When asked to explain his position on marriage equality, U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) -- who is said to have gubernatorial aspirations in the Land of Lincoln -- offered a strange response at a media event on Wednesday.
The Capitol Fax blog on Thursday posted video of Schock being asked by a reporter why he didn't support marriage equality -- a hot button issue in Illinois, where state lawmakers are expected next to take up legislation that could legalize same-sex marriage next month.
Schock's response: "Uh, well, I, I just haven't."
When pressed whether there was a reason, the congressman wasn't much clearer.
"I think everybody has a set of beliefs on issues, social issues in particular, that are a reflection of how they were raised and their set of beliefs," he said.
(Watch the video above to hear the rest of Schock's response.)
Schock has previously expressed his opposition to marriage equality -- he told BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner last year that he'd support a federal marriage amendment banning same-sex marriage. When it was explained to him that that would block states from OKing same-sex unions within their borders -- he conceded that he had not "really thought too much about it.” He also criticized President Obama and the Department of Justice for not defending the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court.
Schock, who is known for his fantastic and Men's Health-documented physique, has been the subject of persistent gay rumors and called questions from reporters on the matter "completely ridiculous and inappropriate."
The 31-year-old congressman was criticized last week by fellow rumored gubernatorial challenger and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who said Schock is "not even close" to being qualified to be Illinois governor. Schock called Rauner's criticism "interesting" given that he claims Rauner previously encouraged him to run for the office.
Schock, who has yet to formally announce a gubernatorial bid, has also lashed out against possible Republican rivals state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, who he described as part of a group of "a lot of the same horses [that] trot out on the track that have proven nothing more than they can lose an election" in Illinois, according to a Chicago Tribune interview.
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William M. Daley
The former Chief of Staff for President Obama Bill Daley (and brother to former Chicago mayor Richard Daley) earlier said a 2014 run was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kyle-hillman/illinois-election-results_b_2093595.html">a possibility. </a> <a href="http://capitolfax.com/2013/01/22/lisa-madigan-more-than-just-hints-at-gubernatorial-bid/">Daley confirmed in Jan. 2013 to Capitol Fax that Former President Bill Clinton has encouraged him to run. </a> As of Sept. 16, however, Daley announced he was dropping his bid.
Gov. Pat Quinn
Despite mounting economic woes for Illinois coupled with a <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-08/news/ct-met-illinois-democrats-2014-20120908_1_pat-quinn-dan-hynes-pension-payments">tumbling approval rating from the state's unions</a>, Quinn is <a href="http://www.cinewsnow.com/news/local/2014-Governer-race-speculation-begins-178032101.html">considered likely to run again</a> in 2014.
Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford
On running for governor in 2014, Treasurer Dan Rutherford <a href="http://www.cinewsnow.com/news/local/2014-Governer-race-speculation-begins-178032101.html">didn't <em>quite</em> dodge the question</a>: "Let me just say bluntly it's an option that's out there." In June, <a href="http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/06/02/Republican-Dan-Rutherford-says-he-will-run-for-governor-of-Illinois/UPI-81001370207168/" target="_blank">Rutherford confirmed he would seek the GOP nomination for governor. </a>
Republican State Senator Kirk Dillard
Dillard <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/illinois-governor-2014-kirk-dillard-177938001.html">announced Nov. 8</a> his plans to run for governor in 2014. Dillard narrowly lost the 2010 Gubernatorial Primary to Republican Sen. Bill Brady.
Republican State Senator Matt Murphy
Matt Murphy told an NBC affiliate in Peoria, Ill., <a href="http://www.cinewsnow.com/news/local/2014-Governer-race-speculation-begins-178032101.html">"If there's an interest in me running, I'm interested in helping the state turnaround."</a>
Attorney General Lisa Madigan
Madigan's name had been bandied about as a possible gubernatorial candidate in 2014, but she announced on July 15 that she will not be running for governor, citing the conflict of interest with her father that would result were she elected. In January of 2011, <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/politics&id=8961303">Madigan may have tipped her hand more strongly to on running when she told ABC Chicago</a>, "I think there's a lot of people who are considering what they want to do in the future and if they can be of greater service to the people of the state. I am among those people,"
Republican State Senator Dan Duffy
Dan Duffy is among the politicians wonks are <a href="http://www.cinewsnow.com/news/local/2014-Governer-race-speculation-begins-178032101.html">speculating could run for governor</a> in 2014.
Republican State Senator Bill Brady
Though Brady lost the race for governor in 2010 to Pat Quinn, he <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-republican-brady-launches-third-try-for-illinois-governor-20130626,0,1104704.story" target="_blank">announced June 26 in Chicago he would run again in 2014. </a> The day after the Nov. 6 election, a <a href="http://www.bradyforillinois.com/">Bill Brady for Governor</a> website went live.
Republican Congressman Aaron Schock
It's an <a href="http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2012/11/schock-explorin.php">"open secret"</a> among many in the GOP that the two-term congressman from Peoria, Ill. wants to become the youngest governor in the state's history. In April, however, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/26/aaron-schock-governor-rum_n_3170166.html" target="_blank">the young congressman said he would not seek the governorship in the upcoming election cycle. </a>
The recently-retired <a href="http://www.gtcr.com/">private equity executive</a> has had his name floated as a potential Republican gubernatorial candidate. <a href="http://www.sj-r.com/opinions/x1665862994/Bernard-Schoenburg-Schock-Rauner-already-at-odds-in-possible-governor-race?zc_p=0">Rauner may have made his gubernatorial intentions known to potential competition, Ill. Rep Aaron Schock. </a> Schock told Bernard Schoenburg of the State Journal Register he was "taken aback” when Rauner said he was seriously considering a run of his own for the office. On June 5, Rauner made his campaign official and released the news via Twitter.
Democratic State's Attorney Chris Kennedy
Kennedy hasn't said he would run for governor in 2014--yet--but<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kyle-hillman/illinois-election-results_b_2093595.html"> his name has come up</a> as a possible entry into the race.
Tio Hardiman, a community activist and ex-director of CeaseFire Illinois, announced his plan to run for governor in mid-August.