In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Again and again gay marriage has proven to be a tough issue for 2016 Republican candidates to navigate. Top-tier declared and would-be candidates like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) have tripped up over addressing questions on attending same-sex weddings and associating with people who support gay marriage or gay rights.

That's only been exacerbated by fights over controversial anti-gay religious freedom bills in a trio of states that have pushed these candidates to either embrace those bills and alienate major companies that could be helpful fundraising sources or infuriate key conservative constituencies that oppose gay rights.

Behold the five biggest trip-ups so far:

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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is taking a different approach from Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R). Instead of moving to sue the Obama administration over threats to withhold federal funds over Medicaid expansion, Brownback's administration is saying "many things could happen" before its deadline over losing the funds.

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama made a surprise appearance in a media conference call with Labor Secretary Tom Perez on Friday to push back on what he called "dishonest" criticism from progressives — apparently including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — that the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a "secret" deal.

"What I am averse to is a bunch of ad hominem attacks and misinformation that stirs up the base but ultimately doesn't serve them well. And I'm going to be pushing back very hard if I keep hearing that stuff," Obama told a small group of reporters on the call.

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