Gingrich to gay man: Vote for Obama
December 21st, 2011
03:23 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich to gay man: Vote for Obama

(CNN) – Asked how he plans to engage the gay community in his bid for president, Newt Gingrich on Tuesday told a voter he wouldn't be the right choice for those basing their decision on the issue of same-sex marriage.

"If that's the most important (issue) to you, then you should be for Obama," Gingrich told Scott Arnold, a man who identified himself as gay.

"Okay. I am, but thank you," Arnold replied.

The comment ended a rather cordial exchange between the two at a campaign stop in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Arnold, an adjunct professor at William Penn University, approached the former speaker, asking Gingrich how he would sway voters who disagreed with him on same-sex marriage.

"How do you plan to engage and get the hope of gay Americans and those who support them?" Arnold asked.

Gingrich replied saying he doesn't expect to get the backing from voters solely focused on changing the definition of marriage.

"And I accept that that's a reality," Gingrich said.

Gingrich has frequently taken a conservative line on the issue. Last week, he signed a pledge with the National Organization for Marriage, promising, among many things, to back a constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and woman.

"On the other hand, for those for whom it's not the central issue in their life –if they care about job creation, if they care about national security, if they care about a better future for the country at large-then I think I'll get their support," Gingrich said.

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Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (554 Responses)
  1. Seattle Sue

    Newt"s gay sister has already said she is going to vote for President Obama.

    December 21, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. Phillfoss

    But if you cheat on your wives, even when there sick vote for Newt.

    December 21, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. Tom

    And that, my fellow American's, is how you skirt an issue of freedom and try to make everyone think it's ok because you'll do good on other things.

    December 21, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  4. Keith

    Well, I have to appreciate his honesty. Plus we all know how committed Newton Leroy is to the sanctity of heterosexual marriage - what with his having demonstrated his commitment three times.

    December 21, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. Bil

    Thank you, Newt. Not that I needed it, but you gave lots of us another reason not to vote for you or any narrow-minded. opinionated candidate.

    December 21, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. Benjamin

    Gay voters expect or "want" all candidates to literally bend over for them. Good thing for people like Gingrich who don't fall for the 2% of gay people in the country.

    December 21, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. Independant Kansan

    Why are conservatives so angry and hatefull? Was Jesus angry and hatefull?

    December 21, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. PhilOhio

    Some of you that say he lies, well. This certainly shows he doesnt lie, sometimes. I would rather have a candidate be straight forward with his answer than the political mumbo jumbo we usually get. And I am all for equal rights for homosexuals. But, it will come at the right time. The thinking in America on that subject has changed ramatically over the last 30 years or so. Soon...soon....

    December 21, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. Old Artillery Man

    Of course, Newt believes marriage is between a man and a woman. Hasn’t he demonstrated that three times?

    December 21, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. Will S

    As if the gay professor had any interest in voting for Newt. Manufactured news.

    December 21, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  11. The Truth Hurts

    So he's willing to lose roughly 10% of the vote (LGBT) and also any open-minded independents (an additional 5+%) but he's more than happy to pander to the Jewish-American voting bloc (roughly 0.5% of the population). Great electoral strategy, Newt!

    December 21, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. FlopFlipper

    Newt is soooo trying to destroy his own campaign. He knows Mitt is polling better in a head-to-head race with Obama. Newt's doing everything he can to throw his own candidacy.

    December 21, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Jeffer65

    At lest he is honest about it.

    December 21, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  14. ShawnDH

    Gingrich is a horrible person. Seriously a terrible human being. BTW, what's up with all these Republicans babbling about "freedom" and "a small unintrusive government" while mindlessly insisting the government dictate who can marry whom; and the government should conduct witchhunts of gay soldiers then ruin their careers; and the government should force women to give birth against their will and on and on? I don't get it. What are their values? They want the most oppressive and intrusive government imaginable.

    December 21, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  15. Larry L

    Newt knows his voters and knows they accept discrimination against Americans outside of their "Leave It To Beaver" make-believe world where June cooked dinner wearing a frilly apron and Ward wore a tie to the dinner table. He admits he would be the kind of President who wouldn't protect the rights of all Americans, choosing instead to pander to those who make up influential voting blocks in the Republican Party. He is a foolish, evil little man. I don't mean "little" in regards to his stature. He's simply "little" in every other way.

    December 21, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  16. Mile 5

    I respect his candor and honesty, most people would pander and try to avoid the question, newt shoots straight the more I hear from him the more I'm likely to vote for him.

    December 21, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. skarphace

    I personally do not care if gay marriage is legal or not. However, as POTUS, Gingrich would represent all Americans, not just those that voted for him. By saying that a faction of Americans would not get representation under a Gingrich presidency is just about as unconstitutional as I can imagine.

    December 21, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  18. YouCantHandleTheTruth

    So which does more damage to marriage, a guy who cheats on two wives and treats his vows like a joke, or two people who love each other and want to care for one another.

    Sorry Newt, you have already trashed what you claim you want to defend.

    December 21, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  19. Triple A

    If only all politicians spoke this straight. Agree with him or not I think in the last 20 years this was the straightest answer I have see from somebody running for political office.

    December 21, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. johnborg

    Honestly, moderate estimates rank the gay population at 8%. So, if Gingrich gets the nomination, that 8% is swinging to Obama. Thank you Mr. Gingrich for losing the GOP the election. These candidates, besides a few (who aren't ranking), are idiots.

    December 21, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  21. Peter

    Multiple divorces are OK or Newt, but a gay couple who have been devoted to each other for 35 years don't deserve crap, according to him. "Protection of Marriage"? Yah, right.

    December 21, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain

    @zoot: "Newt defines marriage as between one man and a series of women."


    December 21, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  23. LOST in Texas FOREVER and EVER

    hmmmm...I wonder what the Log Cabin Republicans and GOPride groups think of this?

    December 21, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  24. Gilligans Island

    Vote for me, and i promise you.....

    and the other thing !

    December 21, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. Jersey Girl

    Newt the Grinch has had THREE wives and THREE religions! Too funny! Newty, time to hang it up, you know yourself you aren't ever going to be president, you're just in it for the $. The almighty dollar. So sad, so clueless. And you give our relgion, Roman Catholicism, a bad name.

    December 21, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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