In the past, President Obama has, in what may be a political ruse, refused to endorse gay marriage. He famously said his own view on gay marriage has been "evolving." But the Vice President, who usually speaks as a surrogate for the Administration, was more explicit on the subject:
"I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction-- beyond that," Biden replied.
His answer was somewhat muddled, and prefaced by a sort of disclaimer — "I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy." — but chaotic, immediate reactions from his advisors and from Obama's suggested he had gone too far.
Afterwards, the spin began. Biden had to "clarify" himself to NBC's Chuck Todd.
Biden's office tells me he was speaking for his own evolving on marriage not for the admin. @meetthepress— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) May 6, 2012
Later, Obama Advisor David Axelrod muddied the waters further:
Does the Obama Administration support a national policy recognizing gay marriage? Their intention seems to be intentionally obtuse. President Obama wants to curry favor with pro-gay marriage advocates, but has a significant portion of his base that is uncomfortable with it - thus the nature of his "evolution."
On the flip side, as Andrew Kaczynski writes, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has been fairly consistent in his opposition.
Romney campaigned against gay marriage in 2002.
"Call me old fashioned, but I don't support gay marriage nor do I support civil union," Romney declared at an October 2002 gubernatorial debate. Romney voiced his support for basic domestic partnership benefits like hospital visitation rights.
That might be a breath of fresh air to conservatives who have long questioned Romney's stance on conservative issues.