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. carly

    I will be a good boy. Really I will. Really. Just please select me as the nominee. I will say anything to get elected. LOL.

    December 12, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. dee

    Are these pledges signed in blood? These holier than tho evangelical groups make me sick.

    December 12, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. Mk54

    Politician promises generally aren't worth much. Pledges from Newt are even worse; they have no value at all.

    December 12, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Jenny

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

    "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!"

    There is ONLY ONE PERSON who was having a fair with his staffer while organizing impeachment of the President.

    December 12, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Jenga

    Who would be the partner in that crime? Ewwwwwwww.

    December 12, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. osabella

    This guy is nothing but a pack of lies. CAN'T be trusted!!!!

    December 12, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Jeff In Oregon

    Isn't that what he said or committed to with his other wives? Come on Repugnicans, is this again the next best you got? You all are a sad group and a sad political party.

    December 12, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Beverly - NYC

    Bet his fingers were crossed. Personal fidelity until the election is over, wink, wink. Republicans and their pledges. Thanks for the laugh Newt.

    December 12, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Snuffy2

    Yes, Canuck, exactly. AND how many are pledging fidelity in a non-binding pledge when the binding pledge meant nothing to him, while trying to tell sheep how meaningful it will be, and how it makes him so electable. I do not object to the divorces per se, I object to A) his attacking President Clinton while engaging in *exactly* the same behavior, and B) the completely sanctimonious way he is portraying his Godliness while being totally judgemental at the same time. HE is the ultimate hypocrite, and is just not worthy of anyone's vote.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Canuck

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

    ... and how many are presenting themselves as potentially the next leader of the country?? Miss the point much??

    December 12, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. JR White Bear Lake MN.

    Thats great that the conservative evangelical Christians have their pledge from Newt and they can now feel comfortable with him speading their hate. When I hear this stuff I always ask myself. Is this something Jesus would approve? I don't think so.

    December 12, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. lldj15

    what bizarro world we just got ourselves in

    December 12, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Nick

    I want a Strong Republican. Okay, Get the Strongest one out of RET, and get him back too work.. To save the good old usa.

    December 12, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Rosslaw

    Do Evangelicals have to check their brains at the door? Gingrich is currently lying about being a Freddie Mac lobbyist and having been a lobbyist in general after having led a life of fairly uninterrupted and certainly profitable sleaze. But now take his "word of honor" as a conservative on the basis that he is willing to spout whatever stomach churning pap the religous right wants to hear.

    December 12, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. NickAnast

    Democrats answer blah blah blah: "So was this your assessment of Bill Clinton and his conduct while being a married sitting President? Like I said, all hypocrites..."

    Let's see...Warren Harding's (R) one and only child was born to his MISTRESS in 1919, the year before he was elected President (his long-suffering wife served as FLOTUS). Herbert Hoover (R) used to bang his secretary in the same room where Monica gave Bill his BJs. Dwight Eisenhower (R) had an affair with his driver. Divorcee Ronald Reagan (R) got Nancy pregnant before the wedding. But hey, at least Richard Nixon (R) was faithful to Pat.

    BTW - I've been married 24 years to my one and only wife.

    December 12, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Shawn NY

    Aww, that's cute. Too little, too late.

    December 12, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Nick

    Why can't Bloomberg get his hat in the Ring like Trump? Come on Bloomberg, Help us. We need your help. Help save america. You and your company can fix all the problems... with in the United States, You know where all those out sourcing been going on for the past 60 years.

    December 12, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. James PDX

    So Newt has taken vows? Well, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me a few hundred times, shame on me.

    December 12, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. terry

    Really?This guy might be the slimiest politician of all time and thats saying a lot.

    December 12, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Larry L

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

    "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!"
    -------------------------------------------–
    Nobody cares about Newt's divorces. It's his total lack of honor that makes him unworthy to serve as leader of the greatest nation on earth. How clear does it need to be for you? He was hasmmering a staffer while he prosecuted Clinton for the same thing! His wife had cancer when was fooling around on her! He was disgraced by the House for ethics violations. He slammed Freddie Mae then took 1.6 million from them as a lobbyist! Nobody gives a rat's @$$ about his divorces. You should question your own judgement for supporting the little weasel. Step away from Fox News... that might help.

    December 12, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Sheila

    If he can't uphold a vow to one person, how can he be expected to uphold an oath to an entire country? He's proven he's untrustworthy, no one else has to say it.

    December 12, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. GinaNSocal

    Some posters brought up excellent points about Newt's being Catholic and on his third marriage. I remember Senator John Kerry being denied Holy Communion because he was divorced man. However, it appears that those same rules did not apply to Rudy Giuliani or other Republicans who were divorced and remarried. Just saying.

    December 12, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. JFritz

    Do evangelicals believe him? Evangelicals believe anything their weird alternative reality tv network "pastors" tell them to. All ya gotta say is "pro-life," "pro-Je-us," anti-liberal," and "praise the lord." Throw in support for Israel, guns, and belief in the Rapture, and you can do anything. Forgiveness applies only to those who echo the above. There is no forgiveness for liberals, nor even for centrists like Clinton. Only for phony conservatives like Newt. And no one ever bothers to understand what conservative really means. Sad.

    December 12, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Buster Bloodvessel

    I hear he's in talks with the Kardashian family about dumping Callista in favor of one of the girls, since it's all a show anyway.

    December 12, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. mac58

    He will get my vote. He is one of the few politicians that don't claim to walk on water. Over 55 % of marriages end and it really doesn't matter why as marriage today is no more sanctified than a bowel movement thanks to women and their confusion as to their womanhood. Women today have forgotten what it is TO BE A WOMAN, mother, and a wife.

    December 12, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Sheila

    The problem is not that he got divorced twice. It's that he was cheating on each wife during the marriage. If he had gotten the divorce and THEN skrewed around, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

    December 12, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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