One of President Obama’s closest advisers said he lied to the country for his own political benefit when he publicly stated his opposition to same-sex marriage in 2008. In his new book, Believer: My Forty Years in Politics, David Axelrod writes that he knew Obama supported gay marriage in 2008. Axelrod quotes the then-candidate as saying “I’m just not very good at bullshitting,” after a campaign event where he stated his opposition.
In an interview with Lloyd Grove at The Daily Beast on Tuesday, Axelrod elaborated on what he wrote and gave insight into Obama’s “evolving” position on same-sex marriage.
“There’s no doubt that his sympathies were on the side of allowing gay couples to marry,” Axelrod said of Obama in 2008. “He also recognized that the country wasn’t there yet—that we needed to bring the country along.”
In 2011, Obama said privately that if he was still in the Illinois legislature, he would vote for same-sex unions.
“This was always the most vexing issue because there was some part of him that so wanted to say [about his public opposition to gay marriage], ‘You know what? I just don’t believe this.’”