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.

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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. Harry

    He isn't wrong. It IS a cult.

    December 14, 2011 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  2. David Ogletree

    Christian views on Mormonism are not new. They have had the same view since the day Smith made his claims. It is a cult and letting Romney become president would give legitimacy to the Mormon faith. We would be the laughing stock of the work having a member of a crazy cult as our leader. They believe that Jesus and Satin are brothers and that if they are good enough they will get their own planet populated by all the children they have. They where special underwear all the time that is blessed by the church. They are a group of people that act real nice to try to lure you into their crazy faith. There is a reason they were ran out of every state they went to. Every Christian church has believed and taught this since Joseph Smith showed up. If you are a Christian you believe that Mormonism is a cult.

    December 14, 2011 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  3. Jill

    PC rules. EVERY church, cult, sect, community, denomination gets called a "cult", with some regularity, by some other church, cult, sect, community denomination. It is just chic now days to feign umbrage . Nice set up. That way the road is paved to silence any criticism of really dangerous things.

    December 14, 2011 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  4. kathy

    What defines a cult?

    December 14, 2011 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  5. SPW

    By definition, all religions are cults.

    December 14, 2011 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  6. Skelly

    So sick of bigots. What a moron.

    December 14, 2011 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  7. Josh

    I am a long time member of the "Mormon" church, but I have recently stepped away from the LDS church. Looking at it from the perspective of an former insider, it is a CULT.

    December 14, 2011 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  8. Blinded by the republucan lie

    Genetically evil on all accounts...just look at him...

    December 14, 2011 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  9. jk

    Mormonism is, of course, a cult. Every religion is. The real controversy should be political hacks talking to focus groups instead of doing real work.

    December 14, 2011 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  10. travis fisher

    Being a mormon LDS is being part of a cult classic

    December 14, 2011 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  11. Athur

    When the house is on fire you don't stop the man with the firetruck to check his religious background. If water's hitting the flames, it's all good. We got a farenheit 451 style fireman in there right now and we need something a little more traditional.

    December 14, 2011 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  12. bill

    Very Christian of these folks...they're surely going straight to hell where they belong after all the abuses of power.

    December 14, 2011 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  13. me

    Well it is a cult, just like all religions. A bunch of people gathering to celebrate what they believe in. Nobody would cry is satanists were referred to as a cult. Religious nut-jobs need to pick up a Darwinism book. Also just look at a fossil. The earth was created in 7 days(6 if you dont count resting lol cuz the almighty needs to rest of course). Is carbon-dating the devil? Just spreading his lies backed by science, if so then give me satan any day. At least there is proof instead of blind, ignorant, misplaced faith. Let the jesus freaks rant!

    December 14, 2011 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  14. Quigley

    The Republican Party... the party of attack dogs.

    They're so busy attacking each other, and the Democrats, that they're ignoring the job that needs to be done and destroying America in the process. I'm no fan of Romney, but why should we care if he's a Mormon? If he can get the job done, fine.

    December 14, 2011 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  15. Riley P. Richardson

    All of theism is a "cult," in my opinion. Way too many people have been killed in the name of somebody else's god. "God" was created in man's image, by men (and damn few women), and will not receive me, nor anyone else, when I die. Best to live well, and to do well by your fellow man, while you can. It does not take a theist to accept that the Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is sensible and supportable.

    Given the uncertainties of life, and the nature of the human mind, it is not surprising to me that many people believe in a god. Eventually, I expect the bulk of the human race (if it survives long enough) to transcend this nonsense, and to accept full responsibility for what they do with their limited time on Earth.

    For the record, as a scientist, I am not an atheist. Rather, I would describe myself as an agnostic. I do not know, nor claim to prove. that there is no god. I just think that that the "God" described by those organized religions with which I am familiar, is unlikely to exist, in the extreme;

    December 14, 2011 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  16. Craig

    The true cult here is repuke party!

    December 14, 2011 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  17. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Newt, nobody believes you about the 'positive campaign' BS. Give it up already. You invented modern day mud slinging. If you think that you are suddenly immune by taking the high road, guess again.

    December 14, 2011 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  18. Just The Truth

    I think maybe this country should separate church and state...wait, we already did that. Well maybe this country should ignore a person's religous standing and stop letting politicians misdirect you with buzzwords and rehtoric. Calling Mormonism a cult is just children seeking attention

    December 14, 2011 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  19. Kris

    Of course he vows to run a clean campaign. New Gingrich, of all the candidates, knows that the MOST dirt in need of hiding is in his very own closet.

    The man makes me sick to my stomach.

    December 14, 2011 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  20. Pk miller

    I do not like newt but i have some very nice mormon friemds get to know them before you call them bad names

    December 14, 2011 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  21. Dumb Religious Poeple

    Why do people believe these clowns? Everyone knows God hates Republicans!!!!

    December 14, 2011 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  22. Dumb Religious Poeple

    GOD: I can't stand Republicans please, stop pretending to represent me.

    December 14, 2011 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  23. ME

    Educated People...Truly educated people...Intelligent not make racist remarks of any kind to anyone.....
    You may disagree with the color of grass but you must respect its right to be a part of this earth..

    December 14, 2011 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  24. jg

    All religion is a cult.
    Goodness..."my cult is OK but yours is not?" Really? I thought freedom of religion, no matter how stupid, was the reason this country was founded in the first place.

    December 14, 2011 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  25. Todd Hollingworth

    Gingrich is surly and loose lipped. I still can not believe that he would "pledge" to remain faithful to his third wife!
    I mean Isn't that something just ingrained in ones character?
    Poll after Poll has Ron Paul taking this thing, and the media continues to tout the two shill no one wants.
    Hoping that somehow it will "stick" or something if the repeat it enough.
    Both will self destruct.
    Ron Paul still drawing larger and larger crowds. I think I remember this trend about 3 years ago.
    CNN, you better get with it.

    December 14, 2011 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
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