“President Obama brought this issue up because he wants to – he can’t run on his record,” Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “He’s trying to raise divisive issues up to solidify his base and to divide the country, and that isn’t what we should be focusing on now. We should be focusing on jobs and the economy.”

When asked whether Mr. Obama’s GOP opponent Mitt Romney should avoid the topic of same-sex marriage, Cornyn said, “I think we ought to talk about what the American people want, and that is jobs and get the economy on track.”

Other conservatives have said that if Mr. Obama’s announcement was politically motivated, it was a foolish move.

“I don’t think the president did a political calculus to do this because if he did, he needs to go back to the calculator because it’s a bad formula,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”