December 12th, 2011
02:30 PM ET
9 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. Jules

    The man does not know how to speak the truth. How does he think he is going to strengthen the family. That is an idiotic statement and it is idiotic to believe that any president can strengthen the family.

    December 12, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. A real American

    I agree with Jose. The evangelical movement has lost all credibility in their quest for power. Newt's "sacred" vow to be true to what, his third wife or so, makes me ill. What a creepy guy and what a bunch of losers supporting him. In some ways, the repuglicans deserve to have him on the ticket. Yuck!!!

    December 12, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. BostonWes

    This is too funny. Married 3 times (left one disabled wife) but still feels the need to protect the traditional family? What a total hypocrite. This guy is a joke.

    December 12, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. mabel floyd

    according to the catholic rules newt can be "forgiven " for adultery–but being forgiven for divorcing the first wife for having cancer and divorcing the second wife for having MS does not make the the girl friend a legitimate wife. in order for this "confession" to "take" he must regret his "sin" and seek to make his life clean -that would make him leave his girl friend.
    i notice the church has said nothing-the "see no evil is still in vogue in the church. i guess they feel they have "bagged" big fish with this tbagger.

    December 12, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Associated Garlic Press

    Newt Gingrich's wife has released a statement in support of his renewed marriage pledge.

    "I stand by my husband's commitment to family values and fidelity. As a wife, I cannot emphasize how much this means to me. Forget weddings wows and promises to your spouse – what can show more commitment than promising fidelity to a social conservative group in Iowa? I am proud to be married to a man of his integrity and honor.

    Newt might have made some mistakes in the past, but I am firm in my conviction that he is a changed man. I trust him fully to always – no matter what happens – stay truthful to his vows made in Iowa. And if he doesn't, he can always make a new vow at the next campaign stop. That's just the kind of man he is – and I love him for that."

    December 12, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Just Me

    LOL. Yeah right. After three (3) bites at the apple, he all of a sudden wants to pledge "personal fidelity" now that he is running for POTUS. Give me a break. (Rolling Eyes). Steve Wonder can see him from a mile.

    December 12, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Rick

    In further news...Gingrich announces he is now terminally impotent.

    December 12, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Rweber

    Wow, the pious tevangelicals are defending Newt. If he were sincere, Newt would be neutered.

    December 12, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. feline 123

    Perhaps he can hire someone to hose him down with ice water when he gets the unfaithful urge again.

    December 12, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Bigwilliestyles

    I'm not worried about Gingrich. It is a fact that you cannot win the office of the President without the support of the woman vote. No way a decent woman, republican or democrat, is voting this slime and his hoe into the White House. I don't know how he expects to get around that. His candidacy is DOA.

    December 12, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Straight Shooter

    Unless he is paying her by the hour, I don't think Newt will have much luck finding someone interested in having an affair.

    December 12, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Obama 2012

    Is a marriage vow not a pledge? Why has an additional pledge got to be made? How about the GOP pledge to the American people that they will stop acting like grade schoolers and start acting like responsible adults. That they will focus on creating jobs (as pledged to the American people when they won back congress) – so far the only pledge they seem to be able to keep are the ones given to Norquist and the radical religions right.

    December 12, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. jo an

    Wonder what part of him any woman would want.....he he he he he he!!

    December 12, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Pat

    This is like Lindsay lohan signing a pledge about not spreading her legs on Playboy for money.

    December 12, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    > He was disgraced by the House for ethics violations.

    Yeah, right. 84 charges made by the Democrats. 83 THROWN OUT. One minor one agreed to. Pure politcia BS with Nancy Pelosi involved. Yes, very fair I'm sure! BTW, where is HER ethics violation on insider trading?

    >He slammed Freddie Mae then took 1.6 million from them as a lobbyist!

    He wasn't a lobbyist so stop spreading lies. As a private business person, he has a right to make a living by consulting. I know Democrats want to keep everybody on the bread lines, but many of us want to work and earn our keep.

    December 12, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Jack in Florida

    The only thing worse than having Newt as POTUS is having his gold digger wife as First Lady........

    December 12, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. gorddicnn

    I also believe in the tooth fairy.

    December 12, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. horsesmouth

    Newt's previous wives are saying: "if I only made him take a PLEDGE, he would have never cheated on me." They shoulda known wedding vows are NOT A PLEDGE!!! silly ladies

    December 12, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. whosurdaddie

    Newt's previous wives are saying: "if I only made him take a PLEDGE, he would have never cheated on me." They shoulda known wedding vows are NOT A PLEDGE!!! silly ladies

    December 12, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. JohnW

    Considering how well he's done with pledges like this in the past, I'd take this with a grain of salt.

    December 12, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. Rob1961

    At his age, how much of a promise is he really making? As for promoting the idea for others, he probably can't spell hypocrisy–just live by it!

    December 12, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. Rweber

    That's true, the women voters would be installing the other, other woman in as First lady when indeed she is the third.

    December 12, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. Indy

    Anyone that signs a pledge is not worthy of voting into office and all that have signed pledges need to be voted out. Sign a pledge to everything you can for every American and do your job, compromise and that is it, enough with these silly grade five pledges.

    December 12, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. Pat

    This Gop reality show is entertainment at its best. Palin preaching abstinence, Newt preaching faithfulness in marriage,

    December 12, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. delos

    Newt you made the promise 3 – 4 time's already haven't you, correct me if i am wrong isn't this fidelity pledge a part of marrage vow's, just saying

    December 12, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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