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. joe

    I have never seen two more smug self righteous faces than the two faces in the video at the head of this article. They give me the creeps.

    May 13, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. CBR

    The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights firmly establish that everyone is equal. Religion is established as a freedom and clearly no one religion is mentioned. We are a country of people who are entitled to freedom and liberty.

    Some will not support this right of marriage for all people but that does not mean that the right should not be given. Each person has the right to decide for his or herself. It is very sad that the Republican feel that they have the right to declare who can and cannot be married. It just is not in their power.

    May 13, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. Patroni1970

    Gary Bauer? Wasn't he the guy that couldn't even flip a pancake without killing himself. Yeah, like anybody should care what he thinks.

    May 13, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. Larry L

    If this costs anybody it will be the bigoted Evangelicals who want to pry into everybody's personal lives. WHAT DOES SAME SEX MARRIAGE DO TO THREATEN ANYBODY? Get over the fact that you don't "approve".

    Does it make these people want to divorce and find a gay partner? Is that their fear? If so they should quit worrying... the gay community really isn't recruiting angry bigots.

    May 13, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    The bible thumping religious right zealots were not going to vote for him anyway so, no, it doesn't hurt him.
    The sociorobot, on the other hand, when he ran in MA a few years ago said that he would be more for gays than Senator Kennedy. Now he is against it.
    Principles people, principles that the flip flopper doesn't have!

    May 13, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  6. Jake

    and the GOP not supporting all Americans have already been a significant cost to them.

    May 13, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. Jim

    Exactly why isn;t same sex marriage a civil rights issue?

    May 13, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Dr Matrix

    Dream on. The people who are against it wouldn't vote for Obama anyway. Want religion out of politcis? Take away the tax-exempt status of any religious organization that makes endorsements and take stands on p0olitical issue.

    May 13, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. BD70

    It will help Obama. Even at the risk of losing votes he stands by what is right. If the evangelica's can't deal with that oh well.

    May 13, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. Educator 36

    As a moderate democrat I see the Biden/Obama position costing the democrats the election. We had it firmed up until this. Now we will have Rmoney and another decade of decline for the middle class until there is no middle class left...

    May 13, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. fernace

    It doesn't sound like Romney & his advisors want to "defend the family"so much, as they want to "define" it & that's over-reaching their positions! They are not giong to be able to force us to conform to their narrow views, because Americans are able to think for ourselves & have enjoyed a couple centuries of freedom of speech! Many of us will excercice that right in Nov. & Obama/Biden will have 4 more years to move us forward, into this century, not backwards to 1912, per the GOTP agenda!!!

    May 13, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. TheTraveler

    What a load of baloney. At least I give the man credit for speaking his mind.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    May 13, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. Tom

    While personally believing you should marry whomever you choose, marriage is not a RIGHT. It is a legal contract between two consenting adults. Governments can set the boundaries. I do not hear any of you yelling for your "right" to marry your sister or brother, or your "right" to marry a 14 year old.

    May 13, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. ItsJustLogic

    Gay marriage is an issue of civil rights and equality before the law. Same sex couples need to be treated equally in matters like social security benefits, tax benefits, health care benefits, military dependent benefits, and immigration law. Because these important legal benefits of marriage are handled at the federal level, it is important to address the issue of gay marriage at the federal, not just the state level. Therefore, leaving the issue of gay marriage to the states does little to address the issue of equality under the law.

    So, what needs to be done? There’s clearly no way federal legislation to legalize gay marriage can be passed anytime in the near future, due to its association with religious beliefs and the slow rate at which public opinion is evolving.

    I think we need to work on a 2-pronged plan.

    First, let each state work on the issue of gay marriage at its own pace. Some will lead the way and benefit from the participation of gay and lesbian families in their community and economic activities. Others will continue to lag until there is a national consensus that forces them on board. But this is no excuse for inaction at the federal level.

    The second prong must be to pursue equality at the federal level in as aggressive a way as possible, without waiting for the states to do their part. The way to do this is to obtain federal legislation that doesn’t interfere with anyone’s religious beliefs. This means legislation that separates civil rights from the emotionally charged word of “marriage.” Leave that word to the fights in the churches and the states for the time being.

    The crucial thing from a civil rights standpoint is to get federal legislation that permits and recognizes gay civil unions to be a status completely equal to marriage under the law. Gay and lesbian couples would still need to find a state or a church willing to bless their unions with the title of “marriage.” But they would be able to obtain a document of civil union from any courthouse…. and could take that to the IRS or social security office and be assured of equality under the law. That would be a huge step forward from where we are now, and much more sensible than waging battle over the term “marriage” in the national political arena, in its current un-evolved state.

    May 13, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. Get Real

    Yogi – what part of Christ's command don't you understand, "Go and sin no more."
    Compassion involves telling people the truth and not just telling them whatever they want to hear to make them feel good about themselves. Romans 1:26
    "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones." Compassion involves telling people there will be severe consequences if they disregard God's word and you would be wise to take heed and find out from God's word what the consequences are.

    May 13, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. Tinsley Stewart

    I knew Gary Baur in college. Silly boy then, silly boy now.

    May 13, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. NoTea4Me

    What a lot of people can't comprehend is marriage is not necessarily religious, it 's a legal union. You can get "married" by a judge, Justice of the peace or even a ships captain. And none of them need be religious. In fact they can be athiest. And if the laws get changed to make gay marriage legal, it doesn't mean the church has to recognize or perform the service.

    Get over it...

    May 13, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  18. Romney-da-Untruther

    People should clearly figure out that Romney is a Liar when he says he doesn;t remember what he did in high-school while five others who participated in it remember it so vividly. Don't elect a Blatant Liar for the POTUS!

    May 13, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. Marfadean

    Let's be real! President Obama's statement re SSM does not change my mind re who is better for the ccountry!

    May 13, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. New porter

    I agree with Jim. Merely riling up the feathers of he same flock does not a threat make.

    May 13, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  21. Liz

    Santorum is a bitter loser, I am a conservative, I am not against same sex unions, but I am not sure about marriage. But for someone to call himself a christian, or any other religious person, and then to try to pit one against another is not right. Santorum lost, and cannot get over it. Gov. Romney is smart enough to not take any advice from Santorum. Instead of Santorum thanking God for his good fortune he wants to spread hate.

    May 13, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. New porter

    You used he words republican and Christian values in the same sentence. That's a farce.

    May 13, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  23. Blue

    Perkins and Bauer, What a pair! I now know that President Obama has nothing to worry about. Perkins and Bauer, I can't stop laughing!!!!

    May 13, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. Suvali

    If this announcement costs Pres Obama,so be it. At least he had the courage [and God Bless Joe Biden before that] to stand up and speak out. We are talking CIVIL RIGHTS. We are talking Constitutional Rights. Some ignorant people cannot see beyond their own religious issues and understand that. It does not matter what objections people have, they will never justify the gay bashing that is tolerated by people who call themselves Christians. Churches, and that incudes the Catholics, Baptists and the Mormons, should remember their own history of persecution and leave the gays alone. They ought to be joining forces with them in order to protect the rights they go around touting. Their hypocricy is astounding. So is that of our Congressmen and women in DC and in individual State Legislatures. They go around talking about preserving TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE while they shack up with interns, Mistresses, girlfriends, call girls and God knows who else. That is a worse form of hypocricy than what we see from the churches. As for the Black Community,there is no excuse for their behavior,religious,moral or otherwise. They know what fighting for equality means. They still do not have it and will never achieve it without the help of other people in our communities. The Gay Community has been there for black causes and the blacks need to get their act together remebering what Civil Rights are all about and that they they are for EVERYONE. That would make more sense than listening to some biggotted black ministers.

    May 13, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  25. David Evan Karasek

    As the President noted the Golden Rule trumps all. It says so in the Bible too. If there is a form of marriage to be against it is marriage to our prejudices, even if we think those prejudices are justfied by our faith. In that light as we Christians cling to what is written in sacred scripture, we also read that "The letter kills but the Spirit gives life."

    May 13, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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