DES MOINES, Iowa--Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate, said her age and experience were factors in her reluctance to embrace same-sex marriage during her first run for president and that the evolution of her beliefs is now part of her new stance on marriage during her second run for president.
When asked why she didn't back same-sex marriage in the 2008 campaign, as she does now during her 2016 campaign, Clinton told Channel 13 News, "I think we were all pretty much in the same position, certainly, then-candidate Obama and others."
None of the major Democratic candidates in 2008, including Barack Obama, John Edwards and Joe Biden, publicly stated support for same-sex marriage. Pew points out the majority of Americans didn't back legal same-sex marriage either. Only 37 percent did.
"I do think it took a while for someone of my age and someone with my experience, despite my great group of friends, to really, as we say, 'evolve,' " Clinton said, "Say... 'you know what? This is not just a state-by-state decision.'"
Clinton backed state-sanctioned civil unions back then. "I did support what states were doing, " Clinton said, "Marriage had traditionally been an authority exercised by the states. And so I believed the states were proceeding. We should support that. Iowa being among the very first."
Iowa legalized same-sex marriage in 2009, following a state supreme court decision.
Clinton continued, "But the more I thought about. And the more I realized that this should be viewed as a right, not to be given or taken away by states, as soon as I was free to do so, leaving the State Department, and getting back into domestic politics--which as Secretary of State, I was not--I said this should be a right, and I was very pleased when the Supreme Court decided it was."
The Republican National Committee questions Clinton's decision-making timeline. In a release following Channel 13's interview with Clinton that aired Monday during the 4pm news, the RNC released a statement:
Hillary Clinton is once again trying to re-write her record on gay marriage. In her now infamous “testy” interview on the subject last year, Clinton stated one thing clearly: that she believed gay marriage was “a matter left to the states,” a position she had not reversed until earlier this year.
But tonight, in an interview with WHO’s Dave Price, Clinton claimed she publicly supported a federal right to gay marriage immediately after stepping down as Secretary of State in early 2013, over two years earlier.
These types of clear inconsistencies don’t happen when your positions are rooted on principle, rather than convenience and they also demonstrate why majorities find Clinton dishonest and untrustworthy.
Here is a video of Clinton opposing same-sex marriage in a YouTube video that is dated 2004.
Here is a video where Clinton, after leaving her position as U.S. Secretary of State in 2013, called same-sex marriage a "right."
Here is a video Clinton's campaign released in June of 2015 in support of same-sex marriage.