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. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Fair is Fair:

    Thanks! Makes more sense as anything I could come up with ... I'm not at all familar with Catholic Church doctrine.

    December 12, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    This stuff appeals to many conservative voters because many of them are "single issue" voters with misplaced priorities.

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

    What a joke.

    December 12, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    >Newt Gingrich has all ready broke his Vowels twice
    > Are you people really that Dumb.

    Excuse while I roll on the floor for a good laugh!!

    December 12, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Frank

    Oh, really!!! Even Thomas Jefferson had affairs with who knows how may!!!!

    December 12, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. SaintM

    Newt is just pandering to the early caucus state voters–most of which are the most undereducated, underpriviledged republican stronghold states in the union. If some of these states would vote out their oppressors, they might actully see what it's like to live in a democracy as opposed to a dictatorship or theocracy.

    Newt may be enjoying his standings in states like Iowa, NH and SC, but there are 47 states that he has to pass the test, and with his record and past ethics sanctions, I doubt he will convince everyone in every state. He is a bloated pig that should be shown the door out of Washington DC for good.

    President Obama 2.0, 2012

    December 12, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. Arun

    What is it with the REPUBES and pledges. Who cares because their views on how to fix the mess we're in pretty much sucks except for corporations and the rich!!

    December 12, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    >SOUTHERN HOTTIE Give it a rest, will ya?

    Oh Hottie, not a chance.... Guess you just don't like it when the same misconduct of Democrats is brought up?! You're all willing to ignore or give THEM a pass but attack others for the same misconduct. Like I said, hypocrites all...

    December 12, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS: with regards to your comments about Bill Clinton: Gingrich lost seats in the '98 midterms, and he was exposed ( pun intended) as a hypocrite. The GOP, to its credit, did fine him for the cost of the investigation while sparing him from the bulk of the charges against him. He resigned his Speakership and his seat with a minimal amount of whimpering. No one enjoyed watching the sordid details of Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky ( except for the conservative voyeaurs that used taxpayer money to publish and purchase the graphic grand jury testimony Clinton was forced to give), but apparently you did. Its a pity you don't hold Newt to the same standard Clinton was held to by the GOP, but see fit to do the now standard line of lies and attacks by the GOP, all the while blaming the MSM, the DNC, etc. This is about Newt's hypocrisy: stay on topic so you don't appear as an even bigger ass than you normally do.

    December 12, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. K Denver

    Democrat Answer to everything-

    I hope you took the time to read the multiple responses to your rather snarky question. Based upon your continued incoherent ranting I would venture a guess that it didn't really matter to you in the first place. Once again-HERE IS THE PROBLEM WITH NEWT. He led a crusade against a man who was doing the exact same thing he was doing, which makes him a hypocrite. " Newt is his own worst enemy here-he could just say, "you know what? I f@$%ed up then and that sucks. I apologize. I have worked really hard on myself personally and do feel I am a strong candidate for presidency. Please give me a chance to tell you about my ideas". Instead, he signs a BS "pro-family" contract. He's doing it to himself.

    December 12, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. Arun

    Why didn't Newt make the same pledges to his first 2 wifes. Oh yeah, they couldn't help get him elected. Again, this idiot will say and do anything to get elected.

    December 12, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    I have chosen to remain single, but have cheated with several of your wives! BWAHAHAHA!!!
    Thank you for your liberal charity!!

    December 12, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. lynn

    Hey Rudy NYC - I've been married to the same man 53 yrs and think Gingrich is a barnyard animal. And if critics of Newt are divorced, they aren't running for the office of President, but Newt is and will never understand what fidelity means.

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

    "Newt Gingrich stepped up his efforts to appeal to evangelical Christian voters in Iowa Monday by pledging in writing to "defend and strengthen the family.""
    Which family is that Newt? Your first one.... Your second one.... or your third one?

    Real easy to take that pledge now that you are 68... Like Chris Rock says: "Don't nobody wanna give Newt Gingrich some..."

    You just screwed up though.. see now you have made this an issue in the campaign.. its always been an issue but it was a sleeping tiger..

    Guess who woke the tiger up? You did.. now the people who dont know about you and your wandering dick will soon find out.. the news cycle will take care of that with the commentary on your latest pledge of fidelity.. (unlike your other 2 that didn't quite work out)

    December 12, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Joshua Ludd

    I guess when you are the candidate who has a couple divorces under his belt already you really need to more vocally promise to be faithful to your current wife than the guys who haven't cheated on and divorced two previous wives. But, then, I've never quite gotten why for all these christian conservatives the vows they actually took to their wives and their god are simply not enough for them.. they have to promise to everyone else that they will keep the promise they already made years ago.

    December 12, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. IndeePedant

    Who are these people, who believe him (still)? This guy is a fraud and people who support him, inspite of knoging about his infidelity, are fools, imbeciles or idiots.

    December 12, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Bob

    And he really means it this time.

    December 12, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Alann

    So hilarious. The se guys just LOVE signing "pledges."

    Beware the wandering "eye of Newt."

    December 12, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. george wheeldon

    Newt has to be the "scuzziest, dirty old liar' on this earth. He has made so many vows before, especially to wives!!!, how in the world can the christians of this country even listen to his lies. Maybe Newt is getting down on the same level as some christians, ie: Paula White, Eddie Bishop , Richard Roberts and numerous catholic "leaders", who have led small boys into ruin. Newt, you are just a DIRTY OLD MAN who had the stupendous gall to be a judge over President Clinton, while having your own affair. Get lost!!!

    December 12, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Jake

    what a PIG! too bad they are not concerned for ALL families with their little faux pledge...just families like their own.

    December 12, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Southern Hottie:
    Democrat blah, blah will get right back to you just as soon as he looks up "inchoate" in the dictionary and learns how to use it in a sentence!!

    December 12, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. John

    Only Jesus people would be stupid enough to fall for this again and again and again!

    December 12, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. Marcelo

    Umm...isn't that what wedding vows are? hahaha

    December 12, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. 4th Eagle of the Apocolypse

    It's a little late to be telling people you are going to control your trouser trout. if elected Tell that to your first two wives.

    December 12, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. Jedi Mind Trick

    I believe in Newt!

    I believe he is a fat little boy, with a twisted mind, a hypocritical soul, a dysfunctional view of history, a greedy heart, and an eye for every woman in a short skirt.

    Watch out Carlista, wife number four is at Wal-Mart shopping for hairspray as I write!

    December 12, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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