John M. Becker

Hillary Has Testy NPR Exchange About Marriage Equality

Filed By John M. Becker | June 13, 2014 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, Hillary Clinton, marriage equality, NPR, same-sex marriage, Terry Gross

hillary-clinton-smiling.jpgYesterday, during an interview on National Public Radio, Fresh Air host Terry Gross repeatedly pressed former Secretary of State (and presumed 2016 presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton about her stance on marriage equality.

Gross wanted to know if Clinton had privately supported the freedom to marry before she changed her public position, and wondered whether politics played into the timing of her evolution on the issue. The exchange got a little awkward.

Huffington Post reports:

During their conversation, Clinton responded vaguely to Gross' attempts to clarify whether the likely 2016 candidate's position on gay marriage changed at any point, making general points like "just because you're a politician doesn't mean you're not a thinking human being," and "I think I'm an American, I think that we have all evolved."

Gross continued to reframe her question, asking whether Clinton, at any point, changed her mind about gay marriage, or whether she supported it personally all along.

"You know, I really -- I have to say, I think you being very persistent, but you are playing with my words," Clinton said several minutes into the conversation. "And playing with what is such an important issue."

Gross responded that she was just trying to "clarify," but Clinton wasn't having it. "I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed [to gay marriage], and now I am in favor, and I did it for political reasons. And that's just flat wrong," Hillary said.

Listen to the exchange, after the jump.

Did Gross really think -- at a time when Republicans are doing all they can to preemptively sabotage a potential Hillary Clinton presidential bid -- that she'd get Hillary to say that she misrepresented her stance on marriage equality for political reasons? Regardless of whether or not that's actually the case, Clinton wasn't about to hand her opponents a weapon they could potentially use against her later.

I think Hillary answered the question in the best way that a politician in her position could be reasonably expected to. She is a politician who gave a political answer, and Gross is a journalist who, like any good reporter, tries to knock politicians off script and get them to make news by revealing their real views.

What do you think of the exchange?

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