December 12th, 2011
02:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich promises 'personal fidelity' in pledge

(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."

Also see:

Romney fires back, works to appeal to everyday Americans

With 3 weeks until caucuses, Gingrich remains on top in Iowa polls

Huntsman defector faults candidate's N.H. strategy

Gingrich challenges Romney to a bet


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (378 Responses)
  1. billp

    It's important to believe that words speak louder than actions. That's what it takes to believe in Gingrinch.

    December 12, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  2. independent

    I promise to be faithful, this time, if you elect me President? Is that what he is saying?

    December 12, 2011 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. SC

    "ACTIONS speak louder than words". Evangelicals, will you really choose Newt to be the standard bearer for your values??? The Democrats will love taking over as the party of "family values" if he wins.

    December 12, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. Mike

    We need Ron Paul!!!

    December 12, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  5. parkmore

    Fidelity, what else. Newt is not trustful.

    December 12, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  6. southside mike

    Didn't he already promise this to his first, and second wives?

    December 12, 2011 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  7. newtanyahu

    Is an oath of "personal fidelity" different from an oath of "marital fidelity"? Must be.

    December 13, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  8. caeser

    Newt....the name say's it all.

    December 13, 2011 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  9. borisjimbo

    First time for everything.

    December 13, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  10. Godfrey

    Let's just take it at face value. I mean... why would he lie?

    December 13, 2011 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  11. Jimbo

    Newt will soon be shopping around.

    December 13, 2011 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  12. Fricker88

    Newt's "pledge" is proof positive that he will say or do whatever it takes to get elected. I'll bet that he ha his fingers & toes crossed when he made the pledge!!!

    December 13, 2011 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  13. Happily Married Lesbian

    Interesting that the country is so concerned with gay marriage. I have been with my wife for 20 years happliy and legally married for 2. Seems lesbians can be more faithful than an GOP candidate.

    December 13, 2011 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  14. Kodes100

    Are you Republicans really buying this crap out of Newt Gingrich's mouth?
    He promised this in his vows to his first two wives.
    How did that go??

    December 13, 2011 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  15. gliese42

    That would be a difficult pledge but as you age...it is possible

    December 13, 2011 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  16. RSRSFB

    Ones without sin can cast the first stone.

    December 13, 2011 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  17. rude

    Yet another pledge? This time he means it? The circus is getting weird.

    December 13, 2011 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  18. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Let him keep talking. Right into the ground.

    December 13, 2011 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  19. AlaskaPalin

    Take his marital pledges with a grain of salt. Newt like clinton will make a good president but such a husband is another thing.

    December 13, 2011 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  20. Beatrix Kiddo

    Doesn't Newt realize what an embarrassing mistake he just made? He had to promise not to commit adultery anymore to get Christians to vote for him. Newt has now publicly branded himself with the Scarlet Letter.

    December 13, 2011 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  21. Philojazz

    Read my lips....NO NEWT PLEDGES!!

    December 13, 2011 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  22. Aida

    A politician making a pledge during a campaign? Yeah, sure, I'd believe that!

    December 13, 2011 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  23. AGeek

    Newt, you're 68 years old, buddy. Why start now? There's a saying about old dogs and new tricks ..and I'm not believing your Bravo Sierra one iota.

    December 13, 2011 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  24. fronco123

    A Gingrich win as the nominee, will assure a Obama win by a record landslide.

    December 13, 2011 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  25. Bob

    I love how character now matters with you liberals when it didn't mean a thing with Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy..

    December 13, 2011 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
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