President Obama said in an interview aired Thursday morning that he had planned to come out in favor of gay marriage this year even before Vice President Joe Biden broached the issue on national TV last weekend weekend.
Obama suggested that Biden’s comments hastened his own announcement, but said that it was going to happen in the next few months anyway.
“I had already made a decision that we were going to take this position before the election and before the convention,” Obama said. “He probably got a little bit over his skis, but out of generosity of spirit.”
Obama said he bore no ill will towards his running mate for effectively moving the time frame up.
Biden told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he supported marriage rights for same-sex couples. His comments immediately put the spotlight on Obama, whose position had long been described as “evolving” and stopped short of endorsing same-sex marriage.
“Would I have preferred to have done this in my own way, in my own terms, without there being a lot of notice to everybody? Sure,” Obama said. “But all’s well that ends well.”
While stressing the importance of marriage rights for all Americans, Obama said he wouldn’t play up the issue on the campaign trail, instead focusing on the economy.
“I’m not going to spend most of my time talking about this, because frankly, my job as president right now, my biggest priority is to make sure that we’re growing the economy, that we’re putting people back to work,” Obama said.
Obama also hit Mitt Romney during the interview for taking credit for the recovery of the U.S. auto industry.
Romney said recently that the Obama administration adopted his method for saving the industry.
Obama said that claim was foolhardy, and then used a familiar toy reference.
“I think this is one of his Etch A Sketch moments,” Obama said. “I don’t think anybody takes that seriously. People remember his position, which was, ‘Let’s let Detroit go bankrupt.’ So, had we followed his advice at that time, GM and Chrysler would have gone under and we would have lost probably a million jobs throughout the Midwest.”