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. twophad

    For all that people may hate him, his response was pretty honest..if you care a lot about marriage rights for gays he's not your man. Simple as that. He's not my man for a lot more reasons than that, but the answer was direct.

    December 21, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  2. Gemini Girl

    Too funny that old Newty boy keeps bringing up Reagan's name! Yeah, like he could even be compared to Reagan, never in a million years! And on top of that, Reagan would be embarassed to be associated with the likes of this Class of 2011 Clowns. The only one who is even half-way sensible is Jon Huntsmann. I will vote for the current president, but if I were a Repub I would certainly take a second look at Huntsmann. I am glad that his name is being brought up more and more, because he has no baggage like the rest of the GOP candidates, he is the only one with international experience, he has the most education of all the candidates, he has the most logical economic plan, etc., etc.

    December 21, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  3. CaliMafia

    I thought Newt was going to tell him to straighten up!

    December 21, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  4. Newt4Obama

    With that answer Newt just endorsed Obama for 4 more years.

    December 21, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  5. James Richardson

    Mr. New World Order Globalist himself is going to tell us plebs about morality. Let's see, after he gains control of the country and then the planet, he will set himself up as the true god of all and establish his own set of commandments devoid of any mention of adultery.

    December 21, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  6. Lynda, California

    This Arrogant little man is making the GOP look even more spirited than usual. It is strange that he is so judgmental and intolerant, but wants everyone to overlook all of his glaring dysfunctional behaviors. I can't believe that the media gives GOPers such as Boehner, Cantor, and Gingrich such a free pass to look down their noses at a large number of Americans, and say things like get a job and take a bath, to well educated, peaceful protesters. And, no I won't attempt to understand you situation by telling a voter vote for someone else. This is not a third world dictatorship, where supreme leaders can openly sneer at their subjects. Shame on the media for not questioning what is driving the GOP to accept these types of despicable leader. Arrogance is not a Christian value, and making fun of those in need, is so low I can't believe descent conservatives won't just sit this one out, rather than vote for one of these strange candidates.

    December 21, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  7. M.K.

    As much as I dislike Gingrich, I have to admire his candid answer. Gays may do as they please, but they wont get much sympathy from someone that is straight and running for president on a Conservative ticket. That is like asking Willie Sutton to support the FBI. There are some things that gays should know is off limits.

    December 21, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  8. Enzo

    Just offer some $$ to the Grinch and he'll suddenly become pro-gay.

    Just ask the global warming people...

    December 21, 2011 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  9. max

    he had nothing to lose. he wasnt going to get the gay vote anyways. BFD

    December 21, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  10. CanOnTo

    I really liked Gingrich's answer. Surprisingly honest and fair coming from a politician or a salesman. "You don't like what I am offering? Go to somebody else." He didn't try to spin it. I am not a GOP supporters, but I liked this.

    December 21, 2011 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  11. Jeff

    I look forward to Gingrich's failure, but the posts on this board and the Iowa gay voter are out of touch with reality. The gay vote is irrelevant and it was a waste of energy for the voter to even bring it up. The response was predictable and it certainly didn't expose anything that we didn't know or that conservative voters expect from him. I admire (rare!) Newt's honesty on the issue. At least he didn't tap dance around it with some politically correct answer. He told the gay voter the truth. For all of you who claim Newt is shooting himself in the foot, he's not on this one. This is in line with his platform and I wouldn't expect any support to leave him as a result of his response.

    December 21, 2011 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  12. macallen23

    I'm not sure Newt is right guy to ask about the "definition of marriage." He seems to thinks marriage is between a man, a woman, and the woman he bangs on the side.

    December 21, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  13. atroy

    Anyone, like Newt, who has ended several marriages in divorce and who has violated the sacrament of marriage by committing adultery has already redefined the institution of marriage to fit his own needs.

    December 21, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  14. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Gingrich – doing for the advice business what Joe Hazelwood did for inland waterway navigation skills.

    December 21, 2011 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  15. WDinDallas

    Good point Newt. If that is the defining issue, the self serving people like this guy should vote for the party that caters to them. They stab them in the back, but they are to narcisstic to notice.

    December 22, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  16. Anonymous

    For years, marriage has been targeted as just a piece of paper and unnecessary. Marriage was being propagandized as just the path to failure and a piece of paper wasn't necessary in pledging to a monogamous/permanent loving relationship; all those other issues that were provided because of marriage could be done under domestic partnership. Those very same groups are now making that piece of paper of such utmost importance for gays that it has become a one issue reason to vote for a president–and the heck with all those trivial things such as jobs and all the beyond the pale economic problems that we are being diluged with. 'We like much of your other plans and feel it will be beneficial for our country's survival, but no piece of paper for marriage–bye, bye, we will vote against you' is the blackmail used against politicians running for office.

    And this reasoning that since man-woman marriage has a high divorce rate, therefore, gays should have a marriage certificate is non-sensical. ' Your piece of paper failed, but ours won't', duh! Gay relationships fail at a high rate just like man-woman relationships and the only difference with a piece of paper will be that divorce lawyers will be licking their chops.

    December 22, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  17. Bill, NY

    What the Grinch really meant by that is: If I get elected, grab your ankles because I will really show you how its done!

    December 22, 2011 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  18. 1benza

    Classic example of how not to get a vote. You go Newt.

    December 22, 2011 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  19. KTinCA

    Not that he is right but I think he is being honest. Give him credit for that.

    December 22, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  20. john donkey

    Well I'll be, even Newt Gingrich can be honest sometimes!

    December 22, 2011 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  21. SqueakyVoice

    Could be the most honest thing to come out of Newt's mouth since, well, in forever. Still, it's hysterical to consider how this lowlife has managed to out maneuver his opponents by taking the moral high ground.

    December 22, 2011 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  22. GaryB

    "Don't vote for me." The best advice Newt could give any voter.

    December 22, 2011 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  23. Cleareyes2020

    Why is it that republicans always talk about smaller government and less government regulations when it comes to the American economy but when it comes to Americans' personal lives they want to make more regulations and provide less personal freedoms and less separation of state and religion such as prayer in school, preventing gay couples from marrying one another not allowing medical marijuana. Republicans want to provide America with more economic freedom but less personal freedoms.

    December 22, 2011 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  24. markiejoe

    I swear on a stack of holy books that the worst thing ever to enter American politics is these dam "pledges" that the politicians sign. Newt started it, oddly enough, with the Contract With America back in the early 90's, and now here he is signing a pledge PROMISING to back a federal constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage in the US of A. Thus boxing himself into a corner forever and always.

    Whenever I hear a politician use the words "always," "never," "forever," and the like, I write them off immediately. Newt supports amnesty for illegals for not marriage for gays. Who'da thunk?

    December 22, 2011 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  25. ALGCBPJtJt7

    Newt, in many parts of the world just means a little gecko weenie. He needs to be thrown in the desert with those little critters and kept far away from Wall St., his lobbying buds, and women. Dream on Newtie. The Republicans have yet to come up with a credible candidate. Watching their debates is like watching an SNL skit, but not nearly as entertaining.

    December 22, 2011 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
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