White House press secretary Robert Gibbs sidestepped questions Monday from the Washington Blade about President Obama's position on marriage equality.
Chris Johnson from the Blade asked Gibbs whether Obama had "backtracked" from a statement of support for same-sex marriage in a 1996 questionnaire during his campaign for an Illinois state senate seat.
"I think there's a whole host of issues that I would direct you to the campaign on -- on different questionnaires and I would again reiterate what the president has said recently on that issue," Gibbs said.
The Blade followed by asking if Gibbs denies the accuracy of the questionnaire, to which Gibbs replied, "Again, I'm happy to send you the several thousand clips of which went around during the course of 2008 on a whole host of those issues."
The Blade initially reported that Gibbs seemed to end the press conference abruptly as a result of the line of questioning, which the White House flatly denied. Shin Inouye, a White House spokesman and director of specialty media, said that the Associated Press reporter had signaled the end of the briefing:
"As the transcript clearly shows, the AP reporter noted the end of the press briefing with the customary 'thank you.' Even after that, Gibbs did stay on to take 18 additional questions," Inouye said in a statement. "To suggest that he would step away from the podium before the briefing is over is not only wrong, it's offensive."