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. Jay

    If you think the Republican party is the party of values, you are either misguided or a fool !!!!

    May 13, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. Andrew

    lol.. The right wing think tanks must be sharing some really strong drugs, because whatever they've been smoking has terrible side effects. The conservative view or agenda is on it's last leg.. trying to hold on for dear life.. thinking they can confuse and manipulate the remaining sheep in their flock. Yet, a storm is coming, the youth vote grows in large numbers every year.. the registered voters becoming more liberal and less religious in a christian sense.. these fools on the right don't realize the game is coming to an end.. and they will soon be a marginalized minority unable to make any real change in their favor. So either shut up and step aside or the younger generations wont be so forgiving.

    May 13, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. george S


    Congratulations, President Obama..well done...

    May 13, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. So let me get this straight (no pun intended) . . .

    the anti-gay crowd thinks Obama will lose support because he supports gay marriage. same people who pushed back against black-white marriage 50 years ago. . .

    May 13, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. moose

    I think this announcement was timed right by november no one will remember unless romney keeps pushing it and makes him self look far right and they will use it against him for not wanting rights for gays and women. Coming from a religion that was banished treated unfairly and basically forced to move to utah I would think Mitt would have a little better understanding of groups that are punished for how they live or who they are.

    May 13, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Robita

    You so called conservatives, who are actually just bigots, need to understand that this issue will not hurt the president. And by hanging on it you will just put yourselves further out of mainstream opinion than you already are. The reign of stupidity will soon be over, and amen to that.

    May 13, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. Edwin

    This costs him nothing. To the far right, he is perhaps more evil, but there choice had always been to stay home or vote for someone they thought was unworthy (Romney); this changes nothing to them. To the far left, this message carries energy that maybe Obama *is* worth a vote.

    As far as the middle goes, well they don't really care about gay marriage. They care about foreign policy and the economy. This announcement won't affect them at all. So the net effect is positive for Obama.

    May 13, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. JJ

    Cost what? The useless opinions of Perkins and Bauer? Look at them. We're talking the poster boys for the right wing loozer movement. Pfft. Like anyone cares. 🙂

    May 13, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |

    Since Obama came out in facour of gay marriage, why didn't he go further and lend his support to pedophile marriage, or beastiality marriage, or incestual marriage? Are these not sexual preferences as well??

    Are these next on the liberal to-do list??

    May 13, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. Bob Lewis

    On the contrary, taking a controversial stand during a close election cycle is the definition of political courage and will ultimately help him. It's something Romney would never have the balls to do.

    May 13, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    These religious types are so weak and co-dependent, always wanting everyone to believe exactly as they do. Talk about flimsy faith!

    May 13, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  12. Rick

    I believe voter will pick Obama over Romney if his views. Romney has no plans or has he given any plans for the economy or jobs. He just blasts Obama without giving us what his plans are. I think the voters, yng and old will understand Romney is not the person to run this nation. He has no experience on security and foreign policy. This is a big concern of the voters. Romney really has nothing to offer expect the Ryan budget, which would put his nation into a huge recession like Europe is experiencing. I think the voters will reelect Obama and defeat Republicans. To get this nation moving we need to clean out Republicans in the house and senate, They have done zero since 2010, stating they just want to defeat Obama.

    May 13, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. Rick

    Those who proport to be Christian are NOT. they were against the black have equal rights, women rights, and now gay rights. Is that really a Christian. NO WAY.

    May 13, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |

    can't stand these narrow minded, self righteous, holier than thou evangelical nuts!!! Only God can and will judge us!! These right wing loonies won't vote for Obama anyway. At least he took a stand, Mitt Romney has more flip flops than a shoe store. He's like a used car salesman. Obama 2012!!!

    May 13, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. whitmanguy

    As an American I greatly resent Gary Bauer and his entire organization for having taking it upon themselves to define "American values." I think these people are basically unAmerican and Fascistic in their notions of patriotism. Among the most revered of American values, and the most difficult to abide by, is the principle of diversity. This group wants a homogenized America, not the real one that is so much greater than they know or want to know.

    May 13, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  16. Cynthia L.

    The right acts as if the President just waved a magic wand and it was already a done deal that gays can marry. The Republicans have done nothing but bring on social issue after social issue. War on women, war on the middle class, war on latinos, war on voting citizens, war against gays, war on the poor, war-war-war. They want the Ryan plan and people hate it. The only way they can avoid questions about its validity is to distract, distract, distract.
    They'll drag us through the dirt and into the mud. It'll be fun to hose them down come November-I can't wait!!!

    May 13, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  17. Orwell questions

    Bauer? Is he not an inside dealer with Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed?

    I thought this self righteous hypocrite was an unindicted co-conspirator.

    Yea Bauer, a moral authority; let's give a microphone to Abrahoff now that he is out of prison.

    May 13, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  18. The Left Wing

    I guess "the cost" is why Romney is always on every side of every issue except helping the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

    May 13, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  19. Guest

    If you have another million dollars, he would flipflop again–the president who says whatever for a dollar or a vote.

    May 13, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  20. Reason & Logic

    Yes, Obama's support of gay marriage will hurt him... if we were still living in the 1950's.

    May 13, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  21. Swan_50

    This should cost the President at the polls. This is simply blatant pandering.

    May 13, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. kravitz

    The media may think black have an issue with gay marriage. Sorry folks. We have a bigger issue with Mitt Romney, period. And now, within the GOP, there are party members who are gay or are gay friendly. Their patience is wearing thin fast. Either the republicans stop crushing them and their pride, or they may leave – which means taking their gay republican money with them.

    May 13, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  23. Qwert

    A conservative leader trying to convince everyone Obama is going to lose votes?

    Not like they have anything to gain from making assumptions like that...

    May 13, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  24. Shannon

    It's not going to cost the President, bigots and racists weren't going to vote for him anyway. Come on, does anyone really believe that someone opposed to gay marriage supports this President. I don't think so!

    May 13, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  25. Gurgyl

    It is all abou equality clause in the eyes of the law. It a wise move by Obama. Obama12.

    May 13, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
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