(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
He would rather that they not make it their central issue.. he would like it if they would vote for him so he can strip them all of their rights. Don't ask don' tell returns, and those who declared they were gay will be kicked out.... those who are married will be told it is anulled. "Back in the Closet Baby!" Will be his battle cry.
Was a good answer... but Newt isn't the one.
Vote for Ron Paul, the only candidate that is worth anything on either side of the aisle.
So glad to be from Massachusetts... we settled this issue years ago and have moved on to other important issues that face our Commonwealth.
You ARE a deviant, pervert or genetic mistake. But, if you're happy with who you are, who cares?
Social issues should be set aside until the real problems are fixed.
"... if they care about national security..." Gingrich says
He's right, you know. Just ask Osama Bin Laden
I am not particularly impressed by Newt Gingrich. But I have to give him credit, that was a fair, respectful, and honest answer, at least as far as the gay rights issue. That showed more respect to the person asking the question than trying to come up with some ridiculous pandering statement or avoiding the issue entirely. The rest of the answer was, of course, pure political hyperbole, but that's to be expected.
Government shouldn't be in the business of regulating relationships in the first place. Government has used marriage as a tool of discrimination since the beginning. Not too long ago, in this very country, marriage was used to discourage interracial relationships, as they'd be denied a marriage license. Now it's gays. But not just gays. Polyamorous people are also denied marriage licenses, when they are consenting adults too. Then when you consider the benefits that are only available to married people, you could even say it's discriminatory to single people, or those who don't need government approval of their relationship. The whole thing is statism run amok, and the people not seeing it, and instead foolishly wanting government approval. Instead of allowing gays to have equal marriage rights (which they should), it'd be even better if government just got out of the marriage business period.
I think Newt did not shoot himself in the foot, and he is right.. If gay marriage, or gay rights are important to you, vote for Omama. While wer'e at it , if womans rights or minority rights or right to privacy are important to you, vote for Obama..
Ok I admit it ...the GOPers are good at one thing.....actually two things.......hate & fear. And Gingericth is the best........at being hateful & fearful.
Gringrich is so wants the GoP conservitive vote that he will cost the GoP the election...
Newty how do yu plan to engage with those concered about your health....... And newty says.....if that's important to yu why not vote for obama straight out!!!!!!
This is too easy. A chimp who can't do any tricks can beat everyone the retarded party throws out there.
Most of the republicans are (R) in name only. The only real conservative (which is what we definitely need) is Ron Paul.
Politicians need to shut up about gay marriage and abortion until the more important issues (economy, anyone?) are fixed.
I'm not gay, but I am voting for Obama.
Well said, Sobugly. He implies we shouldn't choose a candidate just because they are for gay marriage, yet he signs a pledge to defeat it asap. Nope, not getting my vote either... not that he ever had a chance at getting it.
Ahhh, the new Newtster, same as the old Newtster. I hope he does get the nomination.
Will make the choice that much simplier for us independents. Congress was a train wreck under him but not nearly as bad as Boehner's exquisite leadership of the current Congress.
You have to hand it to ol' Newt. Candid answers like these, where he doesn't try to pander to a person whose vote he knows he will never get, are really refreshing.
For gay commenters on this site getting up in arms about Newt's answer to this guy, come on and get real. You know you aren't going to vote for Gingrinch anyway. And he knows that too.
What an arrogant thing to say to any voter! Fat hypocritical pos.
honestly that was one of the best and most coherant discussions ive heard so far in this year's election sideshow. no joke i think newt handled that very well.
You think privacy is something Obama cares about? Not even close.
@"Obama has done":...........
You really believe Newt "has the best idea about what a marriage is and is not"? ...Really?!?
........I guess in your world, marriage is about cheating on your wife while she's sick in the hospital, and then divorcing her. Then doing it again with your next wife, cheating and divorcing.
I agree with you 100%.
I don't understand why everyone says Gingrich is so smart. He uses the same big words over and over again, and "frankly" (aarrgh!) seems like a moron to me. Oh yeah, and now an acknowledged bigot.
So "Log Cabin Republicans" how can you align yourselves with the Republican Party when the Leaders and grass roots of the Party consider you to be less of a person than they are? To me, being treated equally as another human being is more important than tax policies, regulations, defense spending, deficits, oil pipeline… Maybe my moral compass is all screwed up, but that is how I see it.
So I ask again "Log Cabin Republicans" how can you align yourselves with the Republican Party when the Leaders and grass roots of the Party consider you to be less of a person than they are?
Regardless of how I feel about his answer, I respect his honesty about it. Rather than pander to the specific demographic of his audience at that moment, he stuck with his belief. Take note flip-floppers. And no, the former Speaker is NOT someone who I will be voting for.