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. sam9962

    If this announcement will cost PBO.. then America be careful what you wish for! This was nothing short of an announcement on equality for ALL. If a person who was supporting PBO doesn't vote for him due to this issue..please do not complain when the other guy is elected president. Trust me... his annoucements will scare the skin off your bones!

    May 13, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. Rob

    Get over the gay issue. No mortal has the right to judge another man. Remember? Or are we a bit hippocritical?

    May 13, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    Obama's announcement doesn't come at any cost at all. The far right wasn't going to vote for him regardless of what he says or does.◄

    And the African American vote will still be behind President Obama, no matter how the RIGHT wants them to think differently!!! It's just ONE of Obama's policies some may not agree with – it's 100% of Romney's policies we don't agree with!!! President Obama could have waited until AFTER the election but he did not!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    May 13, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. Meki60

    Obama still has voter fraud as his platform

    May 13, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  5. KM

    For those who think that this change in position doesn't matter, it does. Where it matters is with moderates who do not support the legal redefinition of marriage to include same sex partners. Obama carried states possessing a large percentage of such moderates in 08' due to his moderate/unstated stance on such issues. Wading into such issues as same sex marriage and/or abortion seldom reaps postiive results for presidential candidates. I'm not necessarily stating that this stance will cost him the election, but I do feel it will cost him some support and votes that he might otherwise had received had he not delved into the subject. Strategically it is a risky venture at best. At worst it could sway the election outcome. There's a reason why they call such issues the "third rail".

    May 13, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  6. randy

    Wait, this lightweight, right wing clown says "This is going to cost Obama" and so you make a headline saying "This could cost Obama." Well, it's easy to see how these right wingers who have been wrong about EVERYTHING keep managing to shape the narratives and the national conversation.

    The most pathetic thing it the way that, in spite of this, all the right wingers show up here to complain about CNN somehow being in the tank for "libruls." They know it's true because Fox told them so.

    May 13, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  7. nvtncs

    To the religious right:
    This is a free country.
    You are entitled to your definition of marriage.
    Others are entitled to theirs.
    You do not have the right to impose your "values" on others. Furthermore, do not stick your noses in others' affairs.

    May 13, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  8. democrat in valparaiso

    No, we're just seeing what a bunch of bigots the GOP really is. And what a bunch of hate mongering religious zealots out for money are supporting Romney.

    May 13, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  9. RF Burns

    It will cost him votes in southern swing states. At the very least, don't look for him to carry North Carolina and Virginia.

    May 13, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  10. springthecat

    Bizzarre. A man stands up for his belief in equality for all in this country, and those on the right somehow feels he should be pulling the same stunts Romney pulls....that is, saying only what is necessary to get elected. In an age where candidates show little more than fabricated moral courage, it's not surprising that those most culpable would denigrate a man who actually believes in something, and it refreshing to see that he will stand by his belief depite the possibility of losing votes.

    May 13, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  11. ohgram

    The first mistake Bauer made is when he said, "I think......" The second mistake is that he is guessing that the President lost six or seven states because of his stand on marriage for those who choose. He has no clue what I think or who I will vote for so who does he think he is to say what the American people will do when many do not even know who they will vote for in November? For so many years now, the Republicans like to say what they hope is true so that those who can't think for themselves will believe the Republican rhetoric and side with them. Well, the younger generation doesn't buy that garbage and can see through it and think for themselves.

    May 13, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  12. Venkman

    Between these guys, Rand Paul, and Reice Prebus, the Republican Party is demonstrating the hypocracy of their platform- "We're for individual freedoms and smaller, less intrusive government... except for when we're not."

    May 13, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  13. GOP = Greed Over People

    Any type of love is better than hate.

    May 13, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  14. GoodRiddance

    one thing is for sure. If we all accept gay marriage, the next thing we will be discussing about polygamy, child marriage and shariat law and the list grows, which are totally correct to argue.

    May 13, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. GoodRiddance

    IUS is a deomcratic country. if majority americans elected obama for his views in2008 then the same majority has the right to denounce him in 2012 if his views are changed. there is nothing to be happy or sad about it. this the way democracy works.

    May 13, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  16. danielwalldammit

    Gonna use homosexuals as a chess piece to attack Obama. Yep. This is what Christianity gives to the Republican party, it's truly malicious streak.

    May 13, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    There is always a price to pay when taking a courageous and righteous stand. President Obama should be commended for doing the right thing.

    May 13, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  18. Rob Rubin

    So what are African Americans going to do? Stay home and not vote and let Romney and the rest of the GOP take over and let them screw things up worse for them?

    I think it's ridiculous that people would withdraw support for Obama on a matter that frankly won't directly affect their lives in any way. I mean, can anyone honestly say that gay couples that they don't even know and probably will never see, somehow is going to directly hurt their lives? It's none of your business. If you're not gay and don't like gay marriage, don't attend a gay wedding, it's that simple. It's just like not watching Jersey Shore or Teen Mom if you think those shows are offensive. Gay couples aren't going to come crashing through your door kissing and having sex in your living room.

    And frankly, given all that African Americans have gone through in their history, shouldn't they be more sympathetic to groups being persecuted for being "different"?

    May 13, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  19. JS

    It was a brilliant political move...keep boxing in Romany to prevent his efforts to drift to the middle...he's on board with declaring war on women, why not gays?

    May 13, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  20. Norm

    Larry: Every American currently has equal rights in most cases. God made Adam and than Eve for Adams mate. Every man has and equal right to find the woman of his dreams, marry, bare children and spend the rest of his life with her. Isn't it something what people will do for money or votes? I have no disagreement with Unions but marriage should be between a man and a woman as was created by God in the beginning.

    May 13, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  21. Iammarried

    Right for all vs rights for a few = no brainer

    May 13, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  22. eroteme

    Obama's decision, which he had decided when he said his opinion was 'evolving' and being he has been campaigning since his election, he and his advisors decided there would be more votes for him if he favored same sex marriages and Biden the Mouth forced his earlier than planned announcement. But he looked for expert advice, or so he said, consulting with his daughters before making his decision.

    May 13, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  23. Nft

    It is problematic that religions that have their origins in fiction and lack of knowledge are used to perpetuate the mistreatment of people. The bible has also been used to explain why slavery, rape, incest, virgin birth, murder, genocide have been used in the past to get rid of people not a part of the "in crowd." In the same way, Liberty University is an oxymoron.

    May 13, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  24. ArtInChicago

    Uh...don't think so.

    May 13, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  25. david

    The President's statement was long overdue No Republican will ever vote Democratic. This is about collecting the center vote. This is about collecting the woman vote. This is about showing everyone that has something to lose if a Republican wins, what they have to lose.

    May 13, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
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