December 12th, 2011
02:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich promises 'personal fidelity' in pledge

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich stepped up his efforts to appeal to evangelical Christian voters in Iowa Monday by promising in writing to "defend and strengthen the family."

Gingrich, who has been married three times, specifically said he would "uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others."

Gingrich made the pledge to The Family Leader, a socially conservative group based in Iowa. The organization has its own Marriage Pledge that other 2012 White House hopefuls have signed, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Gingrich did not sign The Family Leader's pledge himself, but did provide a lengthy written response to the organization. The former House speaker said he was fully committed to defending traditional marriage, including enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act and supporting a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman.

Gingrich also used his pledge to lambaste what he called an intrusion of federal courts in the private lives of Americans, saying the phenomenon "amounts to a constitutional crisis."

In a statement accompanying Gingrich's pledge, Family Leader President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats welcomed the former House speaker's commitment.

"We are pleased that Speaker Gingrich has affirmed our pledge and are thankful we have on record his statements regarding DOMA, support of a federal marriage amendment, defending the unborn, pledging fidelity to his spouse, defending religious liberty and freedom, supporting sound pro-family economic issues, and defending the right of the people to rule themselves," Vander Plaats said.

In November, the group said it had narrowed the list of candidates it might endorse to four: Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann and Santorum.

Political observers have long questioned Gingrich's appeal to socially conservative Christian voters because of his multiple marriages. The pledge made Monday came after Perry questioned Gingrich's marriages at a Republican primary debate in Iowa Saturday.

Perry warned that a politician who was unfaithful to his wife might also cheat in other ways, adding, "if you cheat on your wife, you'll cheat on your business partner, so I think that issue of fidelity is important."

Gingrich took the criticism in stride, saying "I've made mistakes at times. I've had to go to God for forgiveness. I think people have to measure who I am now, and whether I'm a person they can trust."

Also see:

Romney fires back, works to appeal to everyday Americans

With 3 weeks until caucuses, Gingrich remains on top in Iowa polls

Huntsman defector faults candidate's N.H. strategy

Gingrich challenges Romney to a bet

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (378 Responses)
  1. loathstheright

    LOL!!!! A snake is still a snake after it sheds it skin, no difference with Newt, he is corrupt to the bone.

    December 12, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Paul1st

    Newt sounds like a parody of the Verizon commercial: "Can you trust me now?" He will be faithful until he isn't. And he will decide when that will happen. Let's not overlook that he chooses which marital bonds he will support.

    On a related note, the concept of candidates and elected officials signing pledges offered by single-issue organizations and then using that pledge as an excuse to not participate in the public discourse while in office should be a reason for removal from office.

    December 12, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. duncanandrew

    I am glad he said he was going to give fidelity to his spouse otherwise I was thinking he was inferring his cat giving him a technical loophole which would not be binding.

    December 12, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Reasonably

    News flash: Habitual liar pledges not to lie again. His muppet followers believe him. Liar rises in the polls. And the beat goes on...

    December 12, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Butler

    This is just more proof as to how low the man will stoop to get the presidency. His other 2 pledges didn't work because they were only to wives and the Lord, and didn't have votes attached. Not only is he a hypocrite, but the folks who believe that this piece of paper has any real meaning to the coot are even worse. What a group of IDIOTS!

    December 12, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Matt

    LOL, just like he pledged fidelity to the first two women he married?

    December 12, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. annie s

    Did Mrs. Gingrich also vow to " respect for the marital bonds of others"? After all, she carried on an affair for 6 years with a man she knew was married. What a fine example of womanhood and family values she'd be a First Lady.

    December 12, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Lindsey

    Any of these "Christian conservatives" who support Gingrich are liars and hypocrites, just like Gingrich is.

    December 12, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. PulTab

    I promise! I really am done scr3wing my staffers this time. I didn't mean it during my marriage vows the last two times.

    December 12, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. mac58

    JOE T>>>>> America is already a cancer, on the world, just answering your earlier question.

    December 12, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. justmeanddog

    Some people are so desperate to get elected I wouldn’t be surprised if they promised the skeptical electorate that if they voted for them they would promise to drop dead if elected. Seriously this reminds me of an old Gilligan’s Island episode where Gilligan dreams he becomes leader of some banana-republic type country and when the people are calling for him to make an appearance on the balcony he doesn’t know what to say, so one of his advisers tells him to: “ promise dem dis, dat and de udder ting” and when he does this the crowd can be heard breaking out cheering.

    December 12, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. landon

    Is it the same pledge that said Blacks were better off in slavery?

    December 12, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. joe

    Not good enough! I want more pledges from you Newt:

    1. that you'll stay off the cupcakes, hamburgers, pork rinds, and whatever else you're eating to give you that Santa Claus look.

    2. stop wearing shirts with button-down collars!

    3. change your hairstyle. There's only room for one "The Donald" hair fiasco.

    December 12, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Dee

    hahahahaha! Married 3 times and preaching fidelity!??? get outta here! OBAMA 2012!

    December 12, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. Ken in MO

    To hear this man or anyone else say thinks like "Christian Values", and "Defense of Marriage" when they have done one imoral thing after another makes me sick. The Democrats are no more moral than the Republicans but they DO NOT go around criticizing and calling other people imoral and say they are "Christians" . I am not happy about what either party is doing but only one is an imoral hypocrite.

    December 12, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. JoseTheWrangler

    Evangelicals have descended pathetically from who they are - committed Christians wanting to share Jesus Christ - to political fanatics who will believe anything anyone says, as long as they claim to be Christians - no matter that they have demonstrated that they care noting at all for Jesus, Christianity, or any moral principles at all. Newt Gingrich is a conscienceless megalomaniac who will do and say anything at all to gain power. Have the Evangelicals forgotten the reminder that the Devil can - and does - quote Scripture?

    December 12, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Logic in LA

    Didn't he already make that pledge – technically under oath by getting married whether it be with a government employee or in a church? He didn't keep those promises. why this one? Oh yeah, he's old now.
    And what's with all these written pledges and promises given to our elected officials and those running? Are they even legal? Can they take an oath that will affect their ability to vote on given bill s while in office?

    December 12, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. GIUK

    The very thought of Newt as President is the answer to every bulimic’s quest to find the perfect laxative.

    December 12, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. BD70

    Who cares..he could pledge the moon and I wouldn't believe a word he said.

    December 12, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Jack

    Okay, I stood up for when some in the religious right were complaining that you had repented enough.

    This goes too far! Quit cratering to the religious right. The marriage vows are for that!

    And you wonder why this conservative will not vote any conservative or Republican. You are being lead around by the nose by Pat Robertson, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the Religious Right!

    December 12, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. SPLAT!~

    I forgive Newt, but I will not vote for anyone that panders to Bob VanderPutz!~

    December 12, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. Fire

    ...locking that ol' barn door after the horses have gone?

    December 12, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Jim in PA

    Why waste words, when instead we can all simply say "Bwahahahahahaha!!!!"

    December 12, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Roland

    Nobody in the GOPvangelical movement cares what he does or does not do. It's "just win baby!"

    December 12, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Chaz

    Fidelity pledge? Didn't he already break that pledge twice? Why trust him now?

    December 12, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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