Gingrich to gay man: Vote for Obama
December 21st, 2011
03:23 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich to gay man: Vote for Obama

(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.

Also see:

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Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (554 Responses)
  1. Mike

    If ANYTHING is important to you, do not vote for Obama OR Gingrich. We need a real conservative.

    December 22, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. For Whom The Bell Tolls

    I still can't believe anyone supports this guy. He was kicked out of congress (by republicans, no less) for major ethics violations with broke the trust with all American people. He lies, he cheats, he's condescending to the poor and lower middle class.

    It only tells me that the far right are really faux Christians. Do as I say, not as I do.

    December 22, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Tired of the nonsense

    A politician honest about his bigotry. Yeah, get the hate out there in the open, no room for doubt. And we definitely have no room for someone like Newt in politics.

    December 22, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. Stuart

    Newt is running for President to represent SOME of the people – but obviously not ALL of the people of the USA.

    December 22, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. gaucho420

    The irony of his marriage stance truly isn't lost on anyone.

    December 22, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. GuyOnEarth

    Newt made a pretty good statement there. If in fact your whole decision for the entire country's direction and future hinges upon homosexual issues then in fact you should vote for Obama. If instead you care about the economy, jobs and the country then Obama really should not be your choice. Not saying you should vote for Newt either. But, he did give a pretty damned honest and insightful answer there if you think about it for a bit.

    December 22, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. For Whom The Bell Tolls

    The Spirit of Massachusetts is the Spirit of America
    So glad to be from Massachusetts... we settled this issue years ago and have moved on to other important issues that face our Commonwealth.
    December 21, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
    ----–

    I only wish Iowa would do the same.

    December 22, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Sheila

    Well Mr. Grinch then maybe you should NOT run for President. You claim to support the law of the land that is against prejudice but you..... Oh yeah that's right.....You only support Angry White Christian Rule. Sorry I forgot about that. No tolerance only hate for anything other than you single minded narrow train of thought. Go back to the private sector where you belong. We don't need another intolerant AH in the White House. Geesh!

    December 22, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. MICKY D

    I thought our president was suppose to at least have an open mind, but obviously this man is not presidential material!

    December 22, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Jeff

    Gay people represent less than 1% of this great nation.....Newt is not pandering to one specific (tiny) group. Good for you Newt!!!!

    December 22, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Lee

    Got to give Newt props for not pandering and openly admitting his stance on the issue

    December 22, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Lisa P

    What if supporting equal rights and fairness for *all* our people is what makes a stronger America? Would Newt back gay marriage then? Even though his petty bit of power is based on undercutting and scapegoating and dividing? Newt's various 15 minutes of fame have always been about weakening America for the short term benefit of his wealthy supporters... why would anyone, gay or straight, be foolish enough to think that he would change his tune now?

    December 22, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. bsdtktr

    I just am astounded at all the posts that give this candidate so much credit for so called "honesty" You really think
    this isn't just a ploy that panders to the GOP religious right ? Does this comment make Gingrich suddenly Abe Lincoln?
    I don't think so...........

    December 22, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Frank

    Woo Hoo! You tell 'em, Newt! He just got my vote.

    December 22, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Reality

    Hasn't Newt been running for president since the 80's?

    December 22, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Pertnear

    I'm no Newt fan, far from it – but if the most important issue to you is same-sex marriage, then you should not vote. I would say creating jobs and reducing the deficit outweighs the same-sex issue. Just saying from the statements I've been seeing here. Oh, by the way, I don't think Newt has a chance.

    December 22, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Bill C

    A perfectly reasoned response. For those who say he is excluding a significant portion of the population, every politican does this. President Obama has essentially written off the evangelical vote, because he knows he will not win it. So he caters to his base as any politician would do.

    December 22, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. Bay

    Shame on you Mr.Gingrich. I am telling you now because of this hate comment you will lose your race next election, and also thanks for helping Mr. Obama to win, because he CARES about EVERYONE.

    December 22, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. John

    Newt you just might get my vote this whole gay thing is out of control just plan wronge!

    December 22, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Fair is Fair

    For Whom The Bell Tolls

    The Spirit of Massachusetts is the Spirit of America
    So glad to be from Massachusetts... we settled this issue years ago and have moved on to other important issues that face our Commonwealth.
    December 21, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
    --–

    I only wish Iowa would do the same.
    -------–
    Gay marriage is legal in Iowa. So nice to see how well informed you are.

    December 22, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. Bob

    Newt was right ... "For those for whom it's not the central issue in their lives" it shouldn't matter. The problem is that for homosexuals, their sexual drives ARE the central issue in their life. It must be a miserable way to live and I feel sorry for them.

    December 22, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. larvadog

    Bay – maybe you should locate a brown paper bag and breathe into it for a few minutes, you seem like you could be hyperventilating. In what reasonable person's mind could Newt's comment be seen as "hate"? Do you even know what the word means? Oh, that's right, it means that what was said goes against your views. Go look up the word – we'll wait right here.

    While you're at reading – Obama "cares about everyone"? So, how would you expect the president to cater to single-issue voters while keeping his base in mind? The answer is he can't. No one can. There will always be a group of people, single-issue voters especially, who cannot be catered to by virtue of their views. So you do what Newt did, and recognize that you will never be able to satisfy them. He can't, in fact, satisfy everyone, and neither can your precious president Obama who cares for everyone.

    December 22, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. smitvict

    No doubt Newt feels the same way about anyone who is not white, of European descent and evangelical. Kind of limits his options.

    December 22, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. RES

    As a Christian, I am ashamed at the christian right. Gays are American citizens that are being denied their civil rights. Then someone like Newt, who has made a mockery of marriage, wants to deny other citizens rights.

    December 22, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. General Davis

    I'm amazed that Newt is sending people over to the Democrats when he could send them over to Paul. Newt must think he's already the nominee.

    December 22, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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