Biden: Obama had 'big grin' following surprise statement backing gay marriage

Vice President Biden (D) said he declared his support for same-sex marriage in a surprise campaign-season endorsement last year because he “couldn’t be quiet about it anymore.”

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“Remember, I got criticized for saying I support gay marriage,” Biden said in a Rolling Stone interview published Thursday. 

“I just decided I couldn't be quiet about it anymore, and everybody was stunned that that's where the public is. And I'm not stunned; it's where the public's been for a while. Talk to any of your kids, for God's sake.”

Last May, in the heat of President Obama’s reelection efforts, Biden went on "Meet the Press" and said he was “comfortable” with same-sex marriage. Obama had not at that point announced his support for gay marriage, and the vice president’s endorsement left the campaign lurching to clarify the administration’s position.

The following week, Obama acknowledged he had decided to make an announcement endorsing gay marriage before the election, but Biden's comments forced his hand early.

Biden at the time said he apologized to the president for putting him in that position, but in the Rolling Stone interview, Biden said Obama couldn’t have been happier.

“I got blowback from everybody but the president,” Biden said. “I walked in that Monday, he had a big grin on his face, he put his arms around me and said, ‘Well, Joe, God love you, you say what you think.’ I knew he agreed with me. It wasn't like he was in a different place.”



Several recent polls have shown voters have become more accepting of same-sex marriage. Earlier this year, several lawmakers announced their new-found support for gay marriage ahead of a Supreme Court case in which the justices avoided making a broad ruling on the matter.