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. Thomas

    Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American
    Mormonism is a 'cult' , so is Scientology as is the Unification Church " Moonies" .

    America , Gods " All You Can Eat Spiritual Buffet Table " !

    December 14, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  2. Reggie from LA

    "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."
    They're not serious. Get out!! They are serious? See. This is what's going to the polls to vote on a President and trying to rig prevention of others from voting. I can't believe there's really a contest between Dems and TeaGOP. People are actually struggling to decide how to vote based upon this and similar rhetoric? No real basis? Gingrich is not a basis. Tell me they are not serious.

    December 14, 2011 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. mmi16

    Tempest meet teapot!

    December 14, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  4. JustIMHO

    ? But Mormonism IS a cult. Why is it controversial to say that?
    Cult = "a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre"
    What's abnormal / bizzare? Per Wikipedia, ""Mormons have many beliefs that are considered strange" Try this list:
    - Mormons believe in a pre-mortal existence where people were literal spirit children of God.
    - Jesus is NOT God, but is the eldest of God's children
    - Mormons perform ordinances such as baptism for the dead on behalf of deceased persons
    - Only those individuals who are sealed in celestial marriage to a spouse in a temple will be permitted to enter into the highest degree of celestial kingdom
    - Those who reach this highest degree of celestial kingdom will eventually become "exalted" and will be permitted to live "the kind of life God lives" as literal gods and goddesses

    So, again....how are Mormons NOT a cult?

    December 14, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  5. TeachDiesel

    Duh! It is a cult. Truth hurts don't it?

    December 14, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  6. David

    So he says crap about Palestinians and Craig Bergman sits. He says stuff about Mormonism and Craig bolts.

    What a fake.

    December 14, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  7. LeeAT

    I have to admit, Newt is winning me over. I don't believe that he would be the wimp that Obama is.

    December 14, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  8. Tom

    Please... the only cult we should be worried about are the radical right finger pointers. I never met a Mormon I didn't like... and that's what has the evangelicals so upset. They preach hate and division... not unity and understanding. The evangelicals will be the death of the Republican party and will be responsible for handing the white house to the LIBS for another 4 years.

    December 14, 2011 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  9. Andrew

    Oh, there were responses, but CNN pulled it. Newt is too stupid to run for dogcatcher!

    December 14, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  10. NateOLYWA

    Well it is a cult!

    December 14, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  11. zip

    The GOP race makes the Kardashian's seem classy. God help us.

    December 14, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  12. Sherri

    A cult? Well, he's right.......

    December 14, 2011 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  13. Spike

    It's not entirely clear to me from this comment that Bergson was actually calling Mormonism a cult, as opposed to referencing evangelicals who WOULD say that. Perhaps that's exactly what he meant, but his wording seems ambiguous to me.

    December 14, 2011 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  14. PGelsman

    What's wrong with Mormons? They don't drink, gamble or run around on their wives.

    December 14, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  15. Whocares

    Who Cares?
    People are dying in wars, economy is crashing can we get politics to focus on what matters? Is this what I risked my life for in the military?

    December 14, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  16. Dunc

    At least he didn't say Mormons were invented.

    December 14, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  17. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    newt probably set the whole thing up just to inflame his bigoted glazed-over reborn lugnuts.

    "run a clean campaign" He does not understand the concept of clean.

    December 14, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  18. CSnord

    Mormonism IS a cult. How is his statement a problem?

    December 14, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  19. MoMo

    Gingrich i jut a RACIST m0r0n who thinks the solution to the USA problems is to have black kids cleaning toilet. LOL

    December 14, 2011 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  20. Bigred

    I know it is sometimes inconvenient to tell the emperor he has no clothes or that he is a member of a cult.

    December 14, 2011 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  21. AntiPalinAlaskan

    The headline SHOULD have read "Gingrich advisor resigns after calling Mormonism "a cult". Why would CNN deliberately make the headline sound like this was an innocuous event?

    December 14, 2011 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  22. 4Him

    Mormans unlike Christians believe that if they live a good life they will become gods and rule over their own planet. Does that found like Christian doctrine? They are lovely people but they believe this type of nonsense which makes mainline Christians refer to them as a cult.

    December 14, 2011 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  23. Me 3

    This is who the GOP are: bigots and selfish greedy people who live secret bigoted lives in C Street. This is who Gingrich is. Do not let him fool you. His comments regarding poor school children reveal who this man really is. This man is a danger to the founding principles of this country.

    December 14, 2011 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  24. Tyler

    Look up the term cult. It is actually not a negative term if you apply the literal term. But it is understood that his comment was intended to discredit the faith.

    December 14, 2011 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  25. Robert

    But Mormonism IS a cult...

    December 14, 2011 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
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