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. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Julia and Sniffit, Newt didn't become a Catholic until after his third marriage. The Roman Catholic Church is under no obligation to recognize his previous marriages unless they were performed in a Catholic or Orthodox church.

    December 12, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. yellerdog

    ALL of these "Pledges" are nothing more than Ca-ca.

    December 12, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. nota bobblehead

    How is it Newt is a good catholic now? I thought Catholics weren't in good standing with the church if divorced. How did Newt and Calista explain their situation to the priest. How much did it cost to be accepted into the church when divorced twice. Good Catholic who found Jesus? Bull crap , only because it is now convenient to get the the vote of the religious right wing crackpots. I suggest you go on the Maury Povitch show.

    December 12, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. phil

    A recent quote/analysis of Newter,
    Newt Gingrich’s mind is in love with itself. It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker. His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior. He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

    More good news..... Romney is a 1%er and cannot relate to anyone and even more important doesn't know why! Paul is circling Neptune. Bachmann's husband will bring her down. How in the heck did Perry get elected Governor anyway??? Santorum is running for VP with anyone..... Huntsman is the only remaining candidate with integrity, experience, and wisdom required to beat Obama. Can't figure out why he isn't getting respect!

    December 12, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Scott in Atlanta

    @Fair is Fair,

    You could have gotten out of marrying her by committing a crime, going to jail for 20 years... And you would have been out by now.

    December 12, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. D

    Those who are withoiut sin, may cast the 1st stone at Newt! What on one other there?

    December 12, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Danko Ramone

    Gingrich: "I promise that I won't cheat on my wife (this time), with anyone who is already married (this time), and if I do, I'll hide it better."

    December 12, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    GI Joe

    47 years and counting – how about you?
    Hello? Democrat blah blah? Helloooo??

    December 12, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama:

    You crack me up!!! You really do.

    Looks like jamel is coming in first, and GI Joe heading into second ...

    December 12, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. Harry Wortz

    How many oaths does Newt have to break before folks figure out he's full of BS? He's a coward (draft dodger) and an adulterer who would sell his soul for the White House and probably has already.

    December 12, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. Keyser Soze

    Wire Palladin, S. F.

    How many crazy pledges do republicans have to make before voters realize that they are putting less important things above our country that will negate their pledge to our government and our people? Pledges to teavangelicals and Norquist are un American.

    Perfectly stated. Oath of office is all that should matter. All these other pledges to Grovel Nerdquist and whatnot are conflicts of interest. Enough.

    December 12, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    The fact that the GOpsters would pick a THREE-time adulterer , a TWO-time divorcee as their 'champion' shows you how HYPOCRITICAL and PHONEY they are about ethics, family values and loyalty in general. Did I mention that the guy changes religion as frequently as Limbaugh lambasts unions?

    December 12, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Pastafarian

    Jesus loves me, but he can't stand you...

    December 12, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. Sean Russell

    Didn't he pledge fidelity to the first two wives?

    December 12, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Like Calista is First Lady material. Priceless to say the least! Sleeping with her boss while he was married....real classy!
    So was this your assessment of Bill Clinton and his conduct while being a married sitting President? Like I said, all hypocrites...

    December 12, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Jeebus Loves You

    An serial adulterer and his adulterous former mistress in the White House? And the Evangelicals are going to try to put him there?

    December 12, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Boytjie

    Newt will say anything to get elected.

    When he pushed for DOMA he was already destroying marriages... why should we believe him now?

    December 12, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Bill

    Every time a republican screws up something, they ask God's forgiveness. These new Christians follow a book written by them and for them. Being a man, twice married and divorced, played on the side never asked for forgiveness. Child support was punishment enough, besides the Lord kept sending me good looking women my way.

    December 12, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Guess who else is still married and faithful to his first wife? Barack Obama
    And just how do YOU know??? Didn't John Edwards say the same thing???

    December 12, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Mike

    How can he on the one hand attack the intrusion of federal courts into people's lives and on the other call for support of DOMA?

    December 12, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oops. Sorry GI Joe ... misread your years of marriage ... just switch my last post around, K? You are in first place so far, and jamel second. My apologies.

    December 12, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Jeebus Loves You

    Thing is, Newt ran for Congress as a reformer and a family values Christian. He was kicked out of Congress for corruption and he ended up being a serial adulterer. Suckers!

    December 12, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Gina

    ...Calista with Bike helmet , First lady.....LOL

    December 12, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. John

    Newt Gingrich has all ready broke his Vowels twice ,so what do you think a Pledge would do. Are you people really that Dumb. Not only Is he a Cheat he all so a Crook. And he LIE.

    December 12, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. Jon in Rochester

    It's not so much that he was married three times but more about the fact that the was publicly ridiculing Clinton about Monica Lewinsky while at the same time he carrying on in an affair of his own. His picture appears under hypocrite in the dictionary.

    December 12, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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