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. usualone

    There is something basically wrong that members of the GOP feel that they need to sign pledges to various individuals or groups. What happens if they break the pledges? They apparently don't have the guts to stand alone and think for themselves. Look what happened because people signed the pledge to the lobbyist, Norquist. I do not want my President signing pledges to anyone - except his/her duties as President of the United States and pledging allegiance to our flag/country.

    December 21, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  2. just let them marry each other already...

    just let them marry each other already. don't make us get involved with people that have no interest in us. they just try to please society and marry people they have no interest in. (some people think its something they have, but they can control it. you try being married to them and see if you can keep from killing yourself)

    December 21, 2011 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  3. hank

    This is a scam Gingrich knows that most gays will not vote for Romney because of his beliefs. Gay people turn this on him and vote for Romney. Gingrich in not Presidential and he should not be in politics. This is an evil man; is this the person you want for President? A President supports and respects all of the people.

    December 21, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  4. GrandOldPatsy

    Yeah, don't vote for Newt if you're gay, only if you're a philandering old fart with a penchant for wife swapping.

    December 21, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  5. Dave Long

    Politically, honesty is not the best policy, though nonetheless refreshing. Conservatives – take a moment to consider the size of the team that supported your ascent to whatever lofty position you now hold. Self-made, indeed.

    December 21, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  6. LMC

    So many Republicans don't realize that a president has to be there for ALL US citizens! Apparently Newt would only be there for people who agree with him.

    December 21, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  7. LOST in Texas FOREVER and EVER

    another reason why Newt and his gay sister are no longer on speaking terms.

    December 21, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  8. hankers

    "Gingrich replied saying he doesn't expect to get the backing from voters solely focused on changing the definition of marriage. ... 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." does anyone else see the hypocracy here? Maybe he should say 'women', since he has had 3 himself.

    December 21, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  9. works4me

    Shouldn't he say "between a man and three women..."

    December 21, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. Rabid Rabbit

    Ol' Newt, the poster child for the sanctity of marriage. He'll back an amendment defining marriage as between one man, one woman, then another woman when you get tired of the first, then another woman when you get tired of the second...

    December 21, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. MAC

    Scott Arnold is a liberal college professor so any republican will never get his vote since he is a liberal elitist like Obama.

    December 21, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  12. phil

    What is really pathetic is that many of the Log Cabin people would vote for Newt. What a twisted group of self-loathing, repressed, unfortunate men and women are they.

    December 21, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  13. fiskenmann

    Ah, another vote for Mr & Mrs Michele Bachmann.

    December 21, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  14. john

    hey CNN, could you please play the entire clip in its entirety. Im no fan of Newt, but if you here the whole clip its clearly not offensive.

    December 21, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  15. Larry L

    It's not about gay marriage but rather about a man who is willing to discriminate against people to gather votes from narrow-minded bigots.

    December 21, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  16. normajean @ verizon ,com

    You say that you like his answer "willow"....'.He doesn't support gay marriage!'....Frankly , from a womans point oif view....he doesn't support marraige,, period!!!

    December 21, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  17. Reagan Republican

    To those who think that was a good answer to the question, then they are misguided, inept and as ill-informed as Newt. He had an opportunity to explain himself. The queston was, " How do you win over support.........." You add in any group that disagrees with Newt on any issue. This was he opportunity to gain support not dismiss people. There are those of us in the Republican party that disagree with him on many economic and defense issue, so would he also dismiss us to go vote for someone else. He is not ready nor will he ever be ready to be commander in chief. The same holds true for the entire bunch. I hold true to Mr. Norquist, in that we should make sure that the president is not allowed to legislate as a democratic but push him as far right of center. We should focus our attention, money and resources on winning more seats in the senate and keep control of the house.

    December 21, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  18. Willy Wonk

    Hell yeah, if you don't like the exclusive party, go find a new one!

    December 21, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  19. ep tor

    We now know he swallows – with both feet in his mouth – he'll get his shoes back tomorrow when they'll come out the other end – if he can find them in all that bs he leaves in his wake.

    December 21, 2011 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  20. Gemini Girl

    What happened to what I typed??
    Newt the Grinch has had THREE marriages and THREE religions! Too funny! Newty, old boy, hang it up, you are so done! Even you know yourself that you are only in it for the $, the almighty dollar. You give us Roman Catholics a bad name!

    December 21, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  21. Uthor

    The National Organization for Marriage? What the heck is that? Lately we've seen that only about 50% of folks who could be married, are married. Gay or straight, not many of us seem to want to be married. It's a legal contract that might cause you to lose a good portion of your accumulated fortune. Why do it, unless you want to have kids and keep them safe and provided for? There's no other reason to get married.

    December 21, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  22. ronniegcook@yahoo,com

    We need someone who is for the truth of God gay marrige is wrong no matter how you try to explain it into life today, one day you will stand before God to give an account for your life and how you lived it and you alone will give account to God on that day there will no lawyers to speak on your behaft just you yourself

    December 21, 2011 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  23. Uthor

    Well, Newt does know about marriage, having been married three times.

    December 21, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  24. AhhPures

    Good for you Newt. Show them what a real man is like. When you are president and wielding the reigns of power you can send our military into another unnecessary war to further prove your masculinity.

    December 21, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I thought his comment was a perfect response to the question. If self-serving issues outweigh the greater interest of the country as a whole for you, then vote for Obama. It's why he's in office now and a large reason why the country is in the poor condition it's in today.

    December 21, 2011 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
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