Jerry Falwell-Linked Lawyer: It’s Romney’s Fault Gay Marriage Won in 2012

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Mat Staver, an influential evangelical lawyer closely linked with the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University, has named an unlikely culprit for the passage of four pro-gay marriage measures this year: Mitt Romney.

Staver said Monday on the Christian radio program “Faith and Freedom” that Romney’s refusal to talk about social issues led to voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington State approving ballot measures backing gay marriage. Romney should’ve campaigned in those four states, Staver insisted, and played up the importance of defining marriage as being between a man and a woman only.

But because Romney’s message focused primarily on jobs and the economy, “he could not speak about life or marriage and so he didn’t campaign in those states speaking about those issues and associating himself with marriage,” Staver said, adding, “had he done so, his numbers would’ve gone up and I bet the marriage polls would’ve gone up.”

Staver called Romney “mealy” and a “one-note” candidate, and disparaged him for lacking true social values. “If you’d had a candidate that had social values, you’d have higher voter turnout,” he said. “If you had Romney, you had lower voter turnout. What ultimately happened in the general election is you had lower voter turnout.”

Watch the clip of Staver’s comments above, captured and edited by Right Wing Watch. Here’s the transcript:

“If you’d had a candidate that had social values, you had a higher voter turnout. If you had Romney, you had lower voter turnout. What ultimately happened in the general election is you had lower voter turnout.

And look at Maryland, for example: 36.6 percent voted for Romney, but 48.1 percent voted for marriage as a union between one man, one woman. Minnesota: 45 percent voted for Romney, 47.4 percent voted for marriage. In Washington, 41.8 percent voted for Romney, 46.8 percent voted for marriage. Each one of those states, more people voted for marriage than Romney. They had a contradictory vote: They voted for marriage and they voted for Barack Obama in great measure. Those are contradictory votes.

Why? Because Romney was a one-note candidate. Jobs and the economy. You’d ask him a question on what’s he going to do on immigration: jobs and the economy. Benghazi: jobs and the economy. How did he all of sudden switch it back to jobs and the economy when we’re talking about foreign affairs? He could not speak about life or marriage and so he didn’t campaign in those states speaking about those issues and associating himself with marriage. Had he done so, his numbers would’ve gone up and I bet the marriage polls would’ve gone up.

Every time we get these mealy candidates like Romney or McCain, we have this problem and then Republican pundits come up and say, ‘Oh, we need to change our position on marriage and abortion.'”

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate