At a press conference in Oklahoma this afternoon, presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney responded to President Obama’s historic endorsement of marriage equality. But instead of attacking Obama for supposedly undermining the institution of “traditional marriage,” or for “flip-flopping” on his position, as many conservatives already have, Romney just restated his own “preference” and said it would be up to others to decide if Obama had changed his mind.
“My view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and women, and that’s my own preference, I know other people have differing views,” he said. Asked if he Obama had flip-flopped, Romney said only, “you’re a better judge of that than I,” to a reporter. “If that’s the case, you’ll be able to make that determination on your own,” he added. Watch it:
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney took a hard line against same-sex marriage after the state Supreme Court legalized it. “On my watch, we fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage,” he declared to the conservative crowd at CPAC this year. He also signed the anti-gay National Organization For Marriage’s (NOM) pledge, in which he promised to fight for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning gay marriage and defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In 2003 and 2004, Romney touted his opposition to marriage equality to curry favor with the GOP base, and even testified before the Senate Judicial Committee in favor of a federal ban on same-sex marriage.
Now, Romney says that excluding gay people from marrying is merely his “preference”? With this muted response, he’s a bit all over the map.
When Romney was locked in a tough Republican primary against hardcore social conservatives, it suited him to go on the attack on marriage. But now that he’s trying to appeal to independents in the general election and talk exclusively about the economy, he’s just trying to move on as quickly as possible. But the social conservatives who never quite trusted him may not let him.