In the wake of President Obama's dramatic reversal on same-sex marriage, Mitt Romney suddenly finds himself in the enviable — and unusual — position of being able to advertise his consistency.
Though Romney has earned a reputation for flip-flopping, he has remained remarkably consistent on the issue of gay marriage — he has always opposed it. Now that Obama has flip-flopped his way to a nationally unpopular stance in favor of same-sex marriage, Romney's campaign is eager to get the message out that their guy has never changed his mind.
"The governor has a long-held belief that marriage should be defined as a union between one man and one woman. He is for traditional marriage. It's as simple as that," a senior Romney adviser told BuzzFeed.
Romney sounded the same tone earlier today, responding with uncharacteristic clarity when Colorado Fox affiliate KDVR-TV asked him about his position.
“Well, when these issues were raised in my state of Massachusetts, I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name,” Romney told the station.
Indeed, Romney has been fighting same-sex marriage since 2002, when he campaigned against it as a gubernatorial candidate in liberal Massachusetts: "Call me old fashioned, but I don't support gay marriage nor do I support civil union," he said during a debate.
And a year later, when his state became the first to legalize same-sex marriage, Romney scrambled to find a legislative compromise that would prevent the Massachusetts Supreme Court's ruling from taking place. He ultimately failed, but has consistently campaigned on the issue ever since.
As recently as February, Romney boasted about his long battle against gay marriage to a crowd of conservative activists at CPAC.
“On my watch, we fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage,” he said. “When I am president, I will preserve the Defense of Marriage Act and I will fight for a federal amendment defining marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman.”
McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.
Contact McKay Coppins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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