Shortly after President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage in an interview with ABC on Wednesday, former Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell said that the interview was designed to divert attention away from economic issues.
"In my opinion this is a distraction," she said to Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto. "President Obama does not have a record that he can stand on. People are not finding jobs, they cannot find a house. The worst thing that can happen for his re-election efforts is if every day that goes by people are being reminded of this economic mess that his policies have created in this country."
Ironically, O'Donnell was considered a culture warrior during her 2010 Senate run in Delaware, where she rode Tea Party support to an upset victory over long-time Rep. Mike Castle in the Republican primary. She lost the general election to Sen. Chris Coons (D) in a landslide.
O'Donnell also predicted that Mitt Romney would largely avoid the debate and focus on the economy. "What [Obama] is trying to do, I think, is similar to the Santorum contraception argument that took him off-message. And I don't think the Romney campaign will take the bait, because Governor Romney has a brilliant plan, bold ideas that will restore the economy, and President Obama doesn't want people looking at that."
Minutes after O'Donnell's interview, Romney fielded questions on the issue after a speech in Oklahoma City. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee addressed the announcement but shied away from attacking Obama for his new stance, calling same-sex marriage a "tender and sensitive topic" and reiterating that his stance had not changed during the campaign or since he was governor of Massachusetts.
"I have the same view that I've had since running for office," he said.
Asked if Obama had flip-flopped on gay marriage, Romney declined to pick up a line of attack that has frequently been aimed at him. He said to reporters that he believed the announcement represented a change of heart but did not used the phrase "flip-flop" himself. "You'll be able to make that determination on your own," he said.