NOW with Alex Wagner | May 07, 2012
>> sfwhoobl this is all about is a simple proposition. who do you love? what all marriages at their root are about, whether they're marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals. i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women are entitled to the same exact rights.
>> that was vice president joe biden on "meet the press" yesterday. gay marriage has been a delicate issue for the administration. president obama has said his views on it are evolving but not said he supports it. today on " morning joe ," arne duncan was asked if he supports gay marriage to which he answered yes. robert traynham , we are floating various conspiracy theories as we usually do during the breaks. you were in coo hoots thinking this was intentional.
>> two things. joe biden is on the record even when he was in the senate saying he was for gay marriage . the gay community are very, very lukewarm about this president. they often say i like this president but he's not 100% there when it comes to the issues important to me. you don't go on "meet the press" and talk about such a deep policy issue if in fact you have not cleared it with the west wing . that's what the vice president did.
>> they knew it was going to come up, especially because mitt romney had to let go his spokesman who was gay. of course, they knew that it was coming.
>> rick grinnell.
>> took the words right out of my mouth thinking it was a carrot to the gay community . he rolled back don't ask, don't tell but that wasn't enough. this in addition let's the president have some space from the rest of the administration saying we're with you, but it lets the president create space going into the red states that he needs to win.
>> this is the kool-aid here.
>> i called arne duncan the treasury secretary. he of course the secretary of education. the fact he doubled down gives credence to your theory that the white house wants this. but it does bring up an uncomfortable issue for the president. it's a delicate dance he has to do. though the gay community may be dissatisfied with his lack of full throated endorsement of gay marriage , there is a sense of understanding if he's re-elected he'll go further out on the issue. but right now he can't because he's at risk of alienating certain voters. howard?
>> is there anyone on this panel or watching at home who doesn't think that will president obama believes in gay marriage ? nobody. everybody assumes he's for gay marriage . we all that. so having vice president biden go out and affirm that will having members of the cabinet come out and affirm that gives a sense to people that yes, the president is there. he may not be able to do it right now for political reasons, but his heart is in the right place and maybe there's an opportunity for him to do it down the line. vice president biden i think has been a huge asset to the this president. he's a great campaigner. he's going on the show. i agree with you. he's not just shooting from the hip here. he knew exactly what he was saying and it sends a signal to people for gay marriage that yes, this administration is with you. president might not be able to come out and say it, but he's there.
>> as we talk about the vice president's role in the administration, there is an article in the "new york times" this weekend that discussed the president's sunday night re-election meetings with his inner circle of a handful of advisers from the the re-election team. it's jim messina , david axelrod , stephanie cutter , larry griz lan know, from the house david bluff, valerie jarrett, pete rouse , dan pfeiffer and melissa mastromonaco. not joe biden . were you surprised by that?
>> there may be other meetings he or his representatives are in. he obviously wants to keep those meetings close. i think joe biden is doing a great job for this administration. he can go out and get a big crowd and fire people up. so he could probably get a bigger crowd than mitt romney at this point i would think.
>> i think the team you see there is the president and all of the chief advisers. you don't see other principals. michele is not in the room but i don't think anyone doubts that michele has plenty of input on his thinking and is used as a surrogate. i'm not sure there's a precedent for the vice president putting his time in there, as well.
>> the one thing you see with that will full screen that you just brought up is everyone thaemts on that screen has been there since the early days. those are the guys and gals that have been there when they had no money to rub two pennies together. that's his core team. it also too, look, the vice president came in after the fact. the vice president is certainly very important. he's not pivotal to the president's re- election campaign . those folks on that panel are.
>> certainly advising him on policy because anyway -- we got to play the sound when asked about 2016 , this is what the vice president said.
>> who's more likely to run for president in 2016 , you or secretary clinton?
>> i9 think we may run as a team. i'm only joking obviously. i don't know whether i'm going to run and hillary doesn't know whether she's going to run.
>> there's a lot of truth in humor there, mr. vice president.
>> old blue eyes . erin mcpike, biden /clinton ticket, huh? they're talking about it before. i think the real question is for howard when he said hillary doesn't know if she's going to run either. as a reporter, i've got to ask you --
>> is hillary going to run?
>> she said she's not. i take her at her word. she has put in an enormous amount of service to this country and looking forward to time off and she says she's not running, she's not running.
>> is wolfson too tired to run for president any 2016 ? that's more the question.
>> i'm enjoying what i'm doing.
>> very political.
>> i'm going to stop. we'll probably continue to bat that