Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) appeared at the National Press Club this afternoon, where he promoted his new book A Simple Government and reiterated his opposition to President Obama’s decision not to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. “I think the President made an incredibly, amazing, inexplicable political error yesterday because he is out of touch with the voters in every state in which this has been on the ballot,” Huckabee said, before suggesting that Obama broke a campaign promise by refusing to uphold the Act in a court of law:
HUCKABEE: If he wanted to keep his promise, which he said this should be handled legislatively, he should have kept his promise. He broke it. He should also explain why this isn’t the position he took during the campaign. I’m convinced that had he taken this position in the campaign, he might not have been elected. But it is very different than the position he took during the campaign. He said he did not support same-sex marriage, in fact supported traditional marriage of man and woman.
But Obama openly opposed the Defense of Marriage Act as a candidate in 2008, pledging to “fully repeal” the law and grant LGBT couples federal rights. He is also still “grappling” with his position on marriage, which while not yet supportive of same-sex unions, is “evolving.”
Moreover, despite Huckabee’s claim that Obama followed the whims of a district court in finding DOMA unconstitutional, the administration argues that two new challenges to DOMA in November of 2010 brought about the change. As the New York Times explained, “Unlike previous challenges, the new lawsuits were filed in districts covered by the appeals court in New York — one of the only circuits with no modern precedent saying how to evaluate claims that a law discriminates against gay people.” The administration decided that sexual orientation deserved a higher level of constitutional scrutiny and that under that standard of review, Section 3 of the law was unconstitutional.
Huckabee is wrong in his assessment, but it’s worth pointing out that he didn’t call on the House or the Senate to step in and defend the law, suggesting that Republicans are reluctant to run on the issue in 2012.