President Barack Obama speaks to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies dinner Tuesday, May 8, 2012, in Washington.
By Jared A. Favole and Carol E. Lee
President Barack Obama will sit down for an interview Wednesday with ABC News as pressure mounts on the president to clarify his “evolving” views of gay marriage. The interviewer will be “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts.
Gay marriage has become a front-burner issue again in the election, this time because Vice President Joe Biden said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that he was “absolutely comfortable” with gays and lesbians marrying. Then the president’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, said in an MSNBC interview Monday morning that he supports gay marriage.
Their comments left many wondering where the president stood on the issue, and if it has changed.
The White House, canceled the daily briefing Wednesday by press secretary Jay Carney, a sign that the president’s advisers want his comments to be the only public ones from the administration on this issue today.
ABC said on its website that it had an exclusive interview with the president, and that a preview would air on its “Nightline” program.
Mr. Obama opposed same-sex marriage and supported civil unions as a candidate in 2008, but two years later he said his views on marriage were “evolving.” Many have said those comments suggest he is leaning toward supporting gay marriage, but won’t do so during an election year amid fears it could alienate some voters.
The White House has declined to clarify the president’s personal views on the issue, saying he will speak for himself. “I think the president is the right person to describe his own personal views,” Mr. Carney said at sometimes testy briefing Monday. “He, as you know, said that his views on this were evolving, and I don’t have an update for you on that.”
The president hadn’t previously been pressured to explain his stance because he has delivered on gay-rights issues, including repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that banned gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military.
The Obama campaign has attempted to turn the focus about gay marriage onto Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who has said marriage is between a man and woman.
Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said Tuesday Mr. Romney “hasn’t evolved — he has regressed.” The Romney campaign said the former Massachusetts governor’s position hasn’t changed.
This article originally appeared on: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/05/09/obama-gives-interview-amid-gay-marriage-questions/Older postNewer post