(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."
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
May come as a surprise....... fidelity is a given....not a pledge
I pledge to not vote republican in 2012. these guys are hypocrits...every one of them, except Ron Paul, who is just plain misguided.
What an absolute pig!
Newt Gingrich is what it is wrong in our Congress.
This whole pledge thing is a bad joke, right?
typical, no one is worse than a reformed drunk... here he is saying he has learned his lesson ...this time
Teapublicans, "Newt, jump."
Newt, "How high?"
Teapublicans, "Now put your nose ... here."
wow this seems to be a REAL touchy subject with some of the righties that post here all the time. Yet it's the Republicans that seem to be attacking Newt more on this.
And by the way HAD Obama not been faithful to Michelle FoxNews and the rightwing media would have found that out by now I'm sure.
Once again, other Republican saying "don't do as I do, do as I say" Newt you are a liar. You have some nerve to ram family vaules down our throats, when you can't keep your own family morals and values together. Remember you wedding vows (you said them 3 times)...for richer or poorer..till DEATH do you part". Your ex's are still alive, therefore you sinned, and you should not be teaching us "family values:"
Newt Gingrihc hasn't changed a bit. He looks the same, dresses the same, talks the same, thinks the same....
It's easy to be monogomous when you can't find your dick under your belly fat.
I hope he's serious about this pledge. Calista looks like she'd shoot him in his sleep if he tried anything like that with HER. She wants to be First Lady. Lord help us.
Sorry Newter, but you're way, way too late for this kind of promise. You promised God twice not to cheat on your wife, or lie, or do how many other things. And you've failed to keep any of them. Your word is no longer enough - your actions have spoken and they speak ill of you, especially since you continue to lie and show your disrespect for your fellow humans by deciding that the poor, the elderly, veterans and those who can not afford health care do not count in your world.
I can't understand how their Oath of Office (for those currently holding an ofice) isn't enough... what's with all of the pledges???
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha ! Pretty bold statement for a guy almost 70 years old ! I think our daughters and wives are safe, but now that he has embraced the pedophiles favorite religion, don't leave him alone with any young boys.
So, he will stop the government intrusion into our personal lives, unless we are part of a nontraditional family.
Owh come on Newt!!! It's like Bin Laden saying I will love America and the Americans. Tell it to the marines, Newt.
How very nice of the newter man. Pledging now at 60 years old? What about your two wives and I wouldn't put it past you getting some on the side of helmet head (aka wife #3).
Converting to catholicism tells me absolutely nothing. Think pedophile priests!
As a conservative, I find this man disgusting.
Well Newt I think the evangelicals will believe you because they are people who can easily be fooled especially by you.
But if Jesus has forgiven him, then everything is ok.
You have got to be kidding me. How stupid does he think we are. How degrading!!!
Jesus is as far left liberal as one can get.
Christianity today is mostly Anti-Christ(ianity)
Newt is a disgusting individual.
'Til death do we part. Wondering what happens if Gingrich is elected and America catches cancer.