Two possible GOP candidates for president have criticized President Barack Obama's decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The Clinton-era law bans federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples and allows states to ignore such marriages. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Wednesday that he and the president believe parts of the law are unconstitutional.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, an opponent of gay rights, said Obama is attempting to “erode” American traditions

“When the definition of marriage has been put before the people, they have time and time again – from Maine to California – stood up in defense of the traditional family,” Santorum said in a statement. “President Obama's refusal to defend a law that was overwhelmingly supported on both sides of the aisle and signed into law by a president of his own party is an affront to the will of the people. This is yet another example of our president’s effort to erode the very traditions that have made our country the greatest nation on earth, and it begs the question what language changed in the constitution since 2008 to reverse his position.”

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said the decision could “destroy” Obama.

“It may destroy him [Obama], may destroy his credibility, may destroy his campaign and candidacy and ultimately his term in office,” Huckabee said in a CBS News interview. “It takes more than one president to destroy marriage.”

“He himself didn't take this position when he ran for president.” he added. “I think if he had, he wouldn't be president.”

(In fact, as a candidate the president called for the law's repeal)