House Speaker John Boehner says he's staying focused on jobs and the economy in the 2012 elections and not President Barack Obama's support for gay marriage.
The statement Thursday by the nation's highest-ranking elected Republican sends a strong signal to party activists in this high-stakes election year, in which the presidency and majorities of Congress are at stake. Obama's stewardship of the economy is the issue that matters, Boehner said in response to questions about how prominently Republicans should play it on the campaign trail.
Republicans have been stung in the past over social issues, and many activists believe such matters are most useful for energizing the conservatives at the core of the party. The economy, on the other hand, is the top issue on voters' minds, according to polls.