msnbc | February 26, 2013
>>> more on the major news that we're following with marriage equality . aiming to shoot down california's proposition 8 , heavy hitters , really heavy hitters lead the way here. top advisers, including national security adviser, steven hadley and carlos gutierrez . these names could sway the high court as it takes up two cases on marriage equality in march. joining me now is a representative from political action group and msnbc political analyst steve schmidt, former senior strategist for arizona senator john mccain . good to have you here. steve , i want to start with you. because your john hancock is on this brief. you're quotes as saying that the dye is cast.
>> i support marriage equality for gay americans because of my conservatism, not in spite of it. when i look at my own marriage, the profound joy that it has brought me, republicans to try to disinfrance chis people from that, which has been affirmed by marriage that is just a fundamental right, that you see a group of republicans, i think, embracing historic foundations in our party of freedom , of equality and i think you will see more and more people coming out and being in support of equality. and when you look at the younger generation, that marriage believes in marriage equality . the dye is cast and gay americans will receive full and equal treatment under the law and hopefully the supreme court will assure that that happens.
>> bloomberg is reports that president obama may be getting ready to show nationwide support for marriage equality as the high court gets ready to meet. however, on the flip side , we've got the national report saying that's there's discomfort for the party on that issue. what's your response to that? not just someone who represents members of the gop but is also trying to challenge the party's leadership to move in a more tolerant direction?
>> he will with, i think that many in the establishment in washington are out of touch. they are out of touch on this issue and a lot of issues, frankly. but they don't even know what their own base thinks. and this brief today is another example of how conservatives are thinking about the issue of same-sex marriage differently. you know, all politics is personal and everybody thinks about how issues affect their friends and family and everybody has a gay person in their family now and they want the best for their friends and family and they want them to settle down and get marriage. i think more and more conservatives are thinking about this and it's up to the leaders in washington , the establishment, to really get in touch with what's happening among young conservatives and grassroots conservative.
>> you talk about the establishment in washington . we have these top moderate republicans supporting this, steve schmidt being one of them. and on the other side we look at the gop base and cpac announcing the lineup. as we look at them, none of the speakers have signed off on that brief. go proud is not invited, right now that i understand it, to cpac . this is the second year in a row the national journal says that this is a mistake. do you think that you're being shut out on purpose and in light of, as steve points out, in spite of the fact that there are conservative republicans that recognize this as a conservative value. but for some reason there's such deep homophobia that cyexists within the gop .
>> i certainly disagree with that with cpac . we're focused on working to build a conservative coalition for 2013 . that's a winning coalition. and that coalition has to recognize that people are thinking about this differently. i'm a hardcore right winger. people that think like me are in favor of same sex marriage and the establishment is out of touch. they are out of touch with the american people and they are out of touch, frankly, with their own base. the base is moving on this. and they need to recognize that.
>> steve , while i have you here, want to get your take on the gop big one chris christy who is not invited to cpac . the governor of new jersey who is a blue state with approval ratings through the roof, he's not going to be one of the speakers. as you point out, too, younger voters, they want to get to know who the future leaders of the right are, what they stand for, what they support. so why does the cpac organization want to risk alienating burgeoning stars like a chris christie , not invite him?
>> look, this cpac convention is increasingly the star wars bar scene. all that is missing is a couple of rookies. chris christie is the most effective conservative governor in the country. he's done a fantastic job. he's somebody that could potentially change the electoral map. when you look at the dysfunction going on in government with the sequester, it makes a very compelling case for a chris christie candidacy because he's an adult. he's getting the job done. he understands what his role is. but i want to just set the record straight on something. cpac is not the republican party . there are egxecutionary policies that gays cannot come and participate. these are people that are -- people that don't attract a wider audience that we need to attract to win elections. they are talking to a small-closed group that will get a lot of attention but that group has also no bearing on who our next nominee is.
>> doesn't that hold weight?
>> well, there is certainly that candidates go there and feel that they have a cash cow for some reason and what i'm telling you is that in the real world , where people are voting in primary elections , that group doesn't hold sway. what goes on there and the cowing that goes on is absolutely debilitating. so mitt romney 's going there and doing that, i think it was a big mistake in his campaign. but the point is, the republican party -- and if you look at the pew survey out, 30% of republicans are dissatisfied with the direction of the party. a good number of those are people that want the republicans out of the party window. they want the party to stand for the timeless principles of freedom and equality.
>> i want to thank both gentlemen for joining me. big groundbreaking movement on marriage equality