"I could" imagine a GOP presidential candidate supporting gay marriage, Republican adviser Karl Rove said Sunday.
"Can you imagine in the next presidential campaign, a Republican candidate, saying flat out, 'I am for gay marriage?'" George Stephanopoulos asked former President George W. Bush's deputy chief of staff on ABC News' This Week.
After overseeing Bush's successful re-election campaign in 2004, Rove commented that the president would continue to push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. "Marriage is and should be defined as being between on man and one woman," Rove said in 2004 on Meet the Press.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week about the constitutionality of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples.
American support of marriage equality recently reached a new record. In an ABC News/Washington Post poll, 58% of registered American voters favored marriage equality. In a similar survey in 2004, 32% of registered voters supported same-sex marriage.
Two weeks ago, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman reversed his anti-gay marriage position, citing his son's homosexuality as the contributing factor in his changed stance. Previously, he voted in favor of DOMA. He was among other politicians -- including former President Bill Clinton who signed DOMA into law in 1996 during his re-election campaign -- who have said recently they endorse same-sex marriage.
During the discussion, Rove, who is also a Fox News contributor, said the Republican Party faces strategic issues.
"The Republican Party has to change from being simply a party of green eye-shades to being a party that stands for the right of every American," he said, adding that Republicans should have "a party that emphasizes economic growth and prosperity over green eye-shade issues."
Those comments echoed those made by Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus following the release of a party-commissioned report on the GOP's failings.