(CNN) - Newt Gingrich stepped up his efforts to appeal to evangelical Christian voters in Iowa Monday by promising in writing to "defend and strengthen the family."
Gingrich, who has been married three times, specifically said he would "uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others."
Gingrich made the pledge to The Family Leader, a socially conservative group based in Iowa. The organization has its own Marriage Pledge that other 2012 White House hopefuls have signed, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Gingrich did not sign The Family Leader's pledge himself, but did provide a lengthy written response to the organization. The former House speaker said he was fully committed to defending traditional marriage, including enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act and supporting a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman.
Gingrich also used his pledge to lambaste what he called an intrusion of federal courts in the private lives of Americans, saying the phenomenon "amounts to a constitutional crisis."
In a statement accompanying Gingrich's pledge, Family Leader President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats welcomed the former House speaker's commitment.
"We are pleased that Speaker Gingrich has affirmed our pledge and are thankful we have on record his statements regarding DOMA, support of a federal marriage amendment, defending the unborn, pledging fidelity to his spouse, defending religious liberty and freedom, supporting sound pro-family economic issues, and defending the right of the people to rule themselves," Vander Plaats said.
In November, the group said it had narrowed the list of candidates it might endorse to four: Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann and Santorum.
Political observers have long questioned Gingrich's appeal to socially conservative Christian voters because of his multiple marriages. The pledge made Monday came after Perry questioned Gingrich's marriages at a Republican primary debate in Iowa Saturday.
Perry warned that a politician who was unfaithful to his wife might also cheat in other ways, adding, "if you cheat on your wife, you'll cheat on your business partner, so I think that issue of fidelity is important."
Gingrich took the criticism in stride, saying "I've made mistakes at times. I've had to go to God for forgiveness. I think people have to measure who I am now, and whether I'm a person they can trust."
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Newt, you already made & broke that vow twice – this is just plain gross. Wonder how many abortions he's been responsible for ...
It only goes to prove, that serial adulterers have feelings too. I wonder if the teavangelicals will buy into this, because Newtered only had affairs because he loved the country so much.
Well, this should prove interesting.
How utterly pathetic he is.
now that your 68 ... easy task ....you had your fun.. and now your a sr .... i will be true to my honey...yea right
Didn't Newt make that same pledge to his first 2 wives? We all can see how much he honored those pledges. Anyone who would vote for this vile man is in need of serious therapy.
How many crazy pledges do republicans have to make before voters realize that they are putting less important things above our country that will negate their pledge to our government and our people? Pledges to teavangelicals and Norquist are un American.
OMG, don't make promises you can't keep! What is it with the republicans and signing pledges??? You signed a marriage certificate too, but you chose not to honor that. Newt said "I asked God for forgiveness and had to reconcile my faith" then why are so you judgemental and critical of others? The bible I read says the merciful shall obtain mercy, there is nothing merciful about Newt, except when he is begging for mercy from others! HYPOCRITE!
How old are these people, 15?! What's with all this pledge crap? The only pledge they should be signing is to the American people, not these nut-job fruitcakes that want to impose their will/religion onto the rest of the country. I hope Gingrich get the nomination, I really do, because the republicans will lose in a landslide. The majority of Americans don't appreciate this crap nor do they trust Gingrich any further than they can throw him.
I'd just love to know how many of the people in here attacking Newt for his past marriages are themselves divorced!! With a 50% divorce rate, I would venture to say A LOT OF YOU ARE HYPOCRITES!
The former Speaker clearly defines "Do what I say but don't do what I do". What a golden Republican Rule to follow ? WOW !!!!.
What's this? Newt's now going to run a campaign based on "family values"? Will wonders never cease?
I'm going to repeat myself. Newt is only true to one person, and that person is himself. He once heard "to thyne own self be true" but didn't hear the end of the quote.
Wow, there goes the theory that Newt is running for president to meet women and get rich too. When Newt makes a pledge, he means it. Just kidding.
Can you say, "serial philanderer"? A pledge from this guy is like, well, no pledge at all. If this is what passes for a political candidate in America these days, we are all in deep trouble. Bob VanderPlatts and The Family Leader make me embarrassed to be from Iowa. Come on, people. Use your feeble brains once in awhile. Gingrich is a first-class clown who is interested in nothing other than hearing himself speak. Don't be fooled. He is still the same boob he's always been. We deserve better. I'm an Obama man, but take a look at Jon Hunstman. He's got brains, experience, and a heart, and he seems to be more concerned for America and all the Americans living here then any other Republican.
Noodle Nose Johnson
How utterly pathetic he is.
Go Newt! Your nomination would guarentee a landslide reelection of Obama. Signed, thinking Americans
"Defending the unborn," Platts? What about the people already born?
As for Gingrich, it's not just his hypocritical stance on marriage that I don't trust him. Doing some research on his actions as Speaker of the House in 1994 (I was only a child that time), I see no reason to trust him running this country.
Seriously? I think we've already heard all of this before.
The article incorrectly states the following:
"Political observers have long questioned Gingrich's appeal to socially conservative Christian voters because of his multiple marriages."
Being married multiple times is not really the problem; it was the adultery that lead to two divorces and to the second two marriages.
I'll bet some folks might buy that. But then again it just seems so Republican to have to promise that they'll be good- especially when we know they won't.
@So what was the marriage ceremony for?
All candidates should be asked whether they have ever been involved in abortion or not. Some may have paid or urged old girlfriends or sidekicks to have abortions.
Because someone is pro-choice does not mean that the person supports abortion, just like allowing atheist not to believe in God does not mean that one does not believe in God too.
Newt joins a lot of other family values republicans who were not loyal to their spouses, like Ensign, Vitter, Craig, Sanford, McCain. The only problem is they say they are family values republicans.
@Democrats answer blah blah
"I'd just love to know how many of the people in here attacking Newt for his past marriages are themselves divorced!! "
... and how many are presenting themselves as potentially the next leader of the country?? Miss the point much??
Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS
"I'd just love to know how many of the people in here attacking Newt for his past marriages are themselves divorced!! With a 50% divorce rate, I would venture to say A LOT OF YOU ARE HYPOCRITES!"
Personally, I've been married for 14 years, and never been divorced: are you welcoming himk to your support group?
I think he is trying to sell us a swanp. Really Newt-y. I do not belive he is saying this. Trying to up is image with the T baggers, gonna only marry once to be faithfull promoters.