Key Gingrich staff member departs over Mormon comment
December 13th, 2011
07:18 PM ET
3 years ago

Key Gingrich staff member departs over Mormon comment

(CNN) - Craig Bergman, Iowa campaign director for GOP presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich, stepped down from his role Tuesday amid reports he made a controversial comment about Mormonism.

"He made a comment to a focus group prior to becoming an employee that is inconsistent with Newt 2012's pledge to run a positive and solutions orientated campaign," said R.C. Hammond, press secretary for Gingrich.

According to the Des Moines Register, Bergman called Mormonism a 'cult' on Wednesday when talking to a focus group. The newspaper attributed the remark to The Iowa Republican, a conservative news website.

"A lot of the evangelicals believe God would give us four more years of Obama just for the opportunity to expose the cult of Mormon," Bergman reportedly said. "There's a thousand pastors ready to do that."

The comments come two months after a Dallas pastor tied to Texas Gov. Rick Perry created a firestorm when he referred to the Mormon faith as a 'cult' and discouraged Christian voters from supporting Romney, a Mormon.

Also see:

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Giuliani: Gingrich may be stronger than Romney

Cheney: Don't underestimate Gingrich

Santorum counting on Iowa


Filed under: 2012 • Faith • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. JS

    Not sure what the problem is, Mormonism is a cult and not true Christianity.

    December 14, 2011 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  2. Mark Yelka

    But, it is a cult. As an ex-Mormon, I know. Brainwashing people to pay our of their own pockets to do full-time missionary work, They have a "prophet" who tells them how to vote on social issues. They go to temples to do rites on behalf of the dead. Special underwear to remind them of their "covenants" to the Church. 10%+ of their gross income taken by the Church. Lots more.

    December 14, 2011 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  3. Doug

    All Religeons are cults. Some are just more popular than others.

    December 14, 2011 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  4. John

    I am worried the Evangelicals would burn the country down just to stop a Mormon. I hope they prove me wrong.

    For some reason they do not care that Obama is either lying about not being a Muslim, or he really DID convert to Reverend Wrights Black Liberationist Anti-America church and believe his hateful teachings. If you oppose a Mormon over that, you're a lost cause.

    December 14, 2011 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  5. John

    Let see Newt Gingrich Is Suppose to be A Christan , but yet he Cheated on two wife one that was dying of cancer. He a Crook at best and the man LIE. But to Republican this Is a Good Christan. I guess they have a a nothing Bible than the one I read.

    December 14, 2011 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  6. Mark Yelka

    Lots of culty things are found in this religion. From it's beginnings to today, it is a sad commentary on how gullible people ca be.

    December 14, 2011 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  7. Mark Yelka

    Are comments being censored here?

    December 14, 2011 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  8. SixDegrees

    I have no doubt that the DNC is pouring money into the Gingrich campaign.

    December 14, 2011 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  9. Dave in VA

    It is a cult, according to Webster's definition. What's the problem?

    December 14, 2011 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  10. TJeff1776

    Republican name-callers- BUT worse than them are members of the Southern Baptist Convention. One might think a bunch of Preachers would be above that sort of thing but I've heard many use the "N" word many times.

    December 14, 2011 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  11. Tim T.

    Supporters of Newt Gingrich are perhaps also members of a cult. How many Gingrichites might have become incoherent hysterics the past few years if the sitting President had a personal history as sordid as Newt's? Political hypocrites might abound in larger numbers than Mormons, but they are a cult nonetheless.

    December 14, 2011 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  12. John C Johnson

    Good for Newt – took quick action where it was needed (unlike our current spineless president or the flip-flopping other candidate), Really starting to believe this guy will make for a great president.

    December 14, 2011 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  13. Matthew

    Mormonism is a cult. Great family values, but their theology was made up by a con man. The native Americans are not the lost tribe of Israel. Satan and Jesus are not brothers. When we die we don't become gods of our own little planets. etc. etc. etc.

    December 14, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  14. Terry

    Sorry that he quit. The fact remains, the Mormon Church is viewed to be a cult by many Americans. No other Christian Based Church has a history that permitted multiple wives or other "cult-like" activities. The factions of the LDS Church that broke away and continue the practices of the original LDS church, still claim to be LDS believers.

    December 14, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  15. People

    People are f'n crazy. Religion has no part in politics. Go F Yourself.

    December 14, 2011 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  16. bob Nuzie

    Why don't you match your headline with the story. Reading your headline only , which a lot of people scan yo would assume the negative Mormon comment was mad BY Gingrich...not by his worker. BUT I wouldn't expect more of yo when it comes to conservative candidates. "Fair and balanced " news reportng is something that has seemed to slip away from yor agenda. Why don't you report the news rather than trying to spin it to follow your organizational beleifs.

    December 14, 2011 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  17. Lawrence

    The term 'cult of Christianity' is used of a group, church or organization whose central teachings and/or practices are claimed to be biblical or representative of biblical Christianity, but which are in fact unbiblical and un-Christian. He needed to say Cult of Christianity not Cult by itself.
    Theology.
    The term 'cult of Christianity' is used of a group, church or organization whose central teachings and/or practices are claimed to be biblical or representative of biblical Christianity, but which are in fact unbiblical and un-Christian.

    December 14, 2011 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  18. truthserum48

    The entire TGOP is an occult against middle America.

    December 14, 2011 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  19. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    The only cult to be worried about is the anti-life GOBP deathcult, where the lives of an average person are worth nothing beyond their value as labor, and should tossed aside as soon as productivity falls. Worry about the GOBP deathcult that craves war and blood and thinks nothing of trading American lives for the increased wealth of the 1%. Marvel Comics could not create a greater evil than the GOBP deathcult.

    December 14, 2011 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  20. Sergo Jean

    In 1920, Joseph Smith decided to ask God what he should do. When Joseph prayed to know the truth, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. Jesus told Joseph not to join any of the churches, for " they were all wrong" and " they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof" ISAIAH 29 :13. I do believe as God had done with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and other prophets, He called Joseph Smith to be a prophet through whom the complete gospel was restored.Joseph is the answer of Acts 1:6-7. I do believe Romney is only a member of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ,and he has the right to serve his country as a good citizen.

    December 14, 2011 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  21. Donald in CA

    The gingrich aid said what the right wingers feel, so whats the big deal. They hate any one thats different then themselves, just ask muslins or people of color period.

    December 14, 2011 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  22. JMONEY

    I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for most of my life. Never, ever, have I seen anything contray to the teachings of the King James Bible. I would never worship somewhere that made me do things that were questionable or that were wrong. I know what right and wrong feels like. We are not a cult. Most who assume so, know absolutely nothing about our faith. Happy Holidays!

    December 14, 2011 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  23. Reality Check

    Slow down. Whatever he said, this little snippet is just that and can in no way be considered to be in the same context as he used it. How about at least making a little effort CNN?

    December 14, 2011 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  24. JOe b

    The truth is, the Mormon Religion is a cult. All you need to do is read their Bible which is not our Bible.

    They believe that they will become their own Gods when they die which is directly contradictory to the Word of the Bible. This has always been the problem throughout history. Man has always tried to become His own God. This is what satan aspires to. Everyone needs to read Acts 12:23- 12:24 "Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died."

    December 14, 2011 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  25. Bruce

    And so it goes in American politics. Can't focus on the issues; have to focus on my god being better than your god.
    Are there any atheists out there willing to run for office, please.

    December 14, 2011 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
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