Robin Roberts Awed by Obama's Gay Marriage Stand: I Get 'Chills' When I Hear It

Good Morning America's Robin Roberts on Thursday made little effort to hide the excitement she felt when Barack Obama came out in support for gay marriage. Touting her exclusive interview with the President, Roberts marveled that, just talking about it, "I'm getting chills again." She added that the moment "was not lost on anyone" who was in the White House, Wednesday.

Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos hyped the "watershed moment." Roberts deemed it to be the President's "historic stand." During the GMA segment, she offered several softball questions, including one about Mother's Day.

On people who might actually oppose gay marriage, Roberts could only manage: "You realize there are going to be some people that are going to be saying [you made this decision for political gain]. Do you see where some people might consider that the same thing?"  [MP3 audio here.]

Roberts made no mention of the fact that one in six campaign bundlers for the President are gay. In fact, she hardly challenged him at all.

The journalist insisted that the interview was one of a "full range" and that she asked Obama about issues such as terrorism. The transcript proves this is true, but terror questions didn't air on GMA or the previous night's World News or Nightline.

What did Roberts find time for? Her GMA interview featured this question: "Mother's Day, Sasha and Malia. Do you have plans for Mrs. Obama?"

The co-anchor also focused on light-hearted video of the President walking off Air Force One without Mrs. Obama, then going back to get her.

In fact, on Tuesday, Jake Tapper grilled the White House on the President's "cynical" gay marriage dodge. ABC refused to air the questions.

Since the arrival of George Stephanopoulos, Roberts has had few political interviews. During the 2008 campaign and Obama's first year in office, however, she talked to the President a number of times. On September 9, 2009, Roberts breathlessly cooed, "How difficult is it to stay on message?"

On May 19, 2008, she asked Barack Obama if he was ready for the nasty attacks from the GOP?

A transcript of the May 10 segment can be found below:

7am tease

ROBIN ROBERTS: And this morning, our interview with the President. Taking his historic stand on one of the most controversial this election years.

BARACK OBAMA: I think same sex couples should be able to get married.

ROBERTS: Brand new revelations not yet seen in our one-on-one conversation. And he answers the question: did the Vice President force his hand? It's an ABC News exclusive.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Boy, do you know how to make a splash. A little news from the President yesterday. And, Robin, what a watershed moment. You know, whatever people think about this issue-


STEPHANOPOULOS: -and we know it's controversial, there's no denying when a president speaks out for the first time like that, it is history.

ROBERTS: And let me tell you, George- I'm getting chills again- because when you sit in that room and you hear him say those historic words, it was not lost on anyone that was in the room like that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you didn't know going in.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You knew he was going to address it, but you didn't know exactly what he was going to say.

ROBERTS: You never know what he's actually going to say until you ask him and we did talk about other things as well.


ROBERTS: But, as you said, George, it was a historic moment. President Obama saying in our exclusive interview that he is now in favor of same-sex marriage. He endorsed civil unions but opposed gay marriage during the 2008 campaign. And for the past year and a half, he indicated his feelings might have changed, especially in light of recent comments from top people in his administration. So, yesterday, at the White House, I directly asked the president this question: Mr. President, are you still opposed to same-sex marriage?

OBAMA:  I've been going through an evolution on this issue. And I had hesitated on gay marriage- in part, because I thought civil unions would be sufficient. But I have to tell you that over the course of several years, as I talk to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about  members of my own staff who are incredibly committed, monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, at a certain point, I've just concluded that- for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married. And I continue to believe that this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level, because historically, this has not been a federal issue.

ROBERTS: But Mr. President, it's not been being worked out on the state level. We saw that Tuesday in North Carolina, the 30th state, in essence, to announce its ban gay marriage.

OBAMA: What I'm saying is is that different states are coming to different conclusions. I think it's important to recognize that folks who feel very strongly that marriage should be defined narrowly as- between a man and a woman- many of them are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective. You know, a bunch of 'em are friends of mine-- you know, pastors and-- you know, people who-- I deeply respect.

ROBERTS: Especially in the black community.

OBAMA: Absolutely.

ROBERTS: And it's very- a difficult conversation to have.

OBAMA: But- but I think it's important for me- to say to them that as much as I respect 'em, as much as I understand where they're coming from- when I meet gay and lesbian couples, when I meet same-sex couples, it just has tipped the scales in that direction.

ROBERTS: A historic and controversial announcement he says is happening now, in part because Vice President Biden's revelation this weekend that he was absolutely comfortable with same sex marriage. Did he jump the gun a little bit here?

OBAMA: I had already made a decision that we were going to take this position before the election and before the convention. He probably got a little bit out above his skis, but out of generosity of spirit.

ROBERTS: So, you're not upset with anybody?

OBAMA: Would I have preferred to have done this in my own way? In my own terms without I think there being a lot of notice to everyone? Sure. But all's well that ends well.

ROBERTS: The President says one inspiration for his change of heart was close to home.

OBAMA: You know, Malia and Sasha, they've got friends whose parents are same-sex couples. It wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. It doesn't make sense to them. And- and frankly- that's the kind of thing that prompts-- a change of perspective. You know, not wanting to somehow explain to your child why somebody should be treated  differently, when it comes to the eyes of the law.

ROBERTS: But what about critics charging this move is just about politics, looking for an edge in a tight race against Mitt Romney? You and others in your administration have been critical of him changing positions, feeling that he's doing it for political gain. You realize there are going to be some people that are going to be saying the same of you about this. Do you see where some people might consider that the same thing?

OBAMA: I think it'd be hard to argue that somehow this is- something that I'd be doing for political advantage- because frankly, you know- you know, the politics, it's not clear how they cut. But I'm not gonna be spending most of my time talking about this, because frankly- my job as president right now, my biggest priority is to make sure that- we're growing the economy, that we're putting people back to work.

ROBERTS: And on that note, a new turf battle in the campaign. The President taking aim at Romney over Detroit's resurgence. Mitt Romney just recently said that he deserves the credit for the revival of the U.S. auto industry. How do you respond to that?

OBAMA: Well-- you know, I think this is one of his Etch-a-Sketch moments. I don't think anybody takes that seriously. People remember his position, which was, "Let's let Detroit go bankrupt." So, had we followed his advice at that time, GM and Chrysler would have gone under and we would have lost a million jobs in the midwest.

ROBERTS: Mother's Day, Sasha and Malia. Do you have plans for Mrs. Obama?

OBAMA: I'm sure some aspect of that will be handmade. You know, Malia and Sasha-- it's sort of like an arms race in terms of who can make the bigger, more creative card.

ROBERTS: You're not going to leave Mrs. Obama on Air Force One again on Mother's Day or anything like that?

OBAMA: Did you see that?

ROBERTS: Yeah, kinda did.

OBAMA: Oh, it was embarrassing.

ROBERTS: But you went back and got her.

OBAMA: I did. I thought she was behind me.

ROBIN ROBERTS: Right, right, right, right.

OBAMA: See, she gave me so much grief.

ROBERTS: The final question, did you discuss this with Mrs. Obama? The same sex marriage issue?

OBAMA: She feels the same way I do. We're both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds of the views of others, but when we think about our faith, the thing- at root that we think about is not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf but it's also the golden rule. I figure the more consistent I can be in being true to- to those precepts, the better I'll be as a dad and a husband, and hopefully the better I'll be as a president.

ROBERTS: Mr. President, thank you very much.

OBAMA: Thank you.

ROBERTS: And, George, you know full well what it's like to get a call from the White House. We got a call saying the President wanted to talk. No guidelines or indications what he wanted to discuss. We knew this issue was very much in the news cycle because of things that had been said, but had no idea he would go as far as he did.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I have to say, watching this. You know, and I asked the president about gay marriage several times over the last couple years. He was always pretty much uncomfortable giving that answer about the evolution. He seemed at peace with the answer yesterday.  

ROBERTS: He was very comfortable in talking about it. And, again, we talked about other issues. We talked about terrorism, Mitt Romney, politics. It was a full-range interview. But of course, this is the moment and this is the topic that really got everybody's attention.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And it is right in the middle of a presidential election campaign, which drew out Mitt Romney right away as well. He responded a couple of hours after the President.

MITT ROMNEY: This is a very tender and sensitive topic, as are many social issues. But I have the same view that I've had since- well, since running for office. My view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman. And that's my own preference. I know other people have differing views.

-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.