Key Gingrich staff member departs over Mormon comment
December 13th, 2011
07:18 PM ET
2 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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Filed under: 2012 • Faith • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. lsm

    What is with evangelicals' vitriolic hatred of Mormons? There are lots of religions with different beliefs; they need to let this mormon thing go, and focus on who is best equipped to lead the nation out of the economic mess we are in.

    December 13, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  2. Somewhere out there

    NOw its time to hear so many ignorant people comment about what mormonism is or isnt...go to their website, maybe you can learn something about them

    December 13, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  3. VOTE EM OUT

    What else can you expect from the best of the worst, these people are out of touch with reality. Its time to send ALL politicians packing!

    December 13, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  4. Ramrod

    "God would give us four more years of Obama just for the opportunity to expose the cult of Mormon". So what is the problem here? Birds of feather.

    December 13, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  5. Bubba

    But the version released Monday night still contains the authority to indefinitely imprison suspects linked to al Qaeda or associated groups, including citizens captured in the United States.

    "We have [in the bill] the authority to detain without charge or trial terrorism suspects," said Raha Wala, a lawyer with the Law and Security Program of the group Human Rights First. "There aren't any material changes to the indefinite detention provision," he said in a conference call organized by the progressive National Security Network.

    December 13, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  6. mfn57

    It IS a cult, but it doesn't disqualify Romney from being president.

    December 13, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  7. santa claus

    At least morons don't stand by and allow members of the bishopric to rape children. Hows that catholicism working out for you Newt?

    December 13, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  8. mktaylor

    Don't get why Mormons are a cult and Christians aren't? By definition, a cult believes in something abnormal or bizarre. Christians believe an invisible man lives in the sky who is all powerful and all knowing. His son was born to a virgin woman, walked on water, raised a man from the dead, died and rose himself from the dead, and then ascended into the sky. That sounds bizarre and abnormal to me. There goes my political aspirations. Christianity is a cult.

    December 13, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  9. Doc

    One of the few morsels of truth to come out of the Gingrich campaign and they force the guy who said it to resign. Typical.

    December 13, 2011 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  10. Mike in SA

    A cult...sure, why not, just like evangelicals are a cult.

    December 13, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  11. Canadian Jim

    To be accurate, Mormonism started out as a cult by any definition of the word. A charlatan named Joseph Smith concoted a story about an angel appearing to him and helping him decipher secret plates on which were inscribed the "Book of Mormon." He used these two coloured pieces of glass to decode the words. Oddly enough he was using two similar stones to fleece people with a scam about being able to find buried treasure on their property prior to this. (He was arrested and tossed in jail – look it up.) That being said, the people who follow it today are no different than Christians who believe God got a 14 year old girl pregnant, she had a baby who grew up, performed miracles and rose from the dead.

    December 13, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  12. FlopFlipper

    My invisible friend is better than your invisible friend.

    December 13, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  13. Kent Bowen

    Re: "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."

    What in the world does that mean, anyway?

    December 13, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  14. alimonyjones

    Sad how many folks don't perceive Gingrich as the hypocritical shape-shifting liar he is...

    December 13, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Penalized for telling the truth. Too bad. Not that I would ever vote for Mr. Egorich anyway.

    December 13, 2011 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  16. Liz1388

    Penalized for telling the truth. Too bad. Not that I would ever vote for Mr. Egorich anyway.

    December 13, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  17. RazZ

    But....it......it is a cult.

    December 13, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  18. America4Americans

    Why fire someone who only is speaking the truth. My pastor warns us against mormons as much as against muslims. They are all cut from the devil's same cloth.

    December 13, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  19. tt

    Mormonism is a cult. It's based on Joseph Smith Jr., a Freemason, purportedly finding tablets that he interpreted by reading out of his hat. He read the tablets through majic.

    December 13, 2011 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  20. OnlytheNoseKnows

    An interesting way (the fig)Newton found to mix the c word and the M word. I smell bull flatulence.

    December 13, 2011 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  21. schmitt77

    Which is the lesser of the two evils? A mormon or someone whom is an adulterer and truly an "unbeliever".

    December 13, 2011 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  22. Terry

    This entire matter is all about being politically correct. Craig Bergman called it like he sees it. End of Story. Wake-up America, PC is going to defeat the Republican Party.

    December 13, 2011 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  23. SC

    The pastors who are willing to have four more years of Obama are simply afraid of losing their followers and livelihood to the Mormons. Even stranger is the fact that they will take Newt as their standard-bearer for family values. I think they all need to go pray and meditate for awhile. They've obviously lost their way.

    December 13, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  24. Boisepoet

    This comment represents why Romney doesn't stand a chance in the Republican primary.
    Kinda fun to see the talibangelicals square off against each other...

    December 13, 2011 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  25. frank bischop

    What is going to hppen if Romney wins and he goes to temple? The Mormon religion does not allow non-mormons into their church/temple. I guess they have to hire Mormon Secret Service! Or expose what this religion really is, another place of intoloerance!

    December 13, 2011 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
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