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. billy

    Pretty sure he doesn't know what that word means.

    December 13, 2011 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  2. Maine LIberal

    he took a sacred oath before God three times to be faithful til death. How is this any different.

    December 13, 2011 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  3. Buster Bloodvessel

    Sorry, he tried pledging fidelity three times already. The truth ain't in him.

    December 13, 2011 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  4. Eye625

    He will say anything to get elected...

    December 13, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  5. john

    Sorry ... Once a cheater , ALWAYS a cheater .Doesn't matter who you are or what you are doing in life . It's like an addiction , one time is all it takes .

    December 13, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  6. Tam

    I promise..... till next time.....

    December 13, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. Newturd

    Wow a campaign based on family values and limited government from a cheating, lying, hypocritical big government guy. Supporters of his should definitely believe him now. He is a reformed man, ladies and gentleman your tea party candidate. ROTFLMAO!

    December 13, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  8. Monica

    He pledged fidelity when he first got married..... So, we already know what his pledges mean...

    December 13, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. james

    The evangelicals are like the unions. Who else are they going to vote for? These candidates shouldn't be spending their time worrying about them because theyr'e going to support whomever the GOP nominee is. Just like the unions will support Obama no matter what. That's why Obama is holding up the 120,000 jobs for the Keystone pipeline. He knows he has the union support, so securing the enviro vote is more important.

    December 13, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Franny

    It's not so much that Gingrich cheated, but that he cheated on a dying wife, and then had the audacity to go after President Clinton when he was doing terrible things on the Capital parking lot! That tells you a great deal about his lack of character. Now that he's 68, and a Grandfather? well, sure he's cleaned up his life, because he's too old to get away with anything at this point in his life. I'll never trust this man!

    December 13, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  11. Bozzz

    ."I think people have to measure who I am now (WE HAVE), and whether I'm a person they can trusT (WE DON'T)t."

    December 13, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  12. Kevin

    Except for that time he divorced his wife while she was going through chemo, guess they'll just give him a pass on that. I really wish these people would realize that marriage has nothing to do with their religion, it's technically a legal contract.

    December 13, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  13. TJeff1776

    I can't think of ANY promises Gingrich has kept in the past. NOT ONE. He is whistling Dixie. He prides himself, even brags, about his own silver-tongue. "I can sell ice to an Eskimo" he once stated. His degree openly states
    "Propaganda Deception". There is a sure-fire way of detecting his deception........when he moves his lips.

    December 13, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. jls

    Doesn't the 3 strikes your out rule go for politics, he a convicted cheater, for life.

    December 13, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. Thomas

    Isn't that pledge what his (first two) wedding vows were supposed to be?

    December 13, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. hank

    Ask his first two wives, how good his pledges are. How can you be married 3 times and be a "good Catholic"? I am a catholic and it seems like the church has made a big mistake dealing with this man.

    December 13, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Isn't this what abusive men say to their wives? "Hey, baby, I promise I won't ever do it again." And then, they do it again ...

    December 13, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. MaryM

    What makes the GOP/TP think that Newt will keep any pledge ? Newt is just as corupt today as he has always been.

    December 13, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    "he took a sacred oath before God three times to be faithful til death. How is this any different."

    The "in sickness and in health" part has always tripped him up ...

    December 13, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. Robin Bray

    What is with all of these stupid pledges to minority groups.Isn't the job of the president to represent a whole country? So out of touch.

    December 13, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. Handofdoom

    This a problem we the " Citizens can fix " ! To take control by picking up your phone also sending emails then there is letters Not by asking but telling your reps what you know should be done !Tell them flat out NO more BIG Government !

    December 13, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. Fun2beme

    Why couldn't he make an infedality pledge instead? It would have been his first step towards honesty.

    December 13, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. sayitis'ntso

    Will this be as good as his "Contract to America"? Boy with all the contracts, pacts and vows that this
    Blowhard has ever done and consistently reneged his lucky he didn't made one to the devil. But I bet his ambitions to be the leader of the free world everything is possible except that if he does not fulfill it there's only one outcome of it and it won't be pretty for him

    December 13, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. C Tran

    Gingrich says anything to get votes, that is so obvious. The immigration amnesty was for latino votes, the invented Palestinians was for Jewish votes It is hard to understand how he is leading the pack now. Don't voters think anymore?

    December 13, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. JohnReedjr

    "until death do us part" doesn't count anymore? Yes it does Newtie, yes it counts when you meet your convenient savior.

    December 13, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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