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.

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

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Mike

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. 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 |
  4. @sobugly

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Regis990

    "... if they care about national security..." Gingrich says
    He's right, you know. Just ask Osama Bin Laden

    December 21, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. Man DeLorean

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Scott Pigeon

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. dondondon

    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..

    December 21, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Failure is the Republicon legacy

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. ahah

    Gringrich is so wants the GoP conservitive vote that he will cost the GoP the election...

    December 21, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. anonymus

    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!!!!!!

    December 21, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. jb1963

    This is too easy. A chimp who can't do any tricks can beat everyone the retarded party throws out there.

    December 21, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. Holloway

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. benji

    I'm not gay, but I am voting for Obama.

    December 21, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. LetsBeCivil

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  16. Patriot

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. Joe Rioux

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. hypatia

    What an arrogant thing to say to any voter! Fat hypocritical pos.

    December 21, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. andy

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. Honor

    @dondondon

    You think privacy is something Obama cares about? Not even close.

    December 21, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Joe Rioux

    @"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.

    December 21, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. Woman In California

    @ movealongnow

    I agree with you 100%.

    December 21, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. George B

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. Dave J

    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?

    December 21, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  25. John

    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.

    December 21, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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