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. Delilah

    This was a brave decision by President Obama. It may or may not impact the election. But he stood up for his principles and the right of ALL Americans in their pursuit of life, liberty & happiness. I am a suburban, straight, middle aged woman and I was very happy and proud when the President spoke up.

    May 13, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  2. Ben Dover

    Bend over America! 7.3 trillion in debt and rising, economic failure, our soldiers still deployed! The Goverment is out of control, and we the people have allowed this to happen! Who cares about gay rights when there are so many other issues to deal with. If a person fails to do their job they get Fired! Why shouldn't the same thing happen to our Government officials who fail to perform the duties they were elected to do! Wake up people gays will be together whether legalised or not! Don't lose sight of the real issues we the people need to address.

    May 13, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  3. Joe citizen abroad

    "Ill-conceived position"? Sounds like it's a very carefully considered position, one that takes into account the Constitution, instead of the Bible. And last time I checked, the Constitution is the law of the land. Not only that, it's a courageous thing to do...speak your mind plainly, without hiding behind a fog of ambiguous political equivocation. If the president doesn't get points for that, then our country has completely lost its ability to judge character and leadership. If eight years of W's gibberish didn't teach us that, nothing will.

    May 13, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  4. znHcats

    These two hypocrites think they are above people. If support the civil right will cost Obama's re-election, our country will has no hope.

    May 13, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  5. Investment Advisor

    We can only hope!! But by the time the election gets here, this will be no news.

    May 13, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  6. Ralph G.

    The presumption Bauer made was that this was a bad political move. Obama knows that it might not be a good political move, but it is what he feels.

    May 13, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  7. Paul Ernest Show

    Gary is not a Christian neither does he represent any Christian segment. He is a hypocrite though. A man that desires equality, in a democratic society, against another who has made or fabricated his own religion. A non Christian. Speaking of dining with the devil. Has he spent time to review the things Romney believes and compare them with the president's total view and beliefs, he would not shake hands with Romney. From A to Z ,Romney's view on Both Jesus Christ and God is fraught with serious flaws, fabrications, etc.

    May 13, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  8. MrManhattan

    Yet more proof that "winning" the Civil War wasn't necessarily a good thing.

    May 13, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  9. Former Obama supporter

    Obama will not lose votes for his new found stand on gay marriage! He will lose votes for being a horrible POTUS!!!!

    May 14, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  10. Alan

    This won't cost him any votes. Obama voters are largely supportive of gay marriage, Republican supporters are not. He won't win anybody over by taking this stance, but he won't lose anybody either. Nothing has changed.

    May 14, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  11. billy davis

    That's what I find interesting Mitt Romney has yet to take a position or show us a plan. All he says is whatever President Obama does is wrong. You can't be President without a plan of action. Fortunately, the American people see Romney as in sync with the party of no.

    May 14, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  12. Electroguy

    I dont think that there are ANY Republicans that dont want gay or straight people not to be happy. Gay people have civil unions. I dont understand why that isnt enough? If the Church says no, sorry..

    May 14, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  13. LandSlide

    Maybe he really does not want the job any more. Did you ever think about that? Being the leader of a country with millions of juvenile-acting, whiney, snobby, racist, sexually deviant, immoral, red/yellow/black/white/pink/purple/brown me-types can certainly take a toll on a man with a wife and his own two young kids. And to add to that, having to deal with leaders from other countries (i.e. Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, etc.) with their own egotisticals tendencies.

    Dealing with these behaviors for four years should be enough. Who, in their right mind, would want to continue to juggle all these emotional roller coasters?

    May 14, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  14. zeyn2010

    I don't understand how they can ban gays marrying! This is ridiculous – it's not illegal to be gay! Not only that, but they can adopt and raise children anyway! What's wrong with GOP? I don't get it. Stop using religion for votes! If there is a God, I'm sure there will be some punishment coming their way for using God's name for their political benefits!

    May 14, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  15. damo12345

    Could hurt him. Won't. Mitt will fail to win over anyone that MIGHT change their vote over this. Anyone that would be certain of not voting for a candidate that took a pro-gay rights stance was already voting for Mitt.

    May 14, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  16. Larry

    "Focus on why he would be a great president"?! What is this dork smoking? Romney wants to officially make gays second class citizens, end the middle and working class then take away help to the poor while giving massive tax breaks to people like himself. Again "Focus on why he would be a great president"?

    May 14, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  17. just saying

    obama has lost this election because of the gay marriage issue. blacks will not support him in the same numbers as 2008. oh by the way, i am a black man who voted for him in 2008.

    May 14, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  18. pachecosita

    I was so happy know that my president understand equality and he risked his presidency when he stood up for my rights. I am voting for the fist time with tear in my eyes. I came to this country running away from danger with the guy I loved. I hope in my heart the people realize that this is about equality, I don't want special rights, all I want is to be equal like you, be able to call my love a partner.

    The impact of this goes beyond marriage equality, It will lift the hope of the hole world to treat all humans equal. Many kids like I was, felt out of place because of who we are. If you are growing up and you have beautiful feelings for another person. There are others like you that have walked that road. You are not alone and I am fighting for you
    love will win!

    May 14, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  19. Sean

    It's funny how many religious leaders think that they're really righteous but at the end of the day, they're actually influencing other people's life the negative way.

    May 14, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  20. a realist

    Well said, Morris. My husband and I sent some more money to Obama after his announcement, and we have heard from several others who have done the same. This will HELP him, not hurt him. That will become clear very soon.

    May 14, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  21. a realist

    I dare any conservative to PROVE to us how anyone's gay marriage in any way harms anyone's heterosexual marriage. Also, marriage is a legal state, not a religious one. If you want to layer religion on top of it by having a church wedding or some words from a minister, okay, but as soon as you both sign a marriage license, you are married. You do not need any words said over you at all. My husband and I, both atheists, were married in the Houston courthouse years ago. Any religious words would have been anathema to us. But we are most certainly married.

    May 14, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  22. waikikijohn

    nothing the President could possibly same regarding any policy issue would elicit a positive comment from these two. Thye have despised this President from the moment he was elected.

    May 14, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  23. gary

    The religious right knows that it's losing control of it's flock. Americans for the most part have decided that people are people and all this huffing and puffing by Bauer and his ilk is futile. We've moved on.

    May 14, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  24. bailee

    Oh Dear! Chicken Little has been brought up from the ashes . . . And the sky will be falling right over President Obama's election campaign!! But of course!! The Republicans have to poor cold water on this accomplishment, and EVERY one that President Obama has made. I'll bet they are planning another "Just Say NO" "camp meeting on the day that President Obama is inaugurated in January 2013!.

    May 14, 2012 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  25. nolimits3333

    Taking a courageous and correct stand on a controversial issue is called leadership.

    May 14, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
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