Key Gingrich staff member departs over Mormon comment
December 13th, 2011
07:18 PM ET
11 years ago

Key Gingrich staff member departs over Mormon comment

(CNN) - Craig Bergman, Iowa campaign director for GOP presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich, stepped down from his role Tuesday amid reports he made a controversial comment about Mormonism.

"He made a comment to a focus group prior to becoming an employee that is inconsistent with Newt 2012's pledge to run a positive and solutions orientated campaign," said R.C. Hammond, press secretary for Gingrich.

According to the Des Moines Register, Bergman called Mormonism a 'cult' on Wednesday when talking to a focus group. The newspaper attributed the remark to The Iowa Republican, a conservative news website.

"A lot of the evangelicals believe God would give us four more years of Obama just for the opportunity to expose the cult of Mormon," Bergman reportedly said. "There's a thousand pastors ready to do that."

The comments come two months after a Dallas pastor tied to Texas Gov. Rick Perry created a firestorm when he referred to the Mormon faith as a 'cult' and discouraged Christian voters from supporting Romney, a Mormon.

Also see:

Gingrich, Huntsman's friendly foreign policy debate

Giuliani: Gingrich may be stronger than Romney

Cheney: Don't underestimate Gingrich

Santorum counting on Iowa

Filed under: 2012 • Faith • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. ED FL

    Monkey See Monkey do

    December 13, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    "God would give us" Where's God registered to vote? WE elect the President, not some evangelical's version of the Almighty.

    December 13, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Jamie from Riverside

    Those republicans can't help themselves when it comes to hate, ignorance, religious bigotry and intolerance....keep talking!

    December 13, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  4. karen

    Hum bug, blah blah blah, grow up (adults)? you speak worse than children. You speak words you know not what you speak about. Get over yourselves of your own blemishes & stop using a religion as your sorry weapon to push someones or peoples button. Speaking this way shows your true weakness..................

    December 13, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. cisco4 in the news above on the forum.. I to recognize ssome republicans the leading two .. resemble the rear end of a ....And act like it.. We all know Newton.. his real first name by the way..considers Mormonism a cult..

    December 13, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. Jason

    Yeah but did you hear about the conflicts between Ron Paul and his staff members? Me neither.

    December 13, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  7. I Can Read

    ALL religions are cults for the weak sheep........So the Mormons think the Garden of Eden was Missouri contrasted with Evangelicals thinking the world is 7000 years old….I mean really why would I put any FAITH into either of these concepts as being more valid or true. And of course The Pope apparently presides over the largest pedophile ring on earth yet claims…..guess I am going to hell for stating the obvious!

    December 13, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  8. Randy

    People need to grow up. All religions are cults by definition. Had Jesus appeared with band of followers during the 60s, he and his followers would have been branded a cult. Peter Jennings did a special on ABC, that addressed this and other issues. I wish they would re-broadcast it.

    December 13, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  9. God

    Religion is a cult.

    December 13, 2011 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  10. JT

    I believe the Mayans were predicting the rise of Newt's head in 2012. The far right is to stupid to realize that this man will never be elected president.

    December 13, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  11. Greg

    And the problem withhis comment is...? Aren't ALL religions a cult??

    December 13, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  12. Brenda

    Real Classy. This is the kind of garbage these conservative Evangelicals believe. And Newt is their man no matter his history? That's disgusting and shameful. I wish Mitt would fire back at this complete B.S.

    December 13, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  13. JT

    I love how this employee steps down for negative comments. Gingrich has made plenty of negative comments about Romney yet continues to pledge not to.

    December 13, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. tom

    Well conservatives, you were just fine when Newt was insulting the Palestinians and calling them an invented people. You were fine with it because they are middle-easterners and presumably Muslim (although many are Christian).

    Now tell us what you think about Newt insulting American Christians (Mormons)? Or is that ok because they are not Southern Baptists, the only "good" Christians for a good ole Southerner to like? Oh do tell us please?

    December 13, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  15. ICStupid

    The difference between religion and a cult is just the number of members and how many people that have elected in Government. Not that I'm a Romney fan, he's a hypocrite but wasn't Kennedy and the fact he was Catholic considered an issue too?

    People with small minds dwell on small issues. I guess that will never change.

    December 13, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. Liqmaticus

    It is a cult and he called it as it is. No problem that I see.

    December 13, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  17. gandfs

    Boohoohoo is anyone surprised?

    December 13, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  18. Reasonably

    Our cult is better than your cult – just
    ask us!

    December 13, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  19. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    It took him THIS long to realize Newt is a head case? Slow learner!

    December 13, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  20. Stephen Tapp

    Hell, ALL religions are cults.

    December 13, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  21. Isaac

    it is a cult

    December 13, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. luis

    Great. Now CNN, can we please move on to Ron Paul? Ron Paul is going to make corporate media look ridiculous and I am just going to sit back and enjoy.

    December 13, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Roger Noe

    "...inconsistent with Newt 2012's pledge to run a positive and solutions orientated campaign". How does this square with Gingrich's desire to see 9 year old poor youth working as school janitors and his statement that Palestinians are an "invented people".

    December 13, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. Clwyd

    So how can anyone take Newt's pledge seriously after his ethic violations and lying from the past? Just this year he said that he didn't take any money from Fanny and Freddy. Two days later he remembered it wasn't that much. I guess to a rich republican millionaire the final amount he owned up to of $1,600,000 doesn't seem like much , but to the rest of us in the middle class it does!

    December 13, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  25. carlos

    Every 4 years,the GOP gives us a watered down RINO clown who can not stir people's passions and who ends up destroying the Republican brand.The exceptions to this were probably Coolidge and Reagan in the last 100 years.This may be another of those moments.We can only work,hope and pray!...Go Ron!!!!!!!!!!

    December 13, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
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