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On gay marriage, Romney has tried to ‘roll back’ laws, Axelrod says

Olivier Knox, Yahoo News
The Ticket

As top aides to President Barack Obama struggled to contain the fallout from Vice President Joe Biden's comments on gay marriage over the weekend, one of the president's top re-election strategists criticized Mitt Romney's position on the issue. David Axelrod said Monday that the presumptive presidential nominee of the Republican Party would "roll back" gay rights.

Biden's comment that he was "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex couples having the same rights as others was "entirely consistent" with Obama's own views, Axelrod insisted for the second day in a row. The president has said his position is "evolving."

"I think that they (Biden's remarks) were entirely consistent with the president's position, which is that couples who are married, whether they are gay or heterosexual couples, are entitled to the very same rights and very same liberties," Axelrod said on a conference call with reporters. "That was the essence, on a policy basis, of what he was saying."

"There couldn't be a starker contrast on this issue than with Gov. Romney, who has funded efforts to roll back marriage laws in California and other places," Axelrod said. The former Massachusetts governor would "take us backward not forward" on the issue.

Axelrod's comments came shortly after Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said on "Morning Joe" that he believes gay marriage should be legal.

"Yes, I do," Duncan said when asked. The Obama campaign did not immediately return a request for comment from Yahoo News on Duncan's remarks.

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