By Justin Sink
A former top adviser to President Obama is pushing back after a new book suggested that the president was rushed into announcing his support for gay marriage in 2012 after comments made by Vice President Biden.
The book by journalist Jo Becker, Facing the Spring, also suggests that top political strategists — including former Republican National Chairman Ken Melhman, who is gay — were deeply involved in discussions over how, if, and when to roll out an announcement by Obama in favor of gay marriage.
"Once he made the decisions, it was a settled debate. All we did was help think through the timing and some of the questions that would arise from his statement," Plouffe said in an interview with the Daily Dish.
Plouffe said there were "no guarantees this would not cost us votes in some of the battleground states" and that the president pushed forward despite the political "risk associated with it."
The former top Obama aide also revealed that the White House's "internal clock" had set a June deadline for the president's announcement before Biden voiced his support for same-sex marriage on "Meet the Press" in May 2012.
According to Plouffe, Obama would have made his announcement "within a week or two" regardless of Biden.
"So it might have sped it up by a matter of days, if that. He was very calm about it," he said.
He added it would have been "impossible to imagine not getting the question" during the presidential campaign.
"There was platform language for the convention that had to be agreed to and the debates looming and he would start doing a lot of local interviews as well as national," Plouffe said.
The account offered by Plouffe differs sharply from Becker's book, which details "the chaos that erupted inside the West Wing" after Biden's interview. One White House official is quoted as saying the team "had not fully resolved yet what they wanted to do" on the issue.
Dan Pfeiffer, a longtime Obama aide currently serving as a senior White House adviser, tweeted that Plouffe's account was the "true story" of the president on gay marriage.