Pelosi, DCCC Chair Downplay Electoral Impact Of Obama Backing Gay Marriage

On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Steve Israel (NY), the Democrats’ point man on the House races, downplayed the electoral impact of President Obama’s historic endorsement of same-sex marriage Wednesday.

Pelosi called Obama’s move “the right thing to do for the country. It filled my heart with joy.” She said it helped “advance the cause of civil rights in such a personal as well as presidential way that it’s more important than any political consequences.”

“This is why we come to office — to do some good things,” she told reporters Thursday. “I don’t think this is political at all.”

At a Washington breakfast with reporters Thursday hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Israel said, “I don’t think it’s that relevant.” He said the House races will come down to the quality of candidates and said of same-sex marriage, “I just don’t think it’s going to be a huge dynamic.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), asked about the issue at his weekly press conference Thursday, affirmed that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, and then immediately pivoted to the economy.

“The president and the Democrats can talk about all this all they want,” Boehner told reporters. “But the fact is that the American people are focused on our economy and are asking the question, ‘Where are the jobs?'”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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