“Since talking about” gay marriage “in the heat of the primaries,” write Maggie Haberman and Emily Schultheis in Politico
. . . [presumptive Republican nominee Mitt] Romney has largely steered clear of it. He referenced defending traditional marriage in his recent NAACP speech, to the delight of social conservatives with whom he met in Denver last week, but it’s not a frequent talking point.
When Romney does bring up marriage, he merely references his support for the institution as it has long been defined between two individuals of different sexes. He doesn’t dwell on the topic. Even in his speech at the socially conservative Liberty University, he only briefly referenced traditional marriage, then moved on.
The Politico writers contend that
. . . the comparative quiet from party leaders would have been unimaginable even four years ago, when public opinion hadn’t yet shifted so rapidly on a signature social issue. And it marks a dramatic change among some of the top Republican donors and opinion-makers, who are supporting same-sex marriage in state-based gay legislative and legal fights, even as the official GOP platform will remain centered on traditional marriage.
Actually, if they checked the record that Republicans largely steered clear of the issue in the 2008 presidential campaign. Even in 2004, they never made it “a frequent talking point”. Then-President George W. Bush, running for reelection, briefly indicated his support for a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage and then moved on.
I have long argued, to borrow the title of the Politico piece that Republicans should steer clear of gay issues. It does seem that Romney is determined to do just that, keeping the focus on economic issues which unite the party and which are of the greatest concern to the better part of the undecided voters.