Fox News contributor and former Bush deputy chief of staff Karl Rove said this morning on “This Week” that he can imagine a future Republican presidential candidate supporting gay marriage.
When asked, “Can you imagine the next presidential campaign, a Republican candidate saying flat out I am for gay marriage?” Rove responded “I could.”
Rove’s comment came a week after Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, whom Mitt Romney considered as a running mate in the 2012 election, announced that he had shifted his position and supported gay marriage. The vast majority of Republicans in Congress do not support same-sex marriage. Portman is the only sitting Republican senator to support same-sex marriage.
The “This Week” roundtable also addressed gun violence-prevention measures now being discussed in Congress. Rove said that universal background checks would not have stopped the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that left 20 children dead in December.
“Let’s be clear about this, this was prompted by the Sandy Hook murders. Those guns were legally purchased with a background check, ” Rove said. “This would not have solved something like that. Let’s be very careful about quickly trampling on the rights of people.”
Former Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina pushed back, arguing the importance of background checks. “Look, 40 percent of all gun sales currently don’t go through background checks. The background checks have stopped two million people from getting guns they shouldn’t get,” Messina said. “But we know there are loopholes all over the place. And Karl, just saying no, which is what the NRA and your party is doing right now, isn’t moving us forward.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this article stated that Rove said he could imagine the next GOP presidential nominee supporting gay marriage. Rove instead had said he could imagine a Republican presidential candidate in the next election supporting gay marriage.
Rove responded in a statement, “I was asked if I could see A Republican presidential candidate supporting gay marriage in 2016 and I said I could (eg, Jon Huntsman endorsed civil unions in 2012). I was not asked if I could see THE Republican presidential candidate or the GOP presidential nominee as the ABC website has said this afternoon.”