Martin Bashir | May 09, 2012
>> indeed. last night was a wake-up call and we have breaking news at this hour as we await the president reportedly endorsing same sex marriage in a key interview at the white house this afternoon. a quick moving development just hours after north carolina pass the a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions . the president giving an interview to abcs robin roberts and we await clips at any moment. it comes after a constitutional ban on same sex marriage by a huge 22 point margin. with the president facing calls to move his nominating convention out of charlotte, creating a high wire act in a state that he is desperate in a desperate fight to defend. the president has already expressed his disappointment with the north carolina amendment but parts of his base are clamoring for much more and as the obama campaign spent months depicting plom as an etch-a-sketch flip-flopper, it is increasingly difficult for the president to explain his own waivering on this issue particularly when romney is expressing his own views in relatively few words as he did earlier this afternoon.
>> i am in favor of traditional marriage between a man and a woman and i don't favor civil union or gay marriage .
>> we understand that the president has just said that same sex marriage should be legal and that people who are gay should be able to marry. i am joined by chris matthews in the studio of course. chris is a political historian and the author of a book about jack kennedy and also the anchor of hardball. your immediate reaction to this?
>> well, we got to get the words, but if he is --
>> we're waiting for them.
>> martin, if he has come out endorsing same sex marriage, it is earth shattering, earth shaking, i should say, the president of the united states .
>> it is exactly i understand that is exactly what he has done, endorsed same sex marriage.
>> the world will hear this within minutes and the president of the most important country in the world has endorsed men of the same people of the same sex marrying each other, it is the first time we have seen anything like this. no electorate has ever endorsed it and even if california that seemed to be the most aavant guard haven't endorsed it. for the president to do this is earth shaking, earth shaking, and the positive aspect is that everyone in this country born gay and will be born gay will always know the president understands who they are and who they love and who they have a right to love and this is a dramatic statement. that's all positive, but at the same second we're saying this, the layers, the wolf layers are opening up and the dens are opening and the gates are opening of wolves coming out for this. the karl roves, the people who will use this against the president in states like north carolina and in pennsylvania and they will use it, they will use it at the pulpit and make it a religious issue and use it to go to communities black and white and working class whites and evangelical black americans and they will go to them at the pull approximate it and use everything they can to exploit this. this is a very, well, a shattering fact now in american life .
>> you're you go suggesting that it is going to redowned negatively for the president.
>> it will be a major effort for that to happen. i don't know how the american people will react, whether this will be a voting issue or not. this is an earth shaking president and positively for everyone that is guy they have the president on their side for something that really matters which is love. it is a pretty profound statement. we don't want to get past that too quickly. that's the good news for everybody in the kun tr try in terms of and what has always moved forward for rights. it has always been forward leaning as we say on this network actually and it is always moved in that direction, but there has always been another army out there that feeds on those that resent it. the army is out there during jim crow . it was out there during abolition and suffrage and always an army that feeds on change and feeds against it. the wolves, and they're being released right now and they're probably giggling with delight how they're going to use this.
>> the president said his position is evolving.
>> it is. the country's position issy evolve evolvi evolving. i have been to so many human rights campaigns over the years and the positive notes from the political part of this world of the gay community , don't lose hope, things are changing. today a big notch. a big notch of change.
>> the president apparently said to robin roberts when he reflected on his own staff and particularly people and members of the military who can serve the country and put their own lives at risk but are not able to marry.
>> i always thought once people were allowed to serve their country in battle and go out there and shed blood and lose lives for their country, everything changes. the big fight before i grew up, blacks weren't allowed to fight in integrated units in world war ii . had they been able to fight in integrated units everything would have changed faster.
>> chris, can i ask you to pause for a moment? we have the sound. here he is now.
>> when i think about those soldiers or airmen or marines, 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're not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point i 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.
>> that's a very personal disclosure. he is not talking about the politics, there, is he?
>> let me go back to the way i started and i know we'll deal with the politics. if you're a parent of a gay person, especially if you're an older person and had to deal with this realization that the child you love loves differently than you did or do, and different ways, and to come to grips and now realize the president is embracing your child in the way that god did when he created your children, i always say we're all god's children. that is my basic political belief. not everybody shares that belief.
>> based on genesis and based on scripture.
>> the wolves will be out and try to drive people against each other and will use the pulpit to do it.