MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Attacks RNC Chief's Conservatism Over Issue of Gay Marriage

Perhaps inspired by comments made by Vice President Joe Biden on Meet the Press a day earlier, Andrea Mitchell continued MSNBC's drumbeat of activism on gay marriage on her May 7 program. Mitchell seized on Biden's categorical support for same-sex marriage as an opportunity to litigate the issue with Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus.

During her interview with the chairman, Mitchell tried to excuse President Obama’s "evolving" position on gay marriage by suggesting that Mitt Romney has an authenticity issue himself.  Mitchell showed her liberal colors, disgustingly attacks conservatives like Romney and Priebus who oppose gay marriage by claiming that, "as a conservative, as a true conservative, what could be more conservative than a committed relationship between a man and a man or a woman and a woman who want to embrace the sanctity of marriage?" 


 

"I simply do not understand the position by true conservatives who say they don't believe in committed relationships," Mitchell lectured.

Priebus didn't  fall into the trap set by Mitchell and fought back pointing out that, "in regard to Mitt Romney's position on this, 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 that a marriage is between a man and a woman?"

Mitchell cannot stand the fact the Romney has the same position as Obama on gay marriage and used the line that the President is "evolving" on the issue earlier on Morning Joe so instead she has to resort to attacking conservative values such as protecting marriage.

Of course, if liberals think Obama is "evolving" towards full-throated support of same-sex marriage, wouldn't they equally think he's "devolved" from his previous support FOR same-sex marriage in the mid-1990s.

As Ben Smith, then of Politico.com, noted in mid-January 2009, Obama strongly endorsed "legalizing same-sex marriage" in a questionnaire sent him by a gay/lesbian Chicago newspaper during his 1996 run for state senate, wherein he pledged that he would  "fight efforts to prohibit" same-sex marriages.

North Carolina voters will decide on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman and forbid the Tar Heel State from recognizing same-sex marriages. Obama has refused to weigh in on the dispute.

See relevant transcript below.


MSNBC
Andrea Mitchell Reports
May 7, 2012
1:12 p.m. EDT

ANDREA MITCHELL: Let me ask you about this whole issue of gay marriage and give you a chance to respond to what has been said by both the President, the Vice President, and this North Carolina vote that's coming up tomorrow. What is the latest position of Mitt Romney and the Republicans on this issue?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Well, I think Governor Romney and the Republican Party has 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. I swear to you, I still can't figure out what Stephanie [Cutter], where her position is, and the President's position on this issue to me, it's not so much the issue that is as important as watching how the President is trying to play this game. They want to have everything. They want the Vice President out there  nuancing the issue, not even nuancing, fully embracing gay marriage. Then they march out Arne Duncan and embrace gay marriage and then the President comes around the other corner and says I don’t want

MITCHELL: They didn't march out Arne Duncan. Reince in his defense he was coming on to talk about the teacher program and he was asked that question. I was sitting right here on the set. He was asked that question by Mark Halperin.

PRIEBUS:  Ok, fair enough. 

MITCHELL: There was nothing deliberate about that, believe me.

PRIEBUS: Fair enough but my point is still the same.  The President wants to be able to play both sides of this issue. He's obviously concerned about what's going on in North Carolina. He doesn't want to the fully embrace what his Vice President is saying. But he wants the benefit of what the Vice President is saying. And to me, this is what I think this country has had enough of. And if there's any vulnerability I think of Obama, you can say he hasn't fulfilled the mission and the economy and the jobs and all of these other things. But I think his biggest vulnerability is, he's just not authentic anymore. I mean people just aren't buying what he's selling because they don't believe he's real anymore, that it’s politics.  He has become the ultimate Washington politician and this latest episode in regard to gay marriage is a great example of that.

MITCHELL: But doesn't your own candidate, Mitt Romney have an issue of authenticity? Of persuading people even within your own Republican Party that he is the real deal? And also, as a conservative, as a true conservative, what could be more conservative than a committed relationship between a man and a man or a woman and a woman who want to embrace the sanctity of marriage? I simply do not understand the position by true conservatives who say that they don't believe in committed relationships.

PRIEBUS: Well, I mean, it depends on you know, what I would tell you is that in regard to Mitt Romney's position on this, 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 that a marriage is between a man and a woman? Isn't that Barack Obama's position? I mean you're buying into this --

MITCHELL: But Mitt Romney is against civil unions.

PRIEBUS:  But I'm just saying don't...what I'm saying is don't buy into...

But there is a difference between Romney –  but there is a difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, is there not? One is in favor of civil unions and legal protections. The other is not.

PRIEBUS: The difference is that Mitt Romney is being honest about his position the whole way through. He's claiming that marriage should be between one man and one woman. It's Barack Obama who if he got on your show and you asked him that question, he would say the same thing. But then he would march out the Vice President to confuse the issue.  He would have all of his surrogates talking about Obama's nuanced position on the issue, but yet, when confronted on the issue, Obama says marriage is between a man and a woman. What I'm suggesting to you, Andrea is that, Barack Obama will say and do anything and have other people around him say and do anything to help him get elected. That's what this is about.
 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.