(CNN) - Asked how he plans to engage the gay community in his bid for president, Newt Gingrich on Tuesday told a voter he wouldn't be the right choice for those basing their decision on the issue of same-sex marriage.
"If that's the most important (issue) to you, then you should be for Obama," Gingrich told Scott Arnold, a man who identified himself as gay.
"Okay. I am, but thank you," Arnold replied.
The comment ended a rather cordial exchange between the two at a campaign stop in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Arnold, an adjunct professor at William Penn University, approached the former speaker, asking Gingrich how he would sway voters who disagreed with him on same-sex marriage.
"How do you plan to engage and get the hope of gay Americans and those who support them?" Arnold asked.
Gingrich replied saying he doesn't expect to get the backing from voters solely focused on changing the definition of marriage.
"And I accept that that's a reality," Gingrich said.
Gingrich has frequently taken a conservative line on the issue. Last week, he signed a pledge with the National Organization for Marriage, promising, among many things, to back a constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and woman.
"On the other hand, for those for whom it's not the central issue in their life –if they care about job creation, if they care about national security, if they care about a better future for the country at large-then I think I'll get their support," Gingrich said.
Iowa faith leader asked Bachmann to consider dropping out, campaign says
Poll: Paul in top spot in Iowa GOP battle
Romney defends negative ads
Gingrich: Super PAC hypocrisy
It's amazing how many posters on here are intolerant of others' opinions. Just because Newt doesn't believe in gay marriage doesn't mean he hates gay people. There's no reason to be a bigot just because someone disagrees with you.
T'sah and Rudy NYC thank you!
No rights for wrongs. You twinkiees get the same basic rights as everyone else, deal.
The Gingrinch who stole Christmas strikes again. :)
If he had told the gay voter he would do something for gays, Gingrich would have alienated the church nazis. It was a no-win situation.
It's curious that Newton defines marriage as being between ONE man and ONE woman and would have a constitutional amendment added making that the LAW of ALL of the US. At last count, he has been married to THREE different women, so he is already in violation of the very law that he is proposing and if elected and if the amendment were to pass, he would immediately be liable for impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors, as would a very large number of Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and elected state and local officials. Be careful what you wish for!
I was turned into a newt once. I got better.
Way to go Newt you’re shooting yourself in the foot YET AGAIN…I’m okay with that because you will NEVER get my vote.
He didn't give a runaround answer like the rest of the politicians. He is Catholic so what would you expect him to say? I think his answer demonstrates the strength of character that we need in a leader, regardless of its political correctness or insensitivity to homosexuals. What good are gay marriage rights and equality, if the Country falls apart because we have leaders in congress and in the White house that are weak? The govt's ineptitude is a product of lack of leadership, which results in not being able to do anything; because the elected are afraid that any action will erode their electability, it is stagnation secondary to extreme political correctness, pandering and outright hypocrasy in order to gain popular support.
How did the Republican field come to this?
Which is worse – arrogant pandering or arrogant ignorance? Gingeritch is the master of using both to sound intelligent to the fox followers.
But “stupid is as stupid does” goes a long way with that crowd.
Honest, appropriate answer to a one-issue voter. Why is it wrong to not be "for" something? If America votes like these posts suggest then the most important issue must be peoples sex life? Sorry state we are in..
I'm not gay; those other issues are important to me; I'm voting for Obama.
Conservative Patriot, conservatives demand tolerance, and are usually the last to give it to others. Before you call others jerks, take an objective look at the language habitually used on conservative media outlets and ask yourself if their word choice is indicative of tolerance. Gingrich provokes this kind of reaction precisely because the majority of his responses are peppered with the kind of language you are condemning( it was actually referred to as " Newtspeak" when he ran the House). If you knew that and understood that, you can see why most people are skeptical of Newt and his claims of being kinder and gentler.
I don't like Newt, but I really don't see a problem with what he said. He has no interest in any gay agenda and he said so. It's one of the more honest times in his career, and berating him for telling the truth seems silly to me. Berate him for his position, sure, but don't berate him for stating it truthfully.
Vote for Ron Paul...Ron Paul will take care of all Gays. Ron Paul would have told this guy he will be fine under a Ron Paul Presidency.
I'll give Gingrich credit, at least he was honest and didn't pander. I don't agree with his stance, but his beliefs are what they are.
Brilliant! Great answer Newt. It is fine time a politician tells it how it is.
As a gay man I believe his response was very appropriate, Gingrich did an excellent job and brought up a very good point. There are many more issues at hand that should garner our attention and sway our vote one way or the other.
Yeah, I think marriage is a pretty BIG issue in most peoples lives.......
He told the truth. And I agree, if you are voting for president on the issue of gay marriage then you deserve more of Obama's hope and change............
Way to go Newt! stand up for your beliefs. Gay marriage should not be the only thing people should be concerned about. There are so many more important things to think about in a president. Marriage is between a man and a woman and should only be that way.
Pretty much Newt is right on this one.
I think Newt's response is brilliant. Whether or not it works in this political climate, we'll have to wait and see.
Instead of pandering to everyone, he's sticking to his guns and just saying it as it is. I'd rather have that than a candidate that would say one thing to a group of people and then the opposite to another group to sway their vote.
Or even worse, have a Bachman or Romney moment where it just becomes extremely awkward because they don't want to say what they think outright and just skirt around the topic without actually taking a stand on anything.
While I applaud the frankness of an answer, I must say that ANY "Log Cabin Republican" WHO ACTUALLY VOTES REPUBLICAN, is basically handing a new stick over to the person who just broke theirs beating on you.