Mitchell Reports | May 11, 2012
>>> last night's hot ticket in hollywood was the fund-raiser at george clooney 's house where he hosted the president and a- list of stars . the event raised a record $15 million. chad griffin is incoming president of the advocacy group for gay rights . you brought together ted olson and david boies to challenge prop 8. we know that is the big case that everybody has been watching. what is your take away? this has been a stunning week in gay rights and also in politics.
>> andrea , it is, i think, a turning point in american politics . what president the obama did this week in making clear his support for marriage equality was so historic, but it wasn't just what he said but how he said it. he talked about it in such personal terms. he spoke from the heart. he talks about how he spoke with his family, his wife, sasha and malia, members of the military, his friends, co-workers, those who work for him on staff. that's how this entire country has moved and has evolved on this issue. democrats and republicans, quite frankly. he joined a majority of the american public in a growing number of leading democrats and republicans who are now openly supporting the freedom to marry . it sent a tremendous message across this country, particularly to the young, lgbt person suffering the consequences of discrimination. the fact his or her president stood up and spoke for hem has tremendous impact on their lives already. we still have a lot of work to do in order to achieve full equality in this country, but what the president did this week puts us a long ways towards that goal.
>> i've been an active fund-raiser in the past for the president. i saw within an hour of that announcement i saw an e-mail, fund-raising e-mail that went out on behalf of the obama campaign to top contributors trying to get them to contribute more money based on this move. is this going to be a big factor? was that also part of the white house thinking that eventually they would have to make this move because there was distress among, according to "the washington post ," 1-6 bundlers are gay. there is a lot of money that was on the table here.
>> i think there is no question. we've seen all the analysis there, potential upsides and potential down sides. what is clear is that the president did not do what he did this week for any political gain. he spoke from the heart and he said what he believed. i certainly think that within certain segments of our party, this will further energize an already-excited base. especially young people . if you look across this country, the vast majority of young people , regardless of their party affiliation, democrat, republican, be independents, young people , forget the fact they support gay marriage , they can't fathom we are having this discussion should all our citizens have the same rights? so i do suspect it will really energize an already-excited base. i think he spoke to young people who are ready for their leaders to catch up with them on this issue.
>> chad, you met with the vice president last month, as well, you were a guest at the state dinner . if i could get personal for a moment, what does it mean for you? you were a guest at the state dinner with your partner. arriving at the white house for one of the most celebrated dinner, the dinner for prime minister cameron. when i first met you it was the campaign in little rock and a member of the team in bill clinton 's white house . this evolution is personal for you.
>> it really is, andrea . as a young kid growing up in a small town in arkansas, i'm not sure i ever thought i would see this day, that the country would move so quickly and that my president would stand up and speak to me in this way and speak to millions of young people across this country. when our government discriminates, when we choose a segment of our population and choose them because of the way they were born, and directly and intentionally discriminate against them in our laws, it gives license to others to bully. that's why we see the tremendous, really sad consequences around this country. it gives license to so many of those bullies to do what they do. the president really stood up to those bullies this week, and dramatically improved, i think, the lives of those young people . we have a lot of work to do to achieve full equality. now, we've really turned a corner in this country. i think not only is president obama the first american president to support gay marriage , i predict we will never again in this country have a president who doesn't support marriage equality . democrat or republican.
>> that is a very strong prediction, chad griffin. thank you very much. thanks for being with us.
>> we'll see. thank you, andrea . thank you for having me. my pleasure.
>> any time.