's way over any man!!!!!!!!!!

    May 14, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Cheryl Brooks

    Should Obama's daughters's decide to marry the same sex when they are of marring age... how will he have any grand-children... oh... artificial... oh and he say's they are Christians... last I read in the Bible, God destroyed Sodom and Gommorah... Lot told the men of the City that they could have his daughter's as opposed to one another...

    May 14, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Tom-n-NoVA

    Sooner or later, the GOP will realize you do what's right because it's right. Intolerance of homosexuals is morally wrong and insulting to God who created everyone.. even homosexuals. The young children of conservatives will one day be apologizing for their parents bigotry... just as mine generation did regarding Afriican Americans.

    May 14, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. Tom-n-NoVA

    Jean... you are wrong. They are NOT asking for "special" right. Homosexuals are asking for the SAME rights. You are on the wrong side of the this issue morally. Plus... we all know you are NOT a Democrat... but a republican pretending to leave in disgust. No one is buying it.

    May 14, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. DPCFOH

    @Cheryl Brooks Obama is not saying that marriage is for reproduction, otherwise he'd be saying that all people who are not married and have children have broken the law. He's just allowing people to be married for whatever reason they see fit (love, legal, etc.) Also, most animal species are far more homosexual than humans (look up giraffe homosexual behavior).

    May 14, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. NCP

    Trying to make this a matter of "equal rights" is a diversion. It is not. Marriage, according to thousands of years of culture, tradition, religion, law and more is one man, one woman. Changing the definition of marriage to "include" others diminishes the institution of marriage is not the answer. To recognize and respect non-hetero sexual relationships in American culture and law, civil unions, or simply allowing anyone you designate to share property, hospital visitation rights, beneficiary status, etc. (i.e. "equality" under the law) is the answer.

    May 14, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. niet32

    Equal Right believers.

    Are you saying that ALL forms of marriage should be allowed or just gay marriage? Equal rights mean ALL who wish to marry should have the same opportunity – not just gay marriage.

    You can't say gay marriage is any more correct than polygamy or any other form.

    That's why equality is not a valid arguement.

    May 14, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Tom-n-NoVA

    Cheryl Brooks.. you ARE going against God. First..God is perfect...and God creates us all. Do same that homosexuals are a mistake of God is insulting to God. Shame on you. Is your sexuality a choice?? Of course not. Nor is homosexuality. You go against God's will in your intolerance of homosexuals. And remember... Jesus never said ANYTHING about homosexuality...EVER.

    May 14, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. DB in AR

    To all those who support banning marriage equality for all think of this. Why don't we ban marriage for convicted felons, devorcies, and people over 50. If we can pick and choose who gets married then I think we should REALLY be picky. We can't have criminals, and serial marryers (my word) and old people (if you have found love by 50 then give up) messing the marriage talent pool along with "THE GAYS" right?

    May 14, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. NCP

    If you understand that marriage is one man, one woman, no explanation is necessary. If you don't , no explanation is possible. It is NOT a matter of "equal rights". Those who claim it is want equality under the law (property rights, visitation, etc.), Fine, give it to them. Leave the institution of marriage alone.

    May 14, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. Janine

    @Cheryl: Get a grip, girl. Marriage is not just about reproducing yourself. Many people opt out of having children by choice; does that make marriage wrong for them? Your argument is baseless and ignorant at best. Put the bible down and use your brain for a change. This is exactly why progressives get angry at ultra conservatives. The intolerance for other people who are different than they are is not very "Christian" of you, now is it? You probably think being gay is a choice. Do some research before you unfairly judge others. I

    May 14, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. JDinTexas

    Why do people, who aren't gay, care if gay people get married? I really don't get it. It seems like everything the Republicans are against are things that don't affect them personally.

    May 14, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. Song

    This is not like a race issue and it is completely different. All power to whatever you choose and I would not say anything ugly about a gay union but it is not a marriage in mine and alot of other peoples eyes. Let the states handle it and lets see what happens. Thirty-two states already agree with me and when judges do not get involved its alot more. Obama stated a Biblical reason and in the Bible it states several times in the old Testament what constitutes marriage and it is not two of the same sex. Bringing his daughter into the conversation gives him even less credability.

    May 14, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. macbil

    I'm agreeing with Tom-n-NOVa in his response to Jean. Allowing gay marriage is not giving gays "special rights. " It giving them the rights that others have and they have been denied as citizens of the US. The same arguement was made about civil rights legislation in the 1960s. It wasn't giving blacks "special rights." it was giving them rights that other citizens had and they had been denied because of their race. Marriage is not just a religious union is a legal agreement as well and allows people the right to leave estates, transfer Social Security benefits to a survivor, visitation rights in hospitals, etc. These are rights that gays are denied because the state does not recognize their union.

    May 14, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. nurseteacher

    Wow! the president is a real leader. Most of you are arguing against gay marriage are republicans trying to pretend you were no longer supporting Obama. Evidently going back to the beginning of the Bible, you believe in the old Mormon way of polygamy. The Bible talks about the 800 wives of Solomon as well as lots of others with several wives. I believe as a Christian, that all should be accepted. No one affects my marriage of over 50 years. No one needs to wait until I die to have tolerance, I am ready at over 70. I have always believed in separation of church and state as did my father and grandfather. We should not be telling any consenting people of age how to behave in the bedroom.

    May 14, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. Tim

    Those 2 pre-historic babblers are right-but, the thing is that, it is coming to a cost to Mitt & Co. Didn't top GOP pollster, Jan van Lohuizen just urge Mitt and the GOP to reverse their stance on gay marriage? Mitt Romney, alexithemic as ever and the democrats loving him for it.

    May 14, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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