Former Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino on Monday said that President Barack Obama only ended the "charade" that he did not support same sex marriage because his campaign wanted to use "crass politics" to divert attention from the economy.
Over the weekend, conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat charged that "the Obama White House has consistently sought to change the subject from the unemployment rate to contraception, or immigration, or now even gay marriage."
"Obama is currently running for re-election as an opponent of sexism, homophobia and social reaction in all its forms," Douthat wrote, arguing that Obama should instead be focusing on "how Mitt Romney wants to take away your retirement security to pay for tax cuts for the rich."
Perino on Monday called Douthat a "fantastic columnist" with "keen insight."
"All of these things the campaign has come up with on the Democrat side have lasted sometimes 48 hours, sometimes a full two weeks-- you think of the contraception controversy -- but then there's another one, one on top of the other," she explained. "But still, the most important thing to every voter is the economy. So they might on the Democrat side -- they might win the little skirmishes, but what you want is to win the war."
Fox News co-host Brian Kilmeade wondered if Romney's gains in a recent survey by conservative polling organization Rasmussen could be attributed to Obama's support for same sex marriage.
"The people who support same sex marriage were probably going to vote for President Obama anyway because they knew that there was a charade," Perino replied. "There's very few people who are undecided at this point." (A recent AP-GfK poll found that about a quarter of voters were undecided or could be persuaded to change their minds.)
"The crass politics of the left – and, in particular, you see it right through that gay marriage announcement last week," she continued. "Even though it meant a lot to a lot of people, but then 90 minutes later the fundraising appeal. Within 24 hours, suggesting Mitt Romney is backwards on equality, when President Obama had the same position 24 hours before."
"This is exceedingly political, and people see it, they notice it and I think they’re thinking, 'Do we want four more years of that, or do we need to change direction on the economy.'"