Check out this astounding bit of political softshoe from the Republican nominee-apparent: On Thursday, Mitt said of gay couples adopting children:
… if two people of the same gender want to live together, want to have a loving relationship, or even to adopt a child — in my state individuals of the same sex were able to adopt children. In my view, that's something that people have a right to do.
So — in Mitt's "view," gay people have the right to adopt. That sounds like a statement of opinion — that things ought to be a certain way. The rest of Mitt's statement seems to express his satisfaction that state legislators have concurred with his opinion.
But on Friday, in an interview with Charlotte's WCTV, Mitt backpedaled:
Well, actually, I think all states but one allow gay adoption, so that's a position which has been decided by most of the state legislators, including the one in my state some time ago. So I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one.
So then — what Mitt really meant when he said that "in his view" gay adoption is a "right" is that it's his opinion that it's legal, not that it's his opinion that it should be legal. Which is weird. People don't usually have opinions on whether certain classes can or can't adopt. It's not really a subjective thing.
This is what's so cringemaking about Mitt's speeches and interviews. He crafts his public utterances to obfuscate, not to clarify. What that suggests about his faith in the listening and voting public — or about his own faith in his abiiity to appeal to that public — is debatable. Whatever it is, it can't be good.
(Incidentally, Mitt's wrong. It's not "all states but one" that allow gay adoption. It's all states but two. Mitt was probably thinking of Utah; the other outlier is Mississippi.)