WASHINGTON — A new book written by a longtime Obama aide states that the then-presidential candidate was advised to lie about his beliefs regarding same-sex “marriage” in order to get elected.
David Axelrod’s “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics” was released on Tuesday, and serves as a memoir of Alexelrod’s political career, including his time as Obama’s campaign and presidential adviser.
Axelrod outlines in the book that Obama supported same-sex “marriage” while first running for office in 2008, but because Alexrod believed the position wouldn’t win votes from African American Christians, he advised Obama to lie about his stance. However, this didn’t set well with Obama.
“I’m just not very good at bull [profanity],” he quotes Obama as stating.
So, Obama, reluctant to take Axelrod’s advice, chose to compromise in the matter, deciding to state his support for civil unions but not “gay marriage.”
“Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church, and as he ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me, and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term a ‘sacred union,’” Axelrod outlines.
But he said that Obama never felt completely comfortable with the scheme.
“Having prided himself on forthrightness, though, Obama never felt comfortable with his compromise and, no doubt, compromised position,” Axelrod states in his book. “He routinely stumbled over the question when it came up in debates or interviews.”
“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman,” Obama said during a campaign interview with Rick Warren at Saddleback in 2008. “Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
However, the former adviser to the now U.S. president details that when Obama finally announced his support for same-sex “marriage,” he had already felt that way for years. There was no “evolution” of his views, Axelrod claims.
“Yet if Obama’s views were ‘evolving’ publicly, they were fully evolved behind closed doors,” he writes. “The president was champing at the bit to announce his support for the right of gay and lesbian couples to wed—and having watched him struggle with this issue for years, I was ready, too.”
As previously reported, in May 2012, Obama told reporters that his beliefs about the same-sex nuptials had “evolved.” During a national interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, he explained, “[W]hen I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
The White House has not denied Axelrod’s claims.
“[T]he firsthand account that he provides in the context of the book is not one that I would disagree with or quibble with,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Tuesday. “He obviously is sharing his views as he remembers them. And sometimes his perspective is informed by his up-close, you know, front-row seat to history.”