Hillary Clinton was on the hot seat today about her announcement last year that she supported same-sex marriage.
In a tense interview, Terry Gross, host of NPR’s Fresh Air, asked the former First Lady if “political calculations” motivated her stance on gay marriage or if her opinion changed once she left the White House. Clinton insisted that she had always supported a “state-by-state approach.”
Questioned a second time about whether she believed her opinion of gay marriage evolved over time or emerged politically, Clinton pointed out she was not the only one to change her views. “I think I’m an American,” she said. “I think that we have all evolved, and it’s been one of the fastest, most sweeping transformations that I’m aware of.”
After Gross said Clinton was ducking the question, Clinton complained that the host was “playing with my words and playing with what is such an important issue.”
When Gross insisted “I’m just trying to clarify so I can understand,” Clinton snapped:
No, I don’t think you are trying to clarify. I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor, and I did it for political reasons. And that’s just flat wrong. So let me just state what I feel like I think you are implying and repudiate it. I have a strong record. I have a great commitment to this issue and I am proud of what I’ve done and the progress we’re making.
Clinton also said, “One of my big problems right now is that too many people believe they have a direct line to the divine and they never want to change their mind about anything.”
Ryan Anderson, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said of Clinton’s interview, “The meaning and purpose of marriage is an important question requiring serious reflection. Answering it correctly is important, but we should not demonize our opponents.”