(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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For the record, Obama opposes marriage equality as well.
it's ok, Newt! We haven't forgotten about how you spoke and talked during the 90's...we'll never forgot! And yes, we WILL be re-electing Obama! NO H8!
I hate the idea of calling Newt a racist. He is a great man regardless of his past mistakes. He loves America and will do anything to protect it. Just like people have their rights to be gay, Newt has his right not to be part of that culture. Why should everyone be forced to accept gay marriage? One thing I know for sure is this: If Newt wins Republican nomination, all you people calling him names will be shocked of the election outcome on November 8th. We have the right to disagree but not to call him names. Respect all the time!!
If Newt stands against SSM, than so be it. Just don't complain after Nov 2012. Gays can vote too Newt! When the people vote is a done deal.
Support an amendment to make divorce illegal, then you can argue the sanctity of marriage in the first place.
Newt represents everything that's wrong with hetero ("traditional") marriage.
That was an honest and refreshing response. While we're at it, I think that gay republicans should not be allowed to patronize gay bars, restaurants, or other venues since they've voted for the candidates who have opposed the right to have such establishments. Gay republicans get the benefits they don't deserve. Ask larry craig.
It took a few days for people to remember why we didn't like the Newt. Now we do. Get lost lizard.
I appreciate Newt's honesty, seriously. Why try to pretend that he and other Republicans have anything but hostility to gays? Now, if they'll admit their feelings about Latinos, blacks and women's rights, they can make a clean breast of it.
Newt doesn't care about the gay vote because he knows he's got the serial adulterer vote!
Well, at least Newt is being honest about his bigotry. I guess marriage is only allowed for those, like Newt, who desecrate the institution.
Since no one is talking about getting rid of the right of men and women to marry each other, this doesn't change traditional marriage at all. I somehow doubt Gingrich (and many other conservatives) really cares too much about gay marriage personally and probably knows some gay people. But what they have to say to win primaries is different. It's just politics, that's the sad thing. My guess is that when it gets to the Supreme Court gay marriage will win, because those guys don't have to worry about elections.
Got to hand it to Gingrich. He just outed the right wing GOP position. If you are gay and probably almost anything but white and christian the Republicans do not want you. Way to go Newt. Every day you prove that you are a bigger loser than anyone envisioned.
Didn't Newt change the definition of marriage to remove the 'in sickness and in health' part?
You know what, I think the next person who signs a "pledge" outside his job scope should be eliminated from public office. How do you sign something when you have no idea what conditions will come up in your presidency? This man has a gay sister and if he can think like that without the slightest thought o her welfare I wouldn't vote for him.
total fail. obama is against marriage equality too.
I'm a Democrat and I pray every single night that Newt gets the nomination. We might as well crack open the champagne right now rather than wait for the general election. Go Newt! We love your brand of idiocy.
Wait, Newt is going to try and force HIS "values" on marriage? So infidelity and divorce for us all then Newt?
If your main concern is to lower taxes for millionaires vote Republican, and if you want to re create the Bush era and deregulate everything so so it can all happen again vote Republican, for everything else that matters to you vote Obama
....advice to straight voters also...vote Obama
At least–this time–Newt was honest (or indifferent) enough to say that gays should vote for Obama rather than giving some BS reason to vote for him.
Advice to Newt Gingrich:
Pack it in, you just lost the vote of middle America.
i never agreed with newt in anything but on this he is right.gay as in marriage is forbidden by God and Bible,is sin.
so newt can call for clintons impeachment for cheating while cheating on his wife. cheat on another wife and get married 3 times and i cant get married once??? wow thats democracy GOP style
I don't agree with Newt on much...basic difference of philosophy. I really disliked him in the 90s. But I actually think this was a good, honest answer. Refreshing. I won't vote for him, but I liked the way he handled the question.