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May 10th, 2012
09:06 AM ET

Fmr. Clinton senior advisor talks Pres. Obama gay marriage stance, potential risks

Former President Clinton Senior Adviser Richard Socarides and the Starting Point panel weigh in on the politics of President Obama’s support for gay marriage and the possible risks that may go along with it.

Socarides says, “It’s going to probably help him in some places, but it may hurt him in other places and that’s what leadership is about…. It positions him very nicely in the campaign as someone who is thoughtful, deliberate, willing to take risks and lead on principle. So I think it’s very consistent with what his election strategy is going to be. I think to do otherwise, to kind of have this muddled position during the campaign would have really hurt him.”

Socarides continues, “Young voters will be enthused. Progressive Democratic based voters will be enthused.”

He adds, “When Mitt Romney comes up now and says well you know I’ll support civil unions so long as you don’t get any rights with civil unions - he looks like grandpa in this. This is just what Mitt Romney was trying to avoid.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

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