NewsNation | May 14, 2012
good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8.
>> i believe we have grown to marriage equal.
>> that of course is south carolina congressman jim clyburn adding his support. he is the third ranging democrat in the house and one of the highest ranking african-american elected officials in this country. in a few hours, president obama will attend an lgbt fund-raiser hosted by openly gay entertainer ricky marine. it will be the first such event since endorsing marriage equal last week. tickets run for between $5,000 and $35,000. joining me now, washington correspondent for the new york times. again, another big event in the timing. couldn't be better for the president.
>> a very significant gay fundraising communicate. the president's advisers are hoping that his announcement last week will not only appeal broadly to young voters in particular who according to the polls can be very supportive of garr marriage but the gay activists and gay donors tonight will be the first test of that.
>> usa today gallup poll on women. morally acceptable regarding same sex marriage. 57%. legalized marriage equality , 56%. when you look at democrats as well. morally acceptable. 58%. so big numbers with independents and women and we know those are key groups when we look at this presidential election.
>> that's true. although there's very polling evidence. there was a gallup survey out that broke it down by partisanship and showed that among those who said that their vote would be influenced by this decision, independents, 23% said it would make them less likely to vote for the president. 11% more likely. so i don't think we can discount that the president is taking some political risk on here. especially with swing voters , men, older rural white voters.
>> let's talk about the story line . you have this "newsweek" coverage. it has the president, what is being referred to as a galo over his head. tina brown , the editor of "newsweek" said if clinton was the first black president , then obama earned every strike with last being's marriage proclamation. and they're paying tribute to where he stands now. this place in history. you have reince priebus. let me play his downer to this.
>> on one hand, you have barack obama who is now going on promote and perhaps crusade for this issue. and we have mitt romney who has been consistent and i think in line with most americans, which is that marriage ought to be defined between one man and one woman. so far those people that this is their issue, they have a clear choice.
>> so with that said, john, last week with the president made the big announcement, first read andle others, they have really been silent in a response to the president's historic announcement.
>> republicans want to try to make this issue about the economy. they know in the environment of 2012 , social issues are often a wedge issue for democrats. that is to say democrats can use those issues to portray especially among some suburban women, independent voters, as intolerant, extreme. advocating same sex marriage is a little bit different because it puts the president out on the edge. republicans generally speaking do not want to look, if they're the crusading party on the issues, they want to get back to the economy.
>> john harwood , thank you very