Roundup: Presidential Hopefuls on Obama's DOMA Dereliction


We're reviewing the potential Presidential candidates in 2012 to see how they reacted to last week's DOMA development. If we missed anyone, please let us know in the comments!

Rick Santorum:

"President Obama's refusal to defend a law that was overwhelmingly supported on both sides of the aisle and signed into law by a president of his own party is an affront to the will of the people. This is yet another example of our president's effort to erode the very traditions that have made our country the greatest nation on earth."

Michelle Bachmann:

“I will continue to do everything in my power to fight back against Barack Obama’s attacks on marriage.” (source: The Washington Independent)

Newt Gingrich:

Gingrich slammed Obama for his decision, telling Newsmax that he is not a “one-person Supreme Court” and his decision sets a “very dangerous precedent” that must not be allowed to stand. [video here]

“First of all, he campaigned in favor of [the law]. He is breaking his word to the American people,” Gingrich says. Second, he swore an oath on the Bible to become president that he would uphold the Constitution and enforce the laws of the United States. He is not a one-person Supreme Court. The idea that we now have the rule of Obama instead of the rule of law should frighten everybody."

“The fact that the left likes the policy is allowing them to ignore the fact that this is a very unconstitutional act,” Gingrich said. (source)

Mike Huckabee:

[The President] said because some lower court decided that a part of DOMA was unconstitutional that he would not enforce it. OK. By that logic, he should not try to implement Obamacare, because some lower courts have already decided that it's unconstitutional.

That's hypocritical. It's hypocritical and it's dishonest, because when he ran for president, Chris, he said he supported traditional marriage. He's on the record. Now, the question is was he dishonest then? Is he dishonest now? Or did he change his view, and if he did when and why? (source: Fox News Sunday)

Mitt Romney:

Romney called the decision "an unfortunate mistake," saying Obama "has an obligation as chief executive to enforce and defend the laws of the nation. He should not abdicate that responsibility based on his own interpretations and personal views."

Tim Pawlenty:

“I firmly believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, as President Obama told us he believed in 2008. But now President Obama and his Justice Department would have us believe that traditional marriage laws are unconstitutional.

“I oppose the Justice Department’s political decision to reverse its policy defending the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal statute passed overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. The job of the Justice Department is to enforce and defend laws passed by Congress and signed by the President.”

I am disappointed that the President and his Justice Department have abdicated this responsibility, all for the sake of partisan political gain.” (source: The Washington Independent)

Ron Paul:

“Today’s announcement that the Obama Administration will abandon its obligation to enforce DOMA is truly disappointing and shows a profound lack of respect for the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

... “The Administration’s dereliction throws the door wide open for special interests to abuse Federal power and attempt to force Iowa to recognize non-traditional marriage. Upcoming battles are looming just over the horizon." (source)

Hermain Cain:

I think it is a breach of presidential duty bordering on treason. The oath of office by the president says that he will protect, observe, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, which means all of its subsequent laws. The fact that he says that he has asked the Department of Justice not to enforce it, to me, is a breach duty as President of the United States. (source)

Mitch Daniels

Asked if Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana and a possible presidential candidate, had commented on the marriage decision, a spokeswoman said that he “hasn’t, and with other things we have going on here right now, he has no plans.” (source: NYT)

Sarah Palin [update - Sarah Palin released this exclusive statement to us on her position]

"I have always believed that marriage is between one man and one woman. Like the majority of Americans, I support the Defense of Marriage Act and find it appalling that the Obama administration decided not to defend this federal law which was enacted with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by a Democrat president. It's appalling, but not surprising that the President has flip-flopped on yet another issue from his stated position as a candidate to a seemingly opposite position once he was elected."

Article source: The Hill, "Santorum, Bachmann lead way in criticizing Obama on DOMA decision." (


  1. Don
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    With a statement like that, Mitch Daniels isn't a presidential hopeful, he's a presidentail hopeless!

  2. James Turner
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Never thought I'd say this but good for Sarah Palin, at least so far.

  3. Don
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Dont' get your hopes up, James. She's simply taking a little time to learn how to spell, "marriage".

  4. Posted March 1, 2011 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Huckabee makes a great point.

    If the word of a single district court is enough reason to decline enforcement of DOMA, despite the fact that other district courts have upheld it, why is it not good enough to decline to enforce ObamaCare, even though other district courts have upheld it.

  5. TC Matthews
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Three cheers on that comment Michael. I had to laugh right out loud, turn the issue any way you like it, the logic he puts out there just doesn't follow.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    What about the Democrat response?

  7. David Delmonico
    Posted March 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Sarah Palin was the first to comment on this. The rest, as usual, are just following the leader.

  8. Don
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:13 am | Permalink


    Here are responses from a House Democrat and a Senate Democrat:

    Feb 24, 2011
    House Democrats try to repeal anti-gay marriage law
    By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said he will reintroduce his bill to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act when Congress returns next week. Last year, Nadler got 12 co-sponsors for his measure, called the Respect for Marriage Act.

    Nadler said he wants to "ensure that committed, loving couples can rely upon the legal responsibilities and security that come with the time-honored tradition of marriage." He is circulating a letter, co-signed by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., to gin up more support for his bill.

    February 28, 2011
    Democrats poised to introduce legislation to repeal ‘Defense of Marriage Act’

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has announced plans to introduce a bill in the U.S. Congress that would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law that defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws.

    Feinstein’s announcement comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s announcement last week that at least one part of DOMA will not be able to pass constitutional muster in federal court, and that the Justice Department will not defend that part of the law in two pending cases in the Second Circuit.

    The Democrat response, following Obama's decree, is to seek to repeal DOMA entirely. Democrats = homosexual "marriage".