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. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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!

    Married 38 years and counting ... and, you?

    December 12, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Peggy - TX

    Few people are called upon to express such a promise. Hmmm .. it sounds a lot like an Alcoholic promising to not drive drunk... like lindy Lohan in front of the judge saying “sir I promise I will not drive drunk” .. like the scorpion to the frog: “trust me if I sting you we will both drown” .... like the Ryan to seniors: “he GOP will protect Medicare” … like the GOP members of Congress “Give the Uber-rich even more money, more tax breakes, and free child labor and it will tinkle down” ….

    December 12, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Julia

    How can a good Catholic be married three times, I never heard about this one are you sure he isn't a Mormon?

    December 12, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The question is: Do the evangelicals believe him, or have they smartened up with their GOPers and realize that the pledge is not worth the paper it is written on?
    Maybe they are praying....
    I mean, come the hell on people IT'S NEWT! NEWT GINGRICH we're talking about here!

    December 12, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "I'd just love to know how many of the people in here attacking Newt for his past marriages are themselves divorced!! "

    You might want to start off by understanding that nobody is attacking Newtered for his part marriages, but rather how he disrespected and ruined them while simultaneously and hypocrtiically preaching "family values." After yo get that in your head, we can move on to teaching you that burning straw men really doesn't add to the discussion.

    December 12, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. 2buttercups

    This is becoming more and more unbelievable. What are the consequences of breaking the pledge? Impeachment?
    Peace.

    December 12, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "How can a good Catholic be married three times"

    An interesting question actually. Someone should ask him whether he was granted annulments by the Church and how he managed to get them considering the reasons underlying the divorces.

    December 12, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. Julia

    Yes, Tax the rich, Tax the corporations, just like they tax the middle class, the 99%, why should we pay for corporate welfare and welfare for the rich. Democracy Now and we mean for the middle class. Why should I pay taxes and most of the rich welfare recipients pay nothing or something like 1%. This is not Democracy, this is enslaving the working class. Class warfare, you bet. Remember Russian and France.

    December 12, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. Scott in Atlanta

    No... Really? Are you serious? I mean, for real? Noooo. Seriously? C'mon maaaaaan.

    December 12, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Curt

    Seems to me Newt and the others are hypocrites. They carry on about the gov't and the courts intruding on peoples private lives yet all these republican " Jesus freaks" think their views on religion, marriage, gays etc. is the way the country should be run. Are their opnions not an intrusion on people's private rights? Really scary to think that any of the Reublicans running might get elected.

    December 12, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. lib4ever

    His lips are moving...he's lying.......

    December 12, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. politics as usual

    Really, Newt? I think I'm going to be sick...

    December 12, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. ..a laurel and hardy handshake..

    Say Ollie, didn't NEWT ALREADY SIGN A PLEDGE TO NORQUIST AND THE TEA PARTY ?
    .
    You are so observant, Stanley my boy, NEWT HAS ALSO SIGNED SECRET PLEDGES TO THE KOCH BROTHERS, FANNIE MAE, THE WATERGATE DEFENSE FUND, THE NIXON SECRET LIBRARY, and THE RONALD REAGAN I CAN'T RECALL CENTER.

    December 12, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Scott O' Canada

    C'mon man. Really??? Spoken like a true philandering traveling saleman when leaving home on a business trip.
    Peace out.

    December 12, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda/Minnesota

    "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!

    Married 38 years and counting ... and, you?
    ------------------------
    28 years for me that feel like 28 minutes...under water (wink, wink)!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    December 12, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    47 years and counting - how about you?

    December 12, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. Wes B.

    The dude didn't just get divorced twice. He divorced a woman when she was on her death bed...while seeing who became wife #2. This guy didn't just simply have a marriage or two that didn't work out. He showed terribly sickening character and judgement.

    December 12, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Didn't Newt say that he committed marital sins because of his patriotism and love of country? So, why do we want to give heroin to the recovered addict? Sounds like a really bad idea to me. Don't you think so?

    December 12, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    "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!

    I"m married and I've NEVER been divored. Surprise, surprise.

    December 12, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Julia

    How can a good Catholic be married three times, I never heard about this one are you sure he isn't a Mormon?
    ---------------
    He wasn't a Catholic all of his life. He converted to Catholicism to marry his current wife.

    December 12, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Wes B.

    :::"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, ....," Vander Plaats said.:::

    Religious liberty and freedom? That's the OPPOSITE of what these people want! If you don't believe exactly what THEY believe, then they want to throw you out.

    December 12, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. ST

    This man must stop fooling people. What is is the use of a pledge/vow while all the rights have been switched off. The vow/pledge is made that you should not go against that power/force to act accordingly. 68 years old now and he pretends that the rights are still on!!!! A big liar!

    December 12, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. Thomas

    If Newt wore his pledges on his chest , he would look more like Soviet era General !

    Ask his past wives about commitment compared to a pledge !

    How dose a person hang himself with so much rope ?

    December 12, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. rosaadriana

    A little late for that don't you think.

    December 12, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Squigman

    What a creep.

    December 12, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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