In the just published interview with BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith, President Obama is pushing back against claims made by his former senior adviser David Axelrod that the president was “bulls***ting” the American public on his early opposition to gay marriage. Here’s the relevant excerpt:
He disputed, however, the contention of his former top political adviser, David Axelrod, that he had misled voters in 2008 when he opposed marriage equality. Axelrod wrote in his new memoir that Obama “modified” his position because his aides worried about alienating black Christian leaders, and then complained that he didn’t like “bullshitting” voters about it.
“I think David is mixing up my personal feelings with my position on the issue,” Obama said. “I always felt that same-sex couples should be able to enjoy the same rights, legally, as anybody else, and so it was frustrating to me not to, I think, be able to square that with what were a whole bunch of religious sensitivities out there.”
Obama said he believed at the time that civil unions were “a sufficient way of squaring the circle,” but that “the pain and the sense of stigma that was being placed on same-sex couples who are friends of [his]” changed his mind.
So, who’s the real liar? It looks like Team Obama will have another day of answering that very question: