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.

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Santorum counting on Iowa


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

    Well, that is technically correct. OTOH, Christianity and virtually every other major organization originated as a cult. For that matter, the rituals of Mormonism aren't particularly more outlandish than, for example, the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. (I chose Catholic in this instance because that is Newt's faith).

    December 13, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. gotta-go

    .
    What if it really IS A CULT?

    .

    December 13, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. Dollie Sherman

    Mormons are very good compassionate people, but as a Christian we must say that it is not recognized as a Christian religion. We just need to be able to trust the character and integrity of the person we vote into the office of President of the United States. Our ancesters left England in order to worship God free of persecution. So we can only pray that whoever our President is that He will not force his beliefs on the citizens who put him in office.

    December 13, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  4. Lee

    He is right that it's a very strange cult.

    Mitt Romney, a Bishop of Mormonism, will use his election to boost the conversion of American "Christians" to the American cult of Mormonism, invented by a convicted con man (and adulterer) in 1800s New York. Already they are by far the fastest growing cult in America. They pretend like they are merely a christian "sect" in order make it easier to convert people raised in the christian tradition. They know what they are doing.

    December 13, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. Gary

    Just once I'd like to see ANY political person stick to his words and not cry, not say they're sorry, or not resign. Own up to something say why you said it, and then say fire me.

    December 13, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  6. Jeebus Loves You

    Let's face it, Republicans hate Mormons. Newt is their latest "anyone but a Mormon" candidate.

    December 13, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. URJustWRong

    Well... isn't it?

    December 13, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  8. Coffee Party MEMBER

    I sincerely hope to see Newt nominated the GOP candidate. He will fail in 2012

    December 13, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. SciGuy

    Mormonism IS a cult, so what is the big deal?

    December 13, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. Dan5404

    Bigots. That's another reason the founding fathers said we should keep religion out of politics.

    December 13, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. GaLiberal

    All religions are cults and the followers are cultists. Brain-dead cultists.

    December 13, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. Yugo

    Newt has to run a clean campaign, He has so much dirt on himself he is a walking bullseye.

    December 13, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  13. Vaughn

    Fear is a relative of ignorance. Christianity didnot form this country, and won't prevent the adustments the country must face today. Some would gladly sacrifice the future for fears from yesterday.

    December 13, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. Thing55

    Ah, yes. The cult of Mormonism, as opposed to the cult of Christianity. What's the difference? That one is newer and has fewer members?

    December 13, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  15. uncle salty

    How does the right expect to get anywhere if they are fighting amongst themselves? They should be glad that the mormons are on their side. They are typically very conservative and utah has consistently voted republican for ages. i say typically, because this mormon is a liberal :)

    December 13, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  16. dan drawson

    when did telling the truth in America becme a liability to anyone. You lied to us before Newt. No vote here.

    December 13, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  17. evensteven

    When will we get religion out of politics?

    December 13, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  18. Chris

    Q: What's the difference between a religion and a cult?
    A: Business model.

    December 13, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  19. Michael Snell

    Rather ironic when a member of any religion denounces another as a cult.

    December 13, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. physics-lite

    What? All of you are running for the office of the "President of the USA", where we all have the, "Freedom of Religion."

    December 13, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. Rob

    Most religions are. Mind control of the weak. Believe in what you feel is right not what anyone else wants you to believe.

    December 13, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  22. JoeMormon

    Well, it is a cult.

    December 13, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  23. MaryAnn62

    These mormonism is a cult comments are going to be the death of the GOP. The sad thing is that many in the GOP base feel the same way and that is why these comments are made in "polite company". Keep it up GOP and ya'll are done.

    December 13, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  24. Joshua

    CNN would be wise to note that according to the majority of sincere and orthodox Christians in this nation ... mormonism is in fact considered a cult. It is an extreme departure from biblical Christianity.

    December 13, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  25. Lacking Evidence Since the Beginning of Time

    "Cult" pretty much covers it accurately, along with all religion.

    December 13, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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