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:

Gingrich, Huntsman's friendly foreign policy debate

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. RioSam

    It is what it is.... him saying it was just politally incorrect!
    I think the values instilled in a person from their faith carry on in all endeavors of their life, it shapes them into the people they become...I don't think NG had much religion instilled in him because he grew up to be a Liar-a Cheat-and a Fraud!

    Ron Paul, on the other hand, is Honest and Trustworthy..and always has been throughout his career and personal life. He will WIN Iowa!

    December 13, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  2. Adam

    It's totally a cult.

    December 13, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  3. Billy Bob

    There are millions of smart, hardworking, and successful Mormons in the U.S. If you had a brain tumor, and the best brain surgeon was a Mormon wouldn't you go to her? Don't be a bigot. Vote for the candidate that you think will fix America.

    December 13, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  4. Mike - WA

    What the @#%$? What kind of moronic, religion-infested country do we live in? Is this the dark ages? Can't people stop believing in gods and goddesses and just start solving problems. This magic crap is getting old.

    December 13, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  5. Phillfoss

    Look unless you're a Republican, Deacon in you're church, cheat on your wife, molest small children, lie, cheat and steal. THERE is SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU.......

    December 13, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  6. Tante Waileka

    To a good Christian, washed in the blood of the Lamb, Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucism, Islam, etc. ARE cults. There is nothing wrong with the guy's statement. Political enemies, and most of the news media are also members of the devil's minions. How about that one? Too much 'truth' for y'all?

    December 13, 2011 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  7. ron mcloughlin

    CNN, the Christian News Network, will not print criticisms of the "born agains" as a cult too just like Mormanism. It's the old kettle and pot cliche. The moment PRO-testanism broke from Catholicism all the nutty cults took root. I like how Mexico treats such problems "we are all Catholics" wink, wink and religion never intrudes in our politics. And it works. No invocation to God before Congress & the President is never seen going to church. We waste too much time on cults, I mean religionS.

    December 13, 2011 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  8. Mitzi

    Newt is an idiot....he will go by the wayside like all the other idiots....just has to open
    his mouth and make one more comment.....Best one is Mitt.

    December 13, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  9. ja

    hypocrisy, there is nothing positive about newt, since his departure as speaker of the house, recycled trash, with a hall pass

    December 13, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  10. izandro

    Cult is a sociological term. He applied the word correctly because it goes directly to HOW LONG a religion has been around.

    December 13, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. JuanVonDinklus

    Let's see Gingrich supposedly tells it like it is and then he sugar coats what Mormonism is, so which Newt do we believe? The one that says whatever it takes to win, or the one that says what he thinks people want to hear? He changes his spots more then a leopard changes their spots!

    December 13, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  12. Richard S. Russell

    Mormonism IS a cult! So is Christianity. It's laffble to see these people faulting each other for believing equally ludicrous and stupid things. They're all just as nuts as the others.

    December 13, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  13. Robert

    This is another reason and ounce of proof as to why politics/government and religion should never mix and forever remain separate. A person's faith and beliefs are, should, and must remain private and separate from their public service to the people of this nation. As long as the person in office is REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE and not that of one faith/religion/spirituality that is shared among a majority or minority faith, that is what should matter.

    December 13, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  14. scott

    "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," WOW are there really Americans that stupid. That's just scarey.

    December 13, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  15. polycarp pio

    A "cult" is not necessarily a bad thing, cult means out of the main stream, and the way the main stream is headed I think I would not mind being labeled a cult. I am not a mormon, I think their doctrine does not jibe with the bible, that being said, I would rather have My Romney than the current president. PP

    December 13, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  16. JD

    He was right. Any organized religion that tells you how to live and what to say is a cult.

    December 13, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  17. tek

    ..but it is a cult

    December 13, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. sandone

    dont know what the big deal is they are only telling the truth. mormonisum is like a boil on the ass of humanity. prove the ppl wrong.it is a cult.....

    December 13, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  19. Comment Avenger

    Bergman had it right. There is nothing new here. Mormonism never was accepted as historical-biblical Christianity.

    December 13, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  20. pete4808

    Newt was pandering to the supporters of the Herman Cain and now trying to get all the Jon Huntsman and Romney Mormons by pretending to be running a a positive orientated campaign and firing Craig Bergman, his Iowa campaign director. Whats next Newt? Are you going to start mirroring Ron Paul so Ron Paul's supporter will join your team?? Fat chance, We will never support a man with you reputation.

    December 13, 2011 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  21. ldean

    Mormonism does meet the criteria used to define the word "cult." The Book of Mormon trumps the Bible and the Book of Mormon is changed based on conversations their revelator/President has with God.

    December 13, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  22. dino l

    is mormonism a cult like newt's camp thinks? If so, romney may not win.

    December 13, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  23. ldean

    Yep. I'd called making poor kids work cleaning toilets in the school they attend is a "solutions oriented & extraordinarily POSITIVE/CONSTRUCTIVE solution . . . but, don't say Mormons are a cult.

    December 13, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  24. Larry

    Gee, do ya think they could have picked a more unflattering pic of Gingrich to use on this story? Full disclosure: I'm no fan of his or any of the candidates, but the way the media uses images to make someone they don't like look like a box just isn't right. (oops, used the 'm' word, so this probably won't make it on)

    December 13, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  25. zenthrop

    Good grief! Look up the definition of a cult, and see that Mormonism (and I am a Mormon) is definitely a cult. But use the same deifintion and you will see that Christianity itself was also a cult, which we claim we are a restoration of that ancient Christian cult.

    Are we a cult? Yep! And proud of it!!

    December 13, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
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