Is Paul Babeu moving from being an
anti-gay rights by association politician to a gay marriage advocate?
The 43-year-old Babeu appeared Monday
on CNN's The Situation Room, where he told host Wolf Blitzer
that he wants the federal government out of the marriage business,
just like GOP presidential candidate Paul.
“And this is where I go Ron Paul on
people, in terms of the libertarian” Babeu said in answering
whether gay marriage should be legal. “I believe in less
government at the federal level. They should get out of people's
lives. Unless it's an enumerated power in the Constitution it falls
to the states.”
Babeu, the sheriff of Pinal County,
Arizona who is running to represent the people of the 4th
District of Arizona as a Republican, on Saturday denied charges that
he threatened to have his ex-boyfriend, a Mexican national, deported.
While Babeu has not previously denied
his sexual orientation, analysts have made much of the company he
keeps and the presumption of being anti-gay by association. Babeu in
2010 was featured in an ad with Arizona Senator John McCain, an
opponent of gay marriage and repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”
He's also donated to the campaign of former Arizona State Senator
Timothy Bee, who introduced Arizona's constitutional amendment which
defines marriage as a heterosexual union.
Several polls showed Babeu leading his
opponents before the news broke on Thursday.
Babeu attempted to mollify the party
faithful by saying he supports freedom of religion. He then added,
“You can't legislate love.” (The video is embedded in the right
panel of this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
Romney camp doesn't have a problem with Paul Babeu being gay.)