Last month, President Obama made a historic appointment by tapping Jeremy Bernard to be the new White House Social Secretary, the first openly gay man to serve in the position. Critics praised the choice, calling Bernard “an excellent choice” with an “impressive and eclectic resume.”
However, one conservative recoiled at the selection: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).
ThinkProgress spoke with Gohmert about the issue at Tea Party Patriots Policy Summit last month in Phoenix. Gohmert said Obama’s pick was just the latest in an ongoing pandering effort “because he was losing people that helped get him elected.” Gohmert went on to declare the selection “patronizing” and made simply “because he’s already running for a second term.” Still, the Texas Republican was unsurprised by Obama’s choice because “we’ve already that with this president, there is no principle.”
KEYES: We saw even just yesterday that President Obama appointed as his new social secretary the first openly gay man. Do you think this shows that they’re advancing the gay agenda in this administration?
GOHMERT: It shows that he is scared to death he was losing his base, and that’s why the big push to push through repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that the military had not been asking for. It was the president that wanted that, who directed his Secretary who he appointed, directed his Joint Chief head that he appointed. He’s the one that drove that because he was losing people that helped get him elected. So all you’re seeing is patronizing to people hoping that they’ll come back with their money and help him in the next election, because he’s already running for a second term. We’ve already that with this president, there is no principle. He’ll say one thing and do the exact opposite if he thinks it will help him politically.
KEYES: And that’s what you think we’re seeing here for instance with this new social secretary?
GOHMERT: It’s exactly what we’re seeing. Of course. He’s on video saying that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, and then he gets here and he gets in trouble with one of his big base groups, so he says, “I’ll throw that core belief over and I’ll go placate these guys.” “No, you won’t lose your insurance. If you like your insurance, you can keep it.” That was a lie. I don’t know that he’s lying because that means intentional deception when he says it or where he says something and believes it and two minutes later he sees it more politically helpful to change gears, but either way it’s a problem having a leader that won’t do what he says he’ll do.
Gohmert’s history on gay rights issues is a veritable who’s-who of homophobia. In 2009, Gohmert said that a hate crimes bill including LGBT protections would lead to the legalization of Nazism, necrophilia, pedophilia, and bestiality. More recently, Gohmert warned that repealing the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy could lead to the “end of existence.“