During an appearance on Meet the Press in February, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who Mitt Romney named as his Republican running mate on Saturday, questioned the continued focus on marriage equality as a campaign issue.
Asked by host David Gregory if same-sex marriage, which at the time was working its way through the Maryland Legislature and President Barack Obama had yet to endorse, was an "issue that's legitimate for the presidential campaign," Ryan said the debt crisis and budget were the issues really driving the election.
"I don't know why we're spending all this time talking about this," Ryan said of marriage equality. "We've got a debt crisis coming and the administration just gave us a budget that just simply charts another path to debt and decline. It's an unserious budget that just fails at tackling these challenges and I think that's what we ought to be talking about right now."
Gregory noted that marriage equality, like other social issues, ranks high in importance for many Republican voters.
"But as you know," Gregory said to Ryan, "there's a presidential campaign and you're a Republican leader in the Congress and the reality is that these social issues are occupying a lot of bandwidth with the Republican primary voters."
As Metro Weekly reported on Saturday, Ryan is well known for his free market views and focus on economic policy, but is still a strict social conservative with a history of anti-gay positions, having twice voted to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriages. Although his pick by Romney signals a continued focus on the economy this presidential campaign, it is also a reinforcement of Romney's conservative positions on LGBT issues.
WATCH Ryan's comments on marriage equality here: