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. Rusty Rastelli

    Republicanism is a cult: they dupe the poor and the middle class to vote against their own interests.

    December 13, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. Dave Steniberg

    The reality of Newt is that he is overweight, clearly in an unhealthy position (health and leadership) quality to be elected president. Aside from this, is his history of questionable acts.


    December 13, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  3. david

    It is ironic how christians are the first to be so cruel to mormonism. Ironic isn't it?

    December 13, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  4. Memyselfnie

    Wow, he breaks his campaign promises even before election! And yet, people are still stupid enough to believe him.
    Newt, the guy who served his 1st wife divorce papers, WHILE SHE IS IN THE HOSPITAL WITH BREAST CANCER. His
    second wife gets em, BECAUSE SHE IS DIAGNOSED WITH MS! Newt, the guy who was fined $300,000.00 by the House. The guy who took 1.6 MILLION ( taxpayor) dollars from Freddy Mac, as a HISTORIAN.
    What kinda dudu head buys that crap?! Ya gotta be pretty stupid!

    December 13, 2011 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  5. K3Citizen

    Gingrich has no business in the business of religions. He is a fornicator and adulterer and God will decide which religion did the best job.

    December 13, 2011 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  6. nytw

    No true conservative will ever vote for a mormon or a catholic.

    December 13, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Why is this calling Mornmonism a cult so necessary for some people. It is another religion; connected to and a part of Christianity or not I don't care. It shouldn't disqualified someone for running for president. I don't understand how one's religion is a factor stopping someone to be president. I am sure that there are people who would oppose Jews or Muslims running for president.

    December 13, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  8. zulu

    It's newt...that's what he's all about. According to him, everything but him was "invented."

    December 13, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  9. Dave

    America is beginning to sound like a country reverting to the middle ages. Truth, fact and science is playing second fiddle to religious dogma.

    December 13, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  10. enuff

    Unfortunately, you will never be allowed to have a thought when you are in politics because if it is not popular with the crowd you pander to, you become disposable

    December 13, 2011 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  11. Captain Obvious

    When the front-runner for the GOP nomination changes next week none of this will really matter. They are handing a reelection to Obama with a slew of bad decisions, gaffes and directionless bravado.

    December 13, 2011 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  12. enoch100

    I like cookies.

    December 13, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I hope they drop kicked him out of there. Anyways, last I checked it wasn't the Mormons going around bashing all the other religious groups. Maybe some of the "evangelicals" should look in the mirror

    December 13, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  14. Andrew M.

    Sad day, when Mormon's are branded as a cult. Nothing could be further from the truth. The self righteous right have a lot of soul searching to do.

    December 13, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  15. grady

    Grocho Marx was right...religion is the opiate of the much of it makes you stupid...

    December 13, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  16. yikes

    Dude's a retard, just like that preacher on Perry's team who was bad-mouthing Mormons. I think it's time for some of these "evangelicals" to take a look in the mirror

    December 13, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  17. tracy

    Silly republicans, tricks are for kids.

    December 13, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  18. LouAz

    Peace on Earth – Goodwill to Men ! Oh how wonderful and loving christainity is. You betcha TPers.

    December 13, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  19. Bob

    This goes almost beyond humor. In a land that supposedly endorses the ideas freedom of religion and separation of church and state the candidates for the highest office in the land are campaigning on their religious beliefs and criticizing their rivals for theirs. One can't help but wonder if this is a charade carried out to hide the fact that none of them has a grasp of how the country wound up in its current financial malaise or how best to solve the problem. When it comes to solving financial problems I have more faith in a man with calculator and an accounting handbook than I have in a man with a Bible and a cross, especially when all he seems to be using them for is to cast aspersions on his rivals.

    December 13, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  20. Brent

    I thought there is no religion litmus test in our "sacred" and " inspired" form of government. But no, Papists, main-line Protestants, and now the LDS Church are a target and a new religious test. Keep rolling in the aisles, evangelicals, while you point us back to the stone age.

    December 13, 2011 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  21. MJS

    Good on Newt for not bothering to deal with the cult that is Mormonism. Focus on beating Willard Mittens Romney, which you will do.

    Now all the non-Christian Mormons can attack me.

    December 13, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  22. dantes

    The cult of Newt, a progressive big government socialist, is the issue. Not religion.

    December 13, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  23. Darrin, a Mormon

    I'm happy to see Gingrich distancing himself from this bigott, Bergman as Mormonism is no more a cult than Christianity as a whole. We, Christians, all follow a leader, whom some call charismatic, believe in rituals that seems odd to non-believers and do things that non-believers would never dream of: sacrament, pray to a higher being, believe in a world-wide flood, departing seas, fire from heaven, resurrection, angelic beings, etc. Mormons simply believe that God continues doing what he's always done: speak to prophets, revelation, temple rituals, etc.

    December 13, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  24. ClassyCakes

    We wouldn't criticize them if they believed in Jesus or were Jews. Instead, they're a cult of evil daemons.

    December 13, 2011 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  25. Pastor Joseph

    It's clear you don't like this guy.
    Could you come up with a less flattering picture.
    Try to be a little less obvious next time that Gingrich scares you liberals.

    December 13, 2011 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12