Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush, said he could see a Republican candidate supporting gay marriage in the 2016 presidential election. Rove did not expand on his comments during the segment on ABC’s “This Week,” but the comment has received plenty of attention from the media.
On Sunday’s “This Week” roundtable featuring George Stephanopoulos, “Nightline” cohost Terry Moran and Rove, the trio were discussing gay marriage, in particular, support for gay marriage from the judges that currently represent the United States Supreme Court.
Moran discusses potential votes in support of, or against, gay marriage if such laws are challenged. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear two gay marriage cases beginning this week. The court will begin hearings in regard to the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in California, an anti-gay marriage law that was ruled unconstitutional by the lower courts. Another trial will examine the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, and in particular section 3 of the law, which was found unconstitutional by eight different federal courts.
With these two important gay marriage cases about to be heard in front of the Supreme Court, Stephanopoulos discussed how some judges, in particular Chief Justice John Roberts, because of his young age, and Justice Anthony Kennedy, “the traditional swing vote for the justices,” according to Stephanopoulos, could play an important role in the gay marriage debate in America.
Chief Justice Roberts, at 58 years of age, will preside over the Supreme Court for decades, and support for gay marriage, in theory, could become the majority opinion in a decade; any decision on proposition 8 or DOMA might need to reflect future opinions.
When asked by Stephanopoulos, “Karl Rove, can you imagine the next presidential campaign, a Republican candidate saying flat out I am for gay marriage?” Rove simply answered, “I could” but did not clarify his statement further.
As Yahoo News reports, the GOP is looking to rebrand its image, which could include softening its stance on gay marriage, as well as possibly courting the Latino vote. The Huffington Post’s political coverage about Rove’s statement said the Republican party is divided about the gay marriage issue, with some believing a candidate could be in support of the issue but it would not be as soon as the 2016 ticket.