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White House Continues to Spin Biden Remarks on Gay Marriage, 'Clear Distinction' Between Obama and Romney

Obama’s chief campaign adviser David Axelrod again attempted to bring remarks made by Vice President Joe Biden over the weekend in support of marriage equality in line with Obama's position in a conference call with reporters today, according to Ed O'Keefe at the WaPo:

AxelrodAxelrod told reporters that Biden’s statements “were entirely consistent with the president’s position, which is that couples who are married, whether they’re gay or heterosexual couples, are entitled to the very same rights and very same liberties.”

Referring to the administration’s stance on the Defense of Marriage Act, which the federal government is appealing., Axelrod said: “The president believes that that law is unconstitutional and that if people are married we ought to recognize those marriages and afford them the rights to which they’re entitled.”

Axelrod had tweeted shortly after Biden's Meet the Press appearance:

"What VP said-that all married couples should have exactly the same legal rights-is precisely POTUS's position."

In the call today, Axelrod also tried to draw a distinction between Obama and Romney, noting Romney's donations to NOM in support of efforts to pass Proposition 8 in California:

Though Axelrod sounded reluctant to discuss the issue again Monday — after tweeting about it Sunday — he quickly contrasted the Obama administration’s position on gay rights with Romney’s record.

The former Massachusetts governor “has funded efforts to roll back marriage laws in California and other places,” Axelrod said, adding that Romney “believes that we need a constitutional amendment banning the right of gay couples to marry and would take us backward not forward. There’s a very clear distinction in this race.”

Incoming Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin isn't buying the White House spin, he tells MetroWeekly:

"Only in Washington and in politics could someone attempt to parse the words of what the vice president of the United States said on Meet the Press today...His words speak for themselves -- and they send an incredibly important message outside Washington to the young LGBT teenager hearing the vice president of the United States talk about his belief in marriage equality and the fact that he or she can grow up and have the same dreams and aspirations as their friends, their colleagues, their parents...His words can speak for themselves. I don't think anyone in America -- or, I should say, I don't think anyone outside Washington -- would have any question what the vice president was saying."

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Comments

  1. Oh my God, Chad Griffin is already such a breath of fresh air after years of pandering by Joe Solomonsleeze.

    I left HRC over Solomonese and his cocktail and capitulate method of activism. I was waiting to see if Chad was going to be different before rejoining HRC. I already got my answer. I'm rejoining today.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 7, 2012 12:30:55 PM


  2. I don't really see this as spin.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 7, 2012 12:48:36 PM


  3. Does anyone seriously think that in an election year what Biden said yesterday and the Secretary of Education said today in support of marriage equality was an accident? Clearly this is a trial balloon from the Obama administration. Obama has already said he believes DOMA is unconstitutional. He got rid of DADT... regarding Axelrod - I don't see anything controversial or wrong about what he said. He basically is saying yeah, POTUS supports
    marriage equality - without saying it. This being May, I think as the campaign drags out you'll see the president finally come out and just say it...I mean really, does any gay person seriously want Romney in the White House? I think not...

    Posted by: Mike | May 7, 2012 12:51:45 PM


  4. He's actually right. When you get married, you don't get a federal license, but a state one. And MIKE is oh so right.

    Posted by: David R. | May 7, 2012 1:02:45 PM


  5. You get FEDERAL benefits.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 7, 2012 1:58:24 PM


  6. Mike is right. This is getting blown way out there. But of course some folks get so caught up they don't see the reality.

    Posted by: wondermann5 (@wondermann5) | May 7, 2012 2:15:57 PM


  7. I agree with TampaZeke on this one. I think the big news in all of this is not what anyone said but Chad Griffins response. How long have we needed someone in charge of HRC with some balls! Hopefully he keeps his character and does not morph into a clone of Joe S!

    Posted by: RandyOw | May 7, 2012 3:09:29 PM


  8. Chad ... what a great start! I hope he continues his way of thinking and is will sure help turn around HRC to truly becoming a champing for "human rights".

    Enough with the administration homophobia and cowardice! It is so 1990s.

    Posted by: FunMe | May 7, 2012 3:13:48 PM


  9. How exactly did Axelrod "parse" what Biden said. He was pointing out that Biden articulated the same exact position that Obama has had for years.

    I keep pointing out on this forum, that Obama does already support marriage equality in practical terms, but many people don't understand that. This is why Biden's remarks seemed like news to some people even though there was nothing new there at all.

    Posted by: JP | May 7, 2012 4:27:00 PM


  10. @TAMPAZEKE: yes, I'm fully aware of federal benefits, but those are blocked by DOMA, which Obama is fighting.

    Posted by: David R. | May 7, 2012 8:46:47 PM


  11. I will not vote for any president who supports gay rights to marriage

    Posted by: BETTY HICKS | May 10, 2012 4:54:44 PM


  12. President Obama you should be ashamed of yourself to as a president uphold this policy and stance you will not get my family's vote I am in Arkansas and gays and liesbians is not accepted as a way of life

    Posted by: BETTY HICKS | May 10, 2012 4:57:42 PM


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