Blitzer misrepresented McCain's position on "a constitutional amendment on the issue of marriage"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

While discussing Sen. John McCain's position on gay marriage, Wolf Blitzer said: "Because on that issue, he doesn't really disagree all that much with [Sens. Hillary] Clinton or [Barack] Obama. He opposes a constitutional amendment on the issue of marriage, is that right?" CBN's David Brody replied: "That's right." In fact, McCain supports amendments to state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage and would also support under certain circumstances an amendment to the federal Constitution banning same-sex marriage.

On the May 27 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, Christian Broadcasting Network senior national correspondent David Brody asserted: "[S]ome social conservatives are not happy about [Sen.] John McCain's statement on the California gay marriage ruling, because, in essence, it came out as just kind of what they call a milquetoast, some sort of just generic statement, rather than really taking the issue as one about judges and one about marriage and taking control and being more forceful in that area." Host Wolf Blitzer responded: "Because on that issue, he doesn't really disagree all that much with [Sens. Hillary] Clinton or [Barack] Obama. He opposes a constitutional amendment on the issue of marriage, is that right?" Brody replied: "That's right." In fact, as Media Matters for America has documented, according to remarks McCain made on the March 13 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, he supports amendments to state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage and would also support under certain circumstances an amendment to the federal Constitution banning same-sex marriage. McCain stated: "I believe that states like mine and other states ... should amend our state constitutions. And I will stick to that position until such time, if ever, a higher court says that my state or another state has to recognize the other stat -- another status of marriage." He added, "I'm committed to maintaining the unique status of marriage between man and woman. I think it can best be accomplished, and in keeping with my federalist philosophy that states should do as much as possible to have that done at the state level. ... But if it is overturned by a superior court, I will then obviously support the other path."

As Media Matters noted, in 2006, McCain supported Arizona's Proposition 107, a state constitutional amendment that would have banned both same-sex marriage and civil unions. Indeed, McCain has reportedly continued to oppose civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, unlike Clinton and Obama, who have said they support them. According to an April 27, 2007, New York Sun report, McCain stated of a civil-union bill in New Hampshire: "I am opposed to that legislation." According to the Sun, he said further: "If I were a citizen of New Hampshire, I would oppose it. ... Anything that impinges or impacts the sanctity of the marriage between men and women, I'm opposed to it."

From the 4 p.m. ET hour of the May 27 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

BLITZER: So, what should the McCain strategy be in being seen with the president, not being seen with the president, distancing himself? What do you think?

BRODY: Well, there are a couple things. First of all, the chatter among social conservatives right now is that John McCain -- one of the reasons John McCain is not as popular with evangelicals is because he has not been getting on his soapbox, talking about the life issue, and embryonic stem-cell research, and some of these other issues. So, in answer to your question, if he can go ahead and not just give a policy speech, not just talk about judges -- check list and that's off the table -- actually engage social conservatives like George Bush did a little bit, that would be helpful.

Real quick, Wolf -- you know, some social conservatives are not happy about John McCain's statement on the California gay marriage ruling, because, in essence, it came out as just kind of what they call a milquetoast, some sort of just generic statement, rather than really taking that issue as one about judges and one about marriage and taking control and being more forceful in that area.

BLITZER: Because on that issue, he doesn't really disagree all that much with Clinton or Obama. He opposes a constitutional amendment on the issue of marriage, is that right?

BRODY: That's right. And so, therefore, he's going -- they're going to just want that to slide by. The problem is, as you know, in November that issue is probably going to come up on the ballot in California. It's not going away. Also, on embryonic stem-cell research, you know, there was a discussion about six months or so ago about adult stem-cell research and this idea that, you know, there was progress in that area and that embryonic stem-cell research may not have to be needed as much anymore. And so, therefore, there was a situation by social conservatives that they wanted McCain to speak out more forcefully against embryonic stem-cell research and he didn't do it.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBT
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Wolf Blitzer, David Brody
Show/Publication
The Situation Room
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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