Jay Leno tried to change Michele Bachmann’s mind on the issue of gay marriage, but he gave up after about 40 seconds.
The mild-mannered discussion (not a vociferous debate like you might see breaking out on “The View,” for example) came as part of Bachmann’s visit to “The Tonight Show” Friday night on NBC.
In case you didn’t know, Bachmann – the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and presidential candidate who was tagged as a “firebrand” by label-happy CNN this past week – is against gay marriage. It’s not too surprising – her supporters are against it too.
But on “The Tonight Show,” Leno revealed that gay marriage is OK with him. Taken by itself, his admission wasn’t all that notable since many people are for gay marriage. But it is an extreme rarity for middle-of-the-road Leno to take a public stand on any issue.
“Gay marriage – why be against it?” Leno asked her. “I’ve been married 31 years. First wife. Very happy. Two gay people want to get married that’s their business. That doesn’t concern us. I mean, why is that even an issue?”
“Well, because the family is foundational,” Bachmann said, “and marriage between a man and a woman has been what the law has been for years and years.”
“I tried it myself — it works great for me!” said Leno, trying the comedy approach to softening her up on the issue.
“You see?” said Bachmann, who then basically clammed up on the subject.
“I’m not gonna change your mind on that one,” Leno said resignedly.
The two also talked about the national debt (Bachmann’s against it) and the ongoing war in Afghanistan. On the latter subject, Leno asked her a pointed question: Should the U.S. pull out? And she evaded it.
“Well, I think that we’ve got a mess over there,” she non-answered. “And we just observed the 10th anniversary of 9/11. And 9/11 was hatched in the mountains of Afghanistan. That’s where the training was done for al Qaeda and the Taliban. And it’s an ugly situation, but one thing I do know is that our men and women in uniform are doing an unbelievable job.”