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. kate

    This guy has changes his wife three times same number of times he changes his religion,Lutheran,Baptist now Catholic.He will probably run out of religions before he runs out of bimbos to marry.

    December 12, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Handofdoom

    "We all have to say it like it is " , it's the " career politician " that has got our country where it is !

    Career politician have way too much time to be taken in by all the " special interest groups ", then there is the "foreign and domestic ".

    This a problem we the" Citizens can fix ". To take control by picking up
    your phone also sending emails then there is letters Not by asking but telling your reps
    what you know should be done !
    Tell them flat out You will no longer sit at home yelling at the morning paper or evening news broadcast!

    Put it like this , if nothing has changed soon . Then he or
    she should start looking for work !

    This also goes for Obama !

    December 12, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. Anon-i-mouse

    Oh, good. I feel much better about Newt now. (NOT!)

    December 12, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. Ron

    Republican values??????? What a joke!

    December 12, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Keyser Soze

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

    Sorry champ, not me. Been married to my one and only wife for 20 years and counting; got married at age 22. I love my country very much, too, and have never had the need to engage in extra-marital affairs to express my love of country. Tax the rich and corporations just like people...well Mitt told me that Corps are people, too - so there you have it. Using your logic, the time to end all these subsidies has come due, we're broke. True believers of debt reduction would be looking at both sides of the balance sheet, not just one. So who's being a hypocrite?

    December 12, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Methinks Mr. Perry's remarks are no gaffe in this instance.

    December 12, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    What a joke! Gingrich is like the town drunk making a sobriety pledge. Why are religious family values social conservatives giving Gingrich a free ride on the character issue?

    December 12, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. oatwillie

    Instead, he promises to screw all of us.

    December 12, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Kitty

    bwahahahaha is all I can say. Darn, I can't find the share button for my facebook page! LOL He is SUCH A JOKE and I assume there are some folks who will read this and ACTUALLY believe it. Once again, bwahahahaha!

    December 12, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Hey "Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS"
    Give it a rest, will ya?

    December 12, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. gary

    Gee, I feel so much better now. Is this more binding than a marriage license? Or vows before God? Would you leave him in the same room with your wife?

    December 12, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Dan, TX

    I don't really care that he's an adulterer. We can forgive that. It is when he promises to imprison or stone to death anyone who commits adultery -starting NOW – that I find to be unacceptably immature and arrogant. There is no punishment for adultery, just sleep around all you want, and when you get caught, or when you are 68 or so, just say you made some mistakes and now you repent, then you can be the role model for all the boys and girls to follow.

    December 12, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. parkmore

    Newt is very dangerous. I am sure the economy will be worse, wars will occur in the middle east and we will suffer a lot. He was too long in the political raw and he is not trustful (3 marriages, 3 religions, unfaithful. We need fresh people like Mitt Rom

    December 12, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Cincinnati girl

    I'm confused...how do you sign a pledge to uphold personal fidelity and vow to "protect marriage" yet speak critically of the federal governments intrusion on the rights of citizens? Shouldn't it be my right as a woman to manage my womb and whomever I choose to give my heart to? You just can't have it both ways...

    December 12, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Clwyd

    Let's see! His wives have heard that three times before and he screw up twice. Why should things change now?

    December 12, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Cindy

    This guy has been married 3 times, has joined 3 churches (lutheran, baptist, catholic) and suffers from Delusions of Grandeur. He claims he quit congress because congress was burned out. In fact there was a GOP coup led by Senator Lindsey Graham to oust him and he was fined $300,000.00 for ethics violations. When this man looks in the mirror in the morning he sees Charles de Gaulle. How could anyone think of handing this mentally unstable man the buttons to nuclear weapons.

    December 12, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Rick

    Gingrich also emphasized the importance of character in one of the speeches in January, something that will factor into voter decisions during the 2012 election cycle.

    "The fact is what matters in life is your character, not your I.Q.," Gingrich said

    The Presidency should is held in High Regard. Chracter is what we should use to determine who will best represent us. Gingrich's character is shameful and no one who has a consistent record of adultery should ever be considered for the office of the Presidency. How do we really know what he says now we can really beleive. He has switched religions 3 times and his wives 3 times as well. He signed the marrige pledge, but I feel he signed many years too late. I cannot beleive anyhting this man says. Talk a bout a flip flopper, I love you, no wait I love someone else. Oh I love you now, no wait I love someone else again.

    December 12, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. babs

    But THIS time he REALLY means it! Honest Injun!

    December 12, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Max

    Nonsense!

    If Gingrich can't keep his personal fidelity pledge with his several wives why should we believe he's going to be faithful to others who are not (yet) his wives? How many wives is he going to have eventually? Is he really a Mormon?

    December 12, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    Newt need not worry much about this because he's a Republican and the religious right tend to be more forgiving of them than they are of Democrats. Had President Obama or any other Democrat had done the same as Newt had done I doubt if they would be so willing to turn a blind eye. But that is the way it is with them, morality only really matters if you lean to the left..the right is forgiven and all is forgotten just ask Sen Vitter.

    December 12, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. sortakinda

    And forget about asking him for the Car Fax.

    December 12, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Guess who else is still married and faithful to his first wife? Barack Obama
    ==========================================================
    And just how do YOU know??? Didn't John Edwards say the same thing???
    *************************

    How do you know, and why is this relevant to the thrice-married, twice divorced, disgraced speaker who was forced to pay for the cost of his own ethics investigation that you are so vigorously defending? Please tell me why deflecting to what you wish were the case with the President? Could it be you know you don't have a leg to stand on? Bet you were a Herman Cain supporter.

    December 12, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. beevee

    All these empty promises simply mean that this guy has depleted his testosterone production, notihng more.

    December 12, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    " 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 married 30 years ago, and stayed that way for nearly 5 years. I did not get divorced, and have not remarried.

    December 12, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. JCQueipo

    NEWT is the man !!!! because I want Obama to be re-elected !!!!!!!

    December 12, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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