Gay marriage debate: Obama's pre-election change of heart
Will the president's reversal matter come November?
- Duration 6:39
- Date May 12, 2012
Will the president's reversal matter come November?
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Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report I'm -- you go in a preelection change of heart President Obama this week came out in support of gay marriage telling Robin Roberts of ABC news that he personally believe same sex couples should be able to way that.
So why now and will it help or hurt.
The president's reelection chances let's -- Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan and anger opinion journal dot com editor James Toronto.
And editorial board member.
-- preventive -- so James it's been leaking out from the White House that -- that this was planned some time before.
The election may be a Democratic National Convention time.
And that Biden move this up because of the timing of his remarks how do you read.
Well they're just things going on here -- one is -- -- food from a political standpoint this is about money.
The Washington Post reported recently that one in six of Obama's top on -- handlers to people who raise large sums of money from other people.
And also that a lot of these a lot of his -- -- supporters have been threatening not to donate money.
-- because of an executive order he didn't issue having to do with discrimination federal contractors who is coming under pressure from the money side.
Are the second thing is I don't think we should.
-- sell short the fact that this is what Obama believes our media you called -- -- change of heart it's really more of a change of position.
I peace took this position in favor of sex marriage when he ran for state senate in Hyde park Illinois and -- are ultra liberal neighborhood in Chicago.
In 1990 sex.
This is just he's coming -- he's decided it's no longer politically necessary.
For him to -- to conceal his true -- yeah I think the only thing -- this is -- whether we're gonna happen after the election before and he was gonna take enormous heat from the left if he didn't do this before the election because that would -- -- -- you look like cowardly.
Yes and he gets another chance to say he's involved you realize what's happened a perfectly good word in English language has now.
Then lost the time it's now Politico speak you can have a say -- again if -- The truth of the matter is that I think it will do him a lot of good.
I think it will shore up his credentials.
And I think it was going to happen -- -- -- but I don't think this and he disputing.
That it wasn't about to happen with that were planning.
In the last two days and Biden did push it he pushed it forward.
Also look at the -- -- it -- not a question of timing and it happens now as opposed to happening and him in August the real issue is I think he gets it I think I agree with -- I think that it's gonna help him.
On the on the left because he would have taken enormous abuse from the New York Times in the Washington Post as -- White House official was quoted as saying well.
If you -- him.
As the saying goes -- politics and being back they play rough they boycott people on and they were started leaning on the president.
And I think I agree with James a lot of it had to do with money and also has to do with turning out the base younger voters who are very much in favor of this -- It was not a slam dunk in Ohio most recent polls in -- pretty recent.
Put opposition to gay marriage and 52 to 32 Pennsylvania and other important state fifty to 38.
In Florida it's 4838.
And in Virginia and dom.
Idea what it's a wash so he's -- to have to go in to those states and explain to those people why he did this and I think the game is that.
Get this behind them now and by the time election comes around I think the issue will fade when frank.
We -- one other state we should mention is North Carolina State Obama carried our narrowly in 2008 which the -- before he made this announcement.
Voted to amend its constitution to define marriage as between a man and woman 61 to 39.
I Obama is generally on the wrong side of public opinion here and yes this helps him with the left wing days.
I think it hurts and I think it's gonna cost him some votes from blacks and Hispanics who are right all right we're very much against same sex marriage particularly blocks what do you think.
Well the four states that he needs Ohio.
At the -- that.
They have passed marriage then gay sex marriage events and however forward looking blacks are on this now as opposed where they were ten years ago and Latinos is still well behind in any sense of approval.
And this is a constituency Obama needs.
But that it it would only really hurt him if it becomes a really big issue.
And the question is will it be this year if the economy is the dominant political issue I'd argue no.
Yeah I don't know Paul it's one of those issues he's done that it's now been publicized deeply and people who normally just don't think about it are going to go away and absorb this into their calculation -- -- November vote.
And I think it will over the next five months have an effect -- -- suggesting on certain classes of voters what should Romney do how should handle.
Well I think you should don't say that he's in favor of the defense of marriage act and most importantly he should say.
That this issue should be resolved in the states not by the Supreme Court we do not need another Roe vs.
Wade -- this country apart for -- -- -- The defense of marriage act signed by Bill Clinton.
In to help with his reelection.
-- hit bad year yes and I voted for by Joseph Biden among others I think that.
On the maintained his composure.
You know he's showing his capacity to be pushed it but especially this blow up the story about bullying.
They -- the impulse to apologize.
If he maintained his composure on the gay marriage and how would you define maintaining his -- -- composure is by saying.
I have made -- Position clear on this -- -- -- -- for days.
This is what I believe and but -- but he's against -- there yes he is and and and there's nothing wrong with saying that.
And then saying we are in the world of trouble economically and terms of unemployment.
And I don't think we can contain.
What does this do to social conservatives.
Who have them wary of of Romney does this drive them more enthusiastically into his camp without Romney had to be doing any fact I think it does it drives -- -- more enthusiastic about voting against Obama at least.
And Romney cannot the most important thing for -- me.
Is the tone he strikes right he has to be matter of fact I'm opposed to those -- for the traditional by definition of marriage.
But he did -- just wanna come across his heart she -- when I come across as a Rick Santorum type that now would alienate -- voters even if they.
Are inclined to agree on the issue morally -- all right thanks folks still ahead.