May 10th, 2012
05:53 PM ET
A senior administration official says the Vice President Biden met with President Obama in the Oval Office Wednesday morning and apologized for putting the president in a tough position. The president responded by saying that he knows the vice president is speaking from the heart.
President Obama's announcement that he now supports same-sex marriage came sooner than planned as a result of comments made by Vice President Joe Biden, he said in an interview broadcast Thursday.
Also a spokeswoman for the vice president Kendra Barkoff has issued a statement:
“The president has been the leader on this issue from day one. And the vice president never intended to distract from that.”
May 10th, 2012
04:11 PM ET
Washington (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden gave no indication the White House was planning to change its position on same sex marriage when he was asked about just weeks ago at an LGBT fundraiser in Los Angeles April 19, two attendees tells CNN. Because it was an off the record event these participants did not want to be named, but tell CNN when Biden was asked about gay marriage he talked about his comfort with gay and lesbian couples raising families but added that the president sets the policy and offered no indication that there would be a shift in policy.
On the “CBS This Morning”, the co-creator of the television series “Will and Grace,” who also attended that fundraiser, said that he believed the vice president’s remarks were “choreographed” because his remarks at the fund-raiser were recorded by the White House and were so similar to his comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press” this past Sunday. White House officials confirm to CNN that it’s standard to record every event the president and vice president attend as a record, whether they’re public or private events.
That fund-raiser has taken on unexpected significance –in part because that’s where the vice president met the two young children he referenced in his comments to David Gregory on NBC Sunday. In explaining his change of heart in support of gay marriage, he said it was partly seeing the happy children, ages 7 and 5, of the gay couple who hosted that fundraiser. Sources say Biden met with the hosts and their children privately before the larger fund-raiser began – it was an impromptu meeting. And the vice president told Gregory the kids gave him flowers and he told THEIR fathers: "I wish every American could see the look of love those kids had in their eyes for you guys, and they wouldn't have any doubt about what this is about."
One source tells CNN the Vice President gave a nearly five minute answer and never explicitly states his support for gay marriage but left the clear impression he supported it. Another confirms the vice president did say “Will and Grace” helped him come to a greater acceptance of gay and lesbian same-sex partners. But the majority of his remarks focused on the president’s work overturning the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and extending some federal benefits to same sex couples as well as repeatedly drawing a contrast with Mitt Romney on gay and lesbian rights. FULL POST
May 10th, 2012
03:43 PM ET
Washington (CNN) – Multiple top Democrats said Thursday the president's senior aides are deeply annoyed with Vice President Joe Biden for forcing the conversation on same-sex marriage. One source said Biden has, in the past, counseled the president against announcing support for same-sex marriage – making the circumstances that much more frustrating. Although other sources said they have not heard Biden make that point in recent years. Biden made comments supporting such unions during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" that aired Sunday, seemingly forcing the issue to the forefront of public debate.
Another source said the recent events gave renewed life to old jokes and flippant remarks like, "Hello? Does he know this is the Obama presidency not the Biden presidency?"
None of these sources said they believed it would create a lasting rift between the West Wing and the vice president's office – because Biden has gone off script before and will do it again.
The president's team said they were aware of the risk when they tapped Biden for the ticket. One source added that the president has a close personal relationship with the former senator and that trumps his advisers' frustrations. But there is a great deal of interest in keeping the vice president "on script." These top Democrats said they are not concerned that Biden will "get credit" for the same-sex marriage announcement. They said history will show it's the president who did this and they believe most people thought the president already supported same-sex marriage. Sources also said the vice president feels bad about putting the president in a tough position. As evidence he is not in the dog house, Biden hosted a student loan event at the White House Thursday and will make a two-day campaign swing in Ohio next week.
May 10th, 2012
08:02 AM ET
President Obama departs for the west coast Thursday for a series of fundraisers, touching down first in Seattle for two events. He then heads to Los Angeles where he will attend a glitzy $40,000 per-plate fundraiser at the home of actor George Clooney. That event alone is expected to raise $15 million. The president spends the night in Los Angeles before heading to Reno, Nevada Friday.
May 10th, 2012
07:03 AM ET
(CNN) – There are bundlers – the mega-fundraisers who collect checks from friends and contacts, then forward them to campaigns – and then there's George Clooney.
Clooney did something that few, if any, bundlers have done this year for President Barack Obama's campaign: rake in $15 million dollars, a figure provided to CNN by a top Democratic source.
The campaign raffled two tickets to join Clooney and Obama at the movie star's Los Angeles home for a dinner on Thursday. The campaign said last week that it had raked in $6 million by selling tickets for 150 guests, suggesting the raffle earned the campaign $9 million.