At the briefing yesterday, ABC's Jake Tapper asked, but didn't receive, a coherent answer from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about the reason for Obama's opposition to marriage equality, given former President Bill Clinton announced he had changed his mind about the issue.
TAPPER: Former President Bill Clinton recently said that he’s basically in support of same-sex marriage. “I think it’s wrong,” he said, “for someone to stop someone else from getting involved in same-sex marriage.” Has President Obama heard these comments? Does he have a reaction? And why is Bill Clinton wrong about this issue?
GIBBS: Well, I’m not going to get into anybody’s opinion — I’m not going to criticize anybody’s opinion, least of all a former President of the United States, on something like this. I am not clear whether the President has seen that. I don’t know where that was from, so I don’t know if the President has seen it.
TAPPER: But President Obama holds a different opinion?
TAPPER: President Obama holds the same opinion he has earlier today.
TAPPER: Which is that same-sex marriage is wrong.
GIBBS: He does not support it. He supports civil unions.
TAPPER: Why does he feel differently than President Bill Clinton?
GIBBS: Because they don’t agree on the issue. (Laughter.) I’ve not obviously spent a lot of —
TAPPER: That’s not really an explanation of why he feels differently. That’s another word for it.
GIBBS: Well, I mean, I’m happy to — I mean, I think the President has answered this question a number of times. I can’t form a basis for why former President Clinton — I’ve obviously not had a conversation with him on this issue, so I don’t know what — it’s hard for me to compare some of this because I don’t have the basis by which he’s making that decision.
Have you noticed that Gibbs comes prepared to answer a wide range of questions on many topics, having been briefed in detail on them, yet when someone asks about LGBT issues, he suddenly 1) hasn’t spoken to President about it or 2) he hasn’t read/heard/seen about the given event that spurred the question.
Do you get the feeling that he thinks he’s going to “catch the gay” if he dares do a little research into policy issues? It’s not as if LGBT legislation and DOMA lawsuits aren’t in the queue, and states adopting marriage equality.
At this point Gibbs will continue to look like a kid on a stool with the dunce cap on if he thinks the reporters in the room, including Jake Tapper, have run out of questions in this area. It’s the press secretary’s own fault because because he never competently answers them. Being or feigning that you’re clueless isn’t working, Bob.
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