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. diridi

    Very Pathetic Idiots. One with Three wives., the other, Ship jobs overseas with GREED. Ha, ha, ha, ha, Well, GOP...idiots.

    December 12, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. RN

    Newt says he is upset about "an intrusion of federal courts in the private lives of Americans". And supports "defending the right of the people to rule themselves,"

    Well, what about the DOMA and abortion? and pushing a "federal marriage amendment"? really? then, not letting local governments or states enforce stricter gun laws as a way to fight crime? Aren't these intrusions into our private lives? aren't these ways the federal government prevents us from ruling ourselves?
    If they turned in a high school paper with so many inconsistencies in it they would not pass the class.
    absolutely pathetic.

    December 12, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. a in austin

    Like Calista is First Lady material. Priceless to say the least! Sleeping with her boss while he was married....real classy!

    December 12, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. sonny chapman

    Are these "fine, God Fearing folks", like Ralph Reed ready to forgive Bill Clinton for his marital infidelity? Oh, I forgot , it was Clinton's lying that was the issue.

    December 12, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    @ Lynda:

    "Married 38 years and counting ... and, you?"
    --------–
    29 years on my sentence so far.....

    December 12, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Phil in KC

    I guess, after all the fooling around and infidelity in the past, he's gotten it all out of his system.
    Now – will he sign a pledge to change his ethics, so there is not a repeat of the issues that led to his resignation from the Speakership and from the House?

    December 12, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. Dan5404

    I believe he made such a pledge at three marriage ceremonies, too, and look how faithful he was to them. Nothing but a ploy to convince evangelicals that he is something he is not.

    December 12, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    Like Calista is First Lady material. Priceless to say the least! Sleeping with her boss while he was married....real classy!

    Don't worry a in austin – Cindy McCain didn't get to the WH and neither with Callista.

    December 12, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Man DeLorean

    Personal fidelity to the "current" Mrs. Gingrich?

    Oh, and "Woman in California"? Married and faithful for 30 years, going on 31.

    Guess who else is still married and faithful to his first wife? Barack Obama.

    December 12, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    Sorry I meant: Cindy McCain didn't get to the WH and Callista won't either.

    December 12, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    @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.
    ---------------–
    I've wondered about the annulment(s) requirement also. It's been rather hush, hush. Perhaps he "converted" to get beyond the need for an annulment (or two). The whole past sins forgiven thingy.

    December 12, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. SecedingfromTexas

    "I think people have to measure who I am now, abd whether I'm a person they can trust"
    *********************
    In a nutshell:
    You don't "measure up" and I don't trust you.

    December 12, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Val in MA

    The fact that Gingrich has to make this pledge should be a problem, especially for conservative evangelicals. How are we suppose to hold him in high regard (if he gets elected to the White House) and having our kids look up to them as an example, if God forbid, the are elected First Family? Are you kidding me? It's shameful.

    December 12, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. nota bobblehead

    Third time will be the charm????????? Newt keep your account at Tiffanie's open you will need it. Your current wife is a tramp lust like you.

    December 12, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. jamel

    Married 42yr going on 43 in January took our vowels -for better or for worst in sickness and in health in the sight of God and family... how can this man run for the highest offices with such baggage without out looking in the mirrow
    Obama is a man with family values someone we as american can be proud of... If this man is choosen to be the nominee for the Republican what s shame... a sure 2012 win for a real family man.. Presidant Obama!!

    December 12, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Laverne

    People give this guy way too much credit for being smart. He actually is not that smart at all, smart people know how to cheat without getting caught, smart people don't have so many ethical offenses they get voted out of their job, smart people don't lead the charge for someone elses head to be a platter when they are doing the same thing and smart people don't say stupid stuff every 3 minutes and then act if America have amnesia! Last but not least if he were so smart he would not be running for POTUS knowing he will never be!

    December 12, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Floyd

    Gingrich: "I do, till death do us part... and this time I mean it"

    December 12, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    Newt has marvelous personal fidelity: he always puts his personal interests first. When I look at Newt, I am reminded of a quote about Jefferson Davis: " He has every characteristic of a dog except fidelity."

    December 12, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Jack from Illinois

    What a grandstander.

    And sadly, there are many (Republican) voters willing to believe him.

    December 12, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. roland

    Who cares. There was like 1 pious founding father.

    December 12, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Fair is Fair who said:
    29 years on my sentence so far.....
    ------------------------
    It appears we have found commonality after all. Cool!

    December 12, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Sorensen

    It does not mean squat whatever he "promises". His credibility is gone a long time ago.
    He should just go home to his geriatric barbie.

    December 12, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @ Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS
    **********************************************************************************]

    I'm happily married, thank you so your exclamation is moot. I think you miss the point of the quibble many like myself have with Mr. Gingrich. He's running for POTUS and has aligned himself with a political party that espouses family values. His character, however, betrays him and renders him a liar and a hypocrite. Sure, Mr. Gingrich is a good rhetorician but his integrity and value system is inchoate. Now do you get the point?

    December 12, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    "I've wondered about the annulment(s) requirement also. It's been rather hush, hush. Perhaps he "converted" to get beyond the need for an annulment (or two). The whole past sins forgiven thingy."
    ------
    Been a while since I left the Catholic faith, but I think annulments come into play if one was previously married in a catholic church and want to re-marry as a catholic again (which would not apply to Newt)... but like I said, been a while...

    December 12, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. DenverJ

    Gate open, horse long gone...

    December 12, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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