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George Pataki thinks President Obama’s decision to stand back on gay marriage is like another high-profile issue of “flexibility.””If you ask me, his position is a lot like what he said then to [Russia] Prime Minister [Dmitry] Medvedev when he said, ‘Just wait ’till after the election,'” Pataki said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning, ahead of Obama’s visit to the Albany area today.
And now Republicans are hammering Obama on the issue of gay marriage, a nightmarish scenario for the President. It comes at a time when Obama visits Albany and will stand next to a governor who championed a same-sex marriage bill in New York — and oh by the way could have presidential aspirations of his own.
And it comes at a time when Obama’s vague view has suddenly come into the spotlight following the recent public endorsements of gay marriage coming out of his administration — first from Vice President Joe Biden and then from Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Pataki is doing it right, from a political sense. He’s turning this into another issue on which Obama won’t take a stand.
“Either you’re for something or against it,” Pataki said. “Vice President Biden has made it plain he’s for it. President Obama, on the other hand, is looking to have both sides.”
This will be a delicate balance for a party that will try to knock Obama on this issue. If Republicans really want to press the issue, they should follow Pataki’s example. NOT the example of the RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who went out and put himself at odds with Mitt Romney’s position in trying to hit Obama for his position.
Some excerpts from Priebus’ interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC yesterday, via Think Progress:
“Quite frankly, Andrea, the president’s position as it sits today is the same position of Mitt Romney, because isn’t the president saying that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman?”
Well, no. He’s said that his views on gay marriage are “evolving,” and no one actually believes that Obama is against gay marriage.
I think Governor Romney and the Republican Party have been pretty clear. We believe marriage is between one man and one woman. We believe, ultimately, that you can’t federalize that kind of mandate, which is why we believe that individual states can make those decisions on their own, and they’re doing that across the country. So we’ve been clear.
Oy. Except that, of course, Mitt Romney has signed the National organisation of Marriage’s federal pledge to “define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
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